Help Me With My Language Map

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kmurphy930
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Help Me With My Language Map

Postby kmurphy930 » Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:56 pm

Howdy,
I'm a newbie to the forum, and to language learning as well, unless we count the prison we call 'high school'. I've lurked around here for about a day and I figured I should just make an account and ask y'all questions. But first, some insight.

I want to get a few languages to B2/C1 and ladder because it seems cool. Learn a new language while making sure I don't forget the last one. My map looks like this: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese. But I think I need to make changes.

First, I would Switch Portuguese and French, because Portuguese doesn't seem to have many Korean resources, and the French ones could be a lot better. I know it's important to get to a B2 level before laddering with a language, but I'm worried Spanish and Portuguese are too similar. Is this something I should worry about?

I'm not too worried about the Korean-Japanese : Cantonese-Vietnamese order. But it seems hard to find Cantonese resources from Japanese, plus the word order might over complicate things. Maybe I'll have to go back to English here, or maybe I can go back to French. Is it possible to ladder Cantonese with Japanese, or nah? Is it even a good idea?

Thanks in advance.
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Deinonysus
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:08 am

That's most likely a multi-decade project you're looking at. I wouldn't worry too much about the details just yet. At this early stage, your wishlist is just for your own personal enjoyment. It's like buying a lottery ticket and then fantasizing about what you'd do with all the money--except that with language it's more about time put in than random chance. The best thing you can do now is to work hard on the language you're studying now.

I type up fantasy language sheets all the time. It's hard to keep it down to a few dozen. It's fun to think about all the languages I want to learn and in which order.

I've been learning languages for about five years. I don't speak dozens of languages, I speak two at a pretty advanced level (not quite fluent but definitely useable). And a bunch of others at a basic level, because I can't stop myself from dabbling. And that's not bad at all for five years. Remember, language learning is a marathon, not a sprint.

I recently started my first major foray into laddering: I'm using a French book to learn Italian. I'm finding it very helpful, but I would like to point out that the main advantage to laddering is when you are working with two similar languages, for two reasons:
  1. It prevents confusion between the two languages because you see them side by side.
  2. You don't need to sit through explanations of similar features that you already learned for the first language.
By the time your level is high enough for you to use language learning resources, it will be high enough to read plenty of other things. Using a course won't be a huge step in learning; it will be just another book among dozens or hundreds of books you'll read. So you can ladder if you want but it won't make a huge difference (unless, again, it's with two similar languages that you're trying not too get confused).

One last thing I'll say is: don't take school for granted! I was a bad student and now I regret not working harder. I'm going back and starting to read the classic novels that I was supposed to read in high school but didn't.
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kmurphy930
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby kmurphy930 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:50 am

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. The lottery thing is spot on. I fantasize about living in a city and making people smile by speaking with them in their mother tongue.

Thankfully, I don't really find myself dabbling, so I can focus on my target language. Learned that the hard way with Spanish and Korean. It's good to know that I don't have to worry about the Spanish-Portuguese. Sounds like it may even keep them separate, which is great! I can also stop looking into Japanese-Chinese, which is cool.

I don't know how your school was, but my was terrible. Super boring, no useful talking or listening practice and the constant dread of failure. I do like the idea of some schools. Middlebury has a great looking language school that I would love to try out when I get the funds.
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby Dylan95 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:04 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbVdrw43QZU

This might be of help to you. I know you only want to learn two of these languages, but you can just ignore the parts about Italian and German. Professor Arguelles is an extremely well-respected polyglot, and I think it's worth taking a few minutes to hear some of his strategies. (More about strategies than mapping, but it has to do with a strategy for learning multiple languages over a long period of time, so I think this is helpful?)
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David1917
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby David1917 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:28 pm

I think doing 3 Romance in a row might "spoil" you by the time you try going for Korean, especially if you wanted to go at it from just one base language. But, even if you were to do that, you'd still have to worry about maintenance of the other two. So rather, I'd suggest that once you learn French and Spanish to decent levels (you could ladder Spanish off of French pretty easily with Assimil) you begin simultaneously studying Portuguese and Korean. Moreover, with Korean you'll need several resources at your disposal and, while you could do it solely with French & Spanish (say, Assimil & El Coreano Basico, which in itself is supposed to be one of the better Korean textbooks), you might want to include English materials as well.

Beyond that, I'm not familiar too much with resources for the other languages, but again keep in mind that laddering with JUST the previous language might not be that efficient since you'll have ever more to maintain.
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kmurphy930
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby kmurphy930 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:33 am

David1917 wrote:I think doing 3 Romance in a row might "spoil" you by the time you try going for Korean, especially if you wanted to go at it from just one base language. But, even if you were to do that, you'd still have to worry about maintenance of the other two. So rather, I'd suggest that once you learn French and Spanish to decent levels (you could ladder Spanish off of French pretty easily with Assimil) you begin simultaneously studying Portuguese and Korean. Moreover, with Korean you'll need several resources at your disposal and, while you could do it solely with French & Spanish (say, Assimil & El Coreano Basico, which in itself is supposed to be one of the better Korean textbooks), you might want to include English materials as well.

Beyond that, I'm not familiar too much with resources for the other languages, but again keep in mind that laddering with JUST the previous language might not be that efficient since you'll have ever more to maintain.


Hmm. What do you mean by spoil? Also, not too confident with my ability to learn two languages at once. I did it with Korean and Spanish for a bit, and it was rough. Maybe I can just do flashcards for maintenance instead? The multilingual learning is interesting though. Maybe I can do the Coreano/Assimil route.
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David1917
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby David1917 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:42 pm

kmurphy930 wrote:
David1917 wrote:I think doing 3 Romance in a row might "spoil" you by the time you try going for Korean, especially if you wanted to go at it from just one base language. But, even if you were to do that, you'd still have to worry about maintenance of the other two. So rather, I'd suggest that once you learn French and Spanish to decent levels (you could ladder Spanish off of French pretty easily with Assimil) you begin simultaneously studying Portuguese and Korean. Moreover, with Korean you'll need several resources at your disposal and, while you could do it solely with French & Spanish (say, Assimil & El Coreano Basico, which in itself is supposed to be one of the better Korean textbooks), you might want to include English materials as well.

Beyond that, I'm not familiar too much with resources for the other languages, but again keep in mind that laddering with JUST the previous language might not be that efficient since you'll have ever more to maintain.


Hmm. What do you mean by spoil? Also, not too confident with my ability to learn two languages at once. I did it with Korean and Spanish for a bit, and it was rough. Maybe I can just do flashcards for maintenance instead? The multilingual learning is interesting though. Maybe I can do the Coreano/Assimil route.


I mean that learning Portuguese after learning Spanish and French to sufficiently high levels will be a comparatively simple task at that point. So when you then try to learn Korean, a language so far removed from anything Indo-European, it will be a real wake-up call. I'm sure you're aware of this, but I just think that since the time investment into Korean is going to be so much longer, it would be worth it to begin as early as possible, which in your case would be after Spanish & French. Learning two languages at once as your first foray is definitely not ideal, as user iguanamon will wisely remind people from time to time. However, once you are proficient in 3 languages, you ought to be able to tackle one comparatively easy one alongside a much more difficult one.

While this is a long ways away, I would just say that if you had 2 hours/day to devote to language study, you could do 30 min on exploring Portuguese (from a Spanish base) and 1hr 30 on Korean, utilizing French, Spanish, and English resources. I think your goals are completely manageable, just want to suggest some long-term planning tips.

Of course, the question of maintenance is something that should be built in to your goals for each language. If you learn a language, odds are you are going to use it in some way beyond wanting to forever review flash cards. You might listen to podcasts, read literature, or converse with a friend in any one of your new languages regularly. That becomes more part of your daily life, rather than "study" as it were.
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kmurphy930
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby kmurphy930 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:14 pm

Dylan95 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbVdrw43QZU

This might be of help to you. I know you only want to learn two of these languages, but you can just ignore the parts about Italian and German. Professor Arguelles is an extremely well-respected polyglot, and I think it's worth taking a few minutes to hear some of his strategies. (More about strategies than mapping, but it has to do with a strategy for learning multiple languages over a long period of time, so I think this is helpful?)


I don't know if I want to use this program per se, but I am interested in the concept. I could learn all the information related to my interest over and over again, which is basically the same thing. I'm already planning to learn the same first 1000 words or so too. So it's a solid game plan.
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kmurphy930
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby kmurphy930 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:21 pm

Yelp, I don't know where this one is going, but Dutch is now on my list... BUT THAT'S IT!
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Re: Help Me With My Language Map

Postby Neurotip » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:08 pm

kmurphy930 wrote:The lottery thing is spot on. I fantasize about living in a city and making people smile by speaking with them in their mother tongue.

I know how you feel. You may not realise that languages and cities can be very different though. There are some languages/places where you will struggle to impress anyone after years of brain-breaking work, and others where being able to say 'Hi, how are you?' will have the locals calling their family to tell them about your wonderfulness. You may want to do a bit of research if this is one of your goals ;)
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