How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

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How many languages in total do you actively maintain and study. Native language(s) included.

1
7
8%
2
12
14%
3
19
23%
4
23
28%
5
6
7%
6
6
7%
7
3
4%
8
0
No votes
9
0
No votes
10 or more
7
8%
 
Total votes: 83

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BalancingAct
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby BalancingAct » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:36 pm

There is no difference between maintain and actively maintain?
The poll is meaningless as some people don't seem to make the distinction.
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Serpent
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby Serpent » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:30 pm

The OP did specify "actively maintain".
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garyb
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby garyb » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:26 am

BalancingAct wrote:There is no difference between maintain and actively maintain?
The poll is meaningless as some people don't seem to make the distinction.


I'm not even sure what the distinction is, and I'll bet that every voter has a slightly different idea of what makes maintenance "active". It just seems like another of these questions that results in useless debate that doesn't help anybody in practical terms, like extensive vs intensive and the definition of fluency and all the rest. Three hours per week of any sort of exposure or use of a language is probably more than enough to maintain it, although in my experience speaking and writing get rusty if I never practice them.
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patrickwilken
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby patrickwilken » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:09 am

Of course maintenance is not the same as improving. I know a few L2 C2 English speakers, and I am always surprised when they complain about the gaps in their language skills and how they need to keep working to improve their skills. I very much doubt if you are doing a few hours a week of maintenance that you ever have the chance to improve you language skills.

But once you have pretty strong skills in a language I do wonder how much you need to do maintain it. I have had a ten month break from German this year, with very little maintenance and I still seem to be more-or-less at the same level when I left off.

My mother was a Lithuanian refugee, who came out Australia in the 1940s. A friend of hers on the boat, had a stroke a few years ago, and woke up in hospital, much to the distress of her husband, speaking only Russian, which she learnt as a child and hadn't spoken in more than fifty years.
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Hank
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby Hank » Thu Sep 13, 2018 12:09 pm

Since I'm not anywhere near maintenance level with Welsh, I picked 2. English and Spanish.
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BalancingAct
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby BalancingAct » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:15 pm

garyb wrote:
BalancingAct wrote:There is no difference between maintain and actively maintain?
The poll is meaningless as some people don't seem to make the distinction.


I'm not even sure what the distinction is


To see the distinction, you consider "intention" and " need". Simple as that.

There are languages that may be accidentally maintained because you are using/living it. Even if they are active in your life for more than 3 hours a week (using the OP's criteria), you are not actively maintaining them.

And then there are languages one can actively maintain with less than 3 hours a week if they are on one's agenda (one has the intention and need), either because one is a skilled learner or because the languages concerned are already on a high level or both.

garyb wrote:It just seems like another of these questions that results in useless debate that doesn't help anybody in practical terms, like extensive vs intensive and the definition of fluency and all the rest.


There is really no need to come to that. The resemblance is not big enough.
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby Iversen » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:04 pm

My main quibble is with the limit of three hours - and my minor quibble no. 1 is the definition of "actively". Can it be said to be active study or maintenance if I watch three hours of German television? My answer would be no. If I read something for my pleasure, but also with the implicite assumption that it might help me to maintain my skills in a certain language, then it would be excrucitiatingly hard to exclude anything I do in any language except maybe Danish and English (the only two languages I actively try to cut down on).

In the thread title the OP includes both study and maintenance so there is no need to separate the two in the answers, but ... well, I didn't answer the poll, but if you ask for the number of languages I try to maintain/study/deal with on a regular basis then it would be around a dozen - but not always the same dozen.

If you instead ask for languages which I have spent more than three hours on during the last seven days (actively or not) then we're way below that - I would include Danish, English, Swedish, German, Italian, Irish and Russian. If the time limit was lowered to one hour, that would add Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Romanian, Greek and Indonesian to the list. And if you take all the languages I have dealt with you would also have to add Alemannic German, Low German, Slovakian, Albanian and Latin - plus some I just have noticed during internet searches.

But last week might be different.
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BalancingAct
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby BalancingAct » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:14 pm

Iversen wrote:In the thread title the OP includes both study and maintenance so there is no need to separate the two in the answers...

The separation is not deliberate. It arises because he asks people to include their native language(s).
Some of us have more than one native language and routinely use a third language in our daily life, why do we have to say we actively maintain and study our native languages (putting near native languages aside for a moment), when we are not (because we are busy with newer languages)?
No need to separate maintain and study, you say? It is more wrong!
Not to forget in the title is "actively maintain and study".
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Expugnator
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby Expugnator » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:34 pm

I voted 10 or more.

Copying and updating the stats from my log (in minutes):

Spanish: 30 + 10 +2 = 42
Papiamento: 10 + 5 = 15
Estonian: 14 + 10 + 2 = 26
Russian: 9 + 7 + 4 = 20
Mandarin: 4+ 15 + 5 + 10 = 34
Norwegian: 10 + 15 + 4 = 29
French: 10 + 2 + 22 = 34
Italian: 25 + 3 + 2 = 30
Georgian: 10 + 2 + 15 + 20 = 47
German: 15 + 10 + 4 = 29
Modern Greek: 10 + 4 = 14
Hebrew: 15 + 15 + 2 = 32
Indonesian: 10 + 2 = 12

To get the weekly figure, just multiply by 5. The final number is Clozemaster might be added on weekends too, but since I have some gaps during the week, I think they even out in the end (in the case of Estonian, Hebrew and Duolingo I can add at least 30 minutes every week more for other apps I use for these languages).

Then through adding Portuguese and English you get 15 languages. I don't care about the arbitrary three-hour threshold because none of the languages aforementioned is decaying; only Papiamento and French can be said to be maintained, with no active effort on improvement; all the others have seen noticeable, even if slow progress in the past years. I could debate the case of Modern Greek ever since I limited it to listening-reading the audiobook, but whatever chriterium is adopted I would still vote for the 10+ option because that's what happens in practice.
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kanewai
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Re: How many languages do you actively maintain and study at the same time?

Postby kanewai » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:52 pm

I'm sure I'm not helping the poll by reducing my answer every couple days. When I approach the question from a basic what languages do you use three hours or more per week? the answer is four out of the six I'm trying to maintain. Sometimes it's all six (my first answer), but honestly, usually it's not.
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