Using several dialects without mixing them up definitely can be done. I.e. it is Very Possible, even if not necessarily every single person would manage it all the time .projectmaximus wrote:I don't know if I have necessarily had a problem "confusing the dialects" but I have certainly stumbled on occasion when I am speaking in real time and have to stop and think about it. I also speak Hakka decently, which is my family's main dialect, and between Hakka, Cantonese and Mandarin there is significant overlap in very similar sounding pronunciations. I honestly don't know if it will be trouble for me...I have never tried to seriously increase my vocabulary in multiple Chinese dialects at the same time.
There are countless examples of native speakers of "any language" who keep in touch with people from different parts of the same country. When talking to them, some might fully switch to the local dialect, while others simply would prefer the Standard Language and Dialect Mélange. (Mélange: a french loanword meaning blend or mixture).
Before [*], I didn't feel too comfortable learning Spanish and some other related lenguajes at the very same time. Even if I still was giving each of them a share of my attention. But I used to prefer to spend some time with a non-Romance one between the first and second visitation of the first and second Latin Daughter. Later, things changed. It has been made possible for me to talk to any of these five daughters (ES IT FR PT RO) without confusing one for another. This is about establishing a stronger personal connection to each of them.
[*] This usage of "before" may or may not be colloquial. I.e. "a long time ago".
Now some of you might mistake me for The Riddler from any of the Batman series. Thus clarifying it some more. Well, I also could rephrase the previous paragraph. But I do like using some allegories and analogies, because they can additionally explain these linguae matters that I really hold dear. Even if some allegories themselves would first need to be explained. #WhatAnIrony #OrNot
In other words, there was a time when I didn't feel too comfortable learning some Spanish and then immediately switching to French. Because both of them are Romance languages (i.e. they are descendants of Latin). But later, some strong personal connections to each of them appeared. So I don't feel like having to do anything between learning e.g. Spanish and French. Even an immediate switch would be possible. Having said that, I still do prefer not to do it like this in some cases, for the purpose of strengthening the Language Brain Pathways even more.