How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
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sporedandroid
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby sporedandroid » Sat May 08, 2021 9:29 pm

devilyoudont wrote:
sporedandroid wrote:Yeah. I’m just curious at which point I can stop worrying about interference.


You can stop worrying about it.

When you introduce your brain to a new language system, it will initially attempt to place it within a system which it already understands. This will happen no matter what, no matter how experienced you are.

By continuing to study your third language, your brain overtime will develop an understanding that this is a new system, and will separate them out.

At least this is my experience.

The problem is probably more severe for people who study closely related languages, but with Icelandic and Hebrew, I think you are in the same boat as me.

I think at this point I’m just dealing with intrusive thoughts rather than true interference. They bothered me enough to put Icelandic on a pause. I also feel like I need to focus a bit more to understand Hebrew when I try to study other languages at the same time. I just notice less fluctuations when I stick to Hebrew. I guess I need to find a level I’m decently satisfied with and continue maintaining Hebrew and gradually improving it. Another issue I had was that the time I used to study Icelandic could also be used to watch tv shows in Hebrew. Right now I think it’s better to watch tv shows in Hebrew.
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby Iversen » Sat May 08, 2021 10:49 pm

I wouldn't worry too much about interference. It may happen, but mostly because your vocabulary still is full of holes and your brain tries to fill the void. Along the way you will fill the most glaring holes and then the interference will taper off.
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sporedandroid
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby sporedandroid » Sun May 09, 2021 6:33 am

Iversen wrote:I wouldn't worry too much about interference. It may happen, but mostly because your vocabulary still is full of holes and your brain tries to fill the void. Along the way you will fill the most glaring holes and then the interference will taper off.

That’s nice to hear. I guess I’ll move onto Icelandic when I don’t feel like consuming Hebrew content is studying.
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby einzelne » Sun May 09, 2021 1:09 pm

This thread might be of help.
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alaart
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby alaart » Sun May 09, 2021 1:25 pm

I can only speak for myself and my goals.

I am a talking-type, so my talking level is usual above the reading, grammar - even listening etc.. and I express myself, even with wrong grammar if I have to. So that might not be what you want:

My minimum threshold always was that I can have deep conversations with a single speaker. (not with a group: That is a whole new level). For example in Chinese, the weakest language I moved on from, I could spent the whole day with Chinese people, and while I wouldn't understand everything and would be lost here and there, I would be able to ask about it in Chinese, and get explanations I could understand.

But I never felt ready, I feel it always was too early, and I often feel that the previous languages are not firm enough..

One thing I noticed is that it is a bad idea to start another language just after you "broke through" that talking barrier for the first time. Keep going for a bit, because if you think: "Oh, I can speak it - great, time for a new language" - that might be wrong. While you studied every day, your level is actually inflated a bit, and once you stop studying it will drop down to its real-, "non-study"-level.

So what happened to me is that I lost my abilities to speak Chinese pretty quickly, within 3 months. I'm reviving it here and there, and I just pop in and out between the "talking comfortably" and "can't talk" zones, and that's where the language has been stuck for a while, because I am still mainly studying Korean.. and it is a real dilemma, because if I focus on Chinese, of course the Korean drops, and since the level there is weaker I feel like I forget things waaay more quicker. So it feels a bit like juggling those too with emphasize on Korean.

----

Why do I still start a new language..? - it is a mix of two things.
1) - because it is hard: Frustration in the intermediate area maybe, bad experiences (failed tests, ex-girlfriends, weird friends that you misunderstood), lack of motivation or feeling tired, or having to face a difficult thing to proceed (reading or writing Chinese characters, or having to study classical Chinese)...
2) - because you are just immensely curious, or just go with the flow. Here is a Korean friend, lets go. Thoughts like: "I have wanted to do that for years, but if I don't do it now I will never do it" - and then I just start, even if I am not ready. At the end of the day, the ear takes a long time to get used to a language, so even sub-optimal time spent is time spent, and like this an earlier start might be beneficial.

So, who knows whats best? You can also go 80% new language, 20% old language. Which I find to somehow work just fine. It is enough that the old one is not dropping, and enough for the new one to grow.
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby Le Baron » Sun May 09, 2021 2:45 pm

alaart wrote:One thing I noticed is that it is a bad idea to start another language just after you "broke through" that talking barrier for the first time. Keep going for a bit, because if you think: "Oh, I can speak it - great, time for a new language" - that might be wrong. While you studied every day, your level is actually inflated a bit, and once you stop studying it will drop down to its real-, "non-study"-level.


Agreed. Abandoning it, or letting it rest, so soon after breaking through is a mistake. Once you work out how to use something, you need to devote some time to using it to build up reflexes and motor-responses.

Imo you're really only ready for another language when you've stopped very actively learning the previous one and are in the process actively using it (with learning being the filling in of more sophisticated gaps), which is much less intense.
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Re: How do you know when you’re ready to move onto your next language?

Postby kelvin921019 » Mon May 10, 2021 10:49 am

-When you can enjoy native contents for fun with some help of subtitles or dictionary
-When you only need to look up certain words / expressions in the reading to understand a sentence (instead of putting the entire sentence into google translate)
By then such language will become part of your tools instead of something you have to constantly maintain by working on grammar drills and textbook (you maintain by doing activities in that language such as watching youtube videos)
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