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Keeping up multiple languages
June 26, 2011
01:06
AaronJT
Southern California

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Hey Benny, I was wondering how often you have to use a language before you start to get rusty. Do you dedicate a certain amount of time a day, or a week for each language you already have learned?

Thanks!

June 26, 2011
01:22
Benny
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I make sure that I speak at least a little every week, or for several consecutive days full time every month. For example I hosted a French Canadian Couchsurfer (that you saw me interview) for several days in Amsterdam, and yesterday I went out with a group of Quebecers to celebrate St. Jean and spent the night speaking in French. It looks like I'll be running into French speakers here in Istanbul so I will maintain that even though my focus is on Turkish.

I'd do something similar with other languages, although I don't think about it and plan so much. I am just open to hosting Couchsurfers and eager to go out with non-English speakers no matter where I am. :)

When you are open to opportunities and make sure you can take them by actively seeking them when possible, then you don't have to "make time", it will just happen ;) Forgetting about my current missions, no matter where I am, I practice all my active languages.

Speaks: English Spanish Italian Portuguese German Irish French Esperanto Mandarin (Taiwan) Nederlands American Sign Language
June 26, 2011
01:34
AaronJT
Southern California

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Thank you for the information!

July 8, 2011
19:45
libresco
St. Petersburg, Russia

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I stick to the question but in another way: how to stop mixing languages if they are not strong enough yet?

I seem to mix "et" (and in French) with "y" (and in Spanish) in the sentences in both languages but never with English "and".

I suppose I know English good enough and it isn't hanging around. But how can I help Spanish and French toddlers in my head to know their place?

Native: russian (russian) 

Speak: english (english: upper intermediate) 

Learn: spanish (spanish: B2)

Dream about: french (french: elementary),  (hebrew: zero) and  (polish: zero).

My language mission

July 8, 2011
20:15
libresco
St. Petersburg, Russia

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And yes, I read your post. But it didn't answer this question :)

Native: russian (russian) 

Speak: english (english: upper intermediate) 

Learn: spanish (spanish: B2)

Dream about: french (french: elementary),  (hebrew: zero) and  (polish: zero).

My language mission

July 8, 2011
21:49
Benny
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Which post? If it's the one about how to be a polyglot, then yes it does.

I said that I only focus on learning one language at a time. I never learn two. When I reach one language to fluency then I maintain it as I learn others. So I'd never mix up "et" and "y" because I'd speak either language fluently and be learning the other one.

Focus on just one of them. Learn it intensively for several months and then when you're confident in it focus on the other one while maintaining the first one. Doing two at once is spreading yourself thin and making yourself much more prone to mixing up.

Speaks: English Spanish Italian Portuguese German Irish French Esperanto Mandarin (Taiwan) Nederlands American Sign Language
July 10, 2011
14:41
Sprachfanatikerin
UK

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Hello Aaron,

 

I have a sort of language log incorporated into my timesheet I use for my work. Each day I make a note of what I've done in each language (not in great detail, just "TV" or "xxx course chapter x, exercise x"). I give the box one colour if it is a passive activity like listening to the radio or another colour if its been 'hard-core' active learning, such as grammar or a drill exercise.

 

At the end of the week I can see which language I've been focussing on, and whether I've been 'lazy' or not. Sometimes I find I just don't feel like doing a language for some particular reason. Then a few weeks later I find I'll focus on that one more than another. It all evens out in the end, and there's no point forcing yourself to do somethign if you don't enjoy it. Often I find I've missed a language and happily go back to it.

 

Barbara Sheer mentions this in her book "What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love" when she discusses how to manage multiple hobbies/projects.

 

Karen

Speaks: English, German, Russian, Hungarian Learning: Welsh, French, Turkish
July 11, 2011
14:41
garyb
Scotland

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Sprachfanatikerin said:

Barbara Sheer mentions this in her book "What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?: A Revolutionary Programme for Doing Everything That You Love" when she discusses how to manage multiple hobbies/projects.

Now that sounds like a book that's exactly up my street! I'll check it out.

Speaks: English (UK)

Learning:    French (advanced)     Italian (conversational)

July 11, 2011
15:51
Lisa
Netherlands

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libresco said:

I stick to the question but in another way: how to stop mixing languages if they are not strong enough yet?

I seem to mix "et" (and in French) with "y" (and in Spanish) in the sentences in both languages but never with English "and".

I suppose I know English good enough and it isn't hanging around. But how can I help Spanish and French toddlers in my head to know their place?

Haha I do that too!! (And when I'm really nervous I start doing crazy things like saying tambien instead of aussi, but I mix up et and y all the time)

I speak: I'm learning: I kind of speak:
July 11, 2011
16:59
ArielTedesco
São Bento do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil

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Well, I think that's not quite a problem after all...

Because in the end you'll be understood... And the language will get better each day on.

So you'll distinguish with time each language.

Like me: I'm learning German, but, oftenly, I mix up with English. But that's not a problem for me, I use even to stick up the new idiom sentences. Like "und' and "and". They're almost equal! XD

 

But you're learning two at the same time. Then why don't you make "persona"? Like when I was doing French and Italian together. I created one type of personality to think like an Italian and one to think like a French person. And inside my mind I changed my clothes to french ones when I was speaking french and to italian ones when I was speaking italian... It works untill you get used to the idiom!

But stop it when you start feeling a lil bit schizophrenic, for god sake!!!

hahaha

 

Just joking

 

But it trully works. I'm doing now with german: I imagine myself blond and german, then the word start showing up... XD It's like a game for me I think... XD

heheh

I hope you find it usefull ;D

See ya

Ariel

Languages Spoken:  Brazilian Flag   USA FLAG   France Flag   Italy  Current Mission: Germany (Deutsch in sechs Monaten) Learning:    Japanese      Latin List of want to: Russia   Greece   !! All based in tons of determination and positive attitude!! 
July 12, 2011
11:30
cangirl
Germany

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I learned French as a young child and can speak it fluently, but I rarely actually speak it (like, twice a year for the past 10 years). Almost as soon as I started learning German, I noticed that all my "filler" words--you know those words that you say automatically while your brain is racing ahead to what to say next (like "actually", "yeah, so" or even "or" and "and"), I started saying in German whenever I would speak French! It was really embarassing. Fortunately I noticed that it started to go away after I had the opportunity to speak French for a few days. Now whenever I speak French I have to really focus, and if I start to ramble without thinking, those little German filler words creep back in again. I am trying to speak French more often to stop it from happening.

 

I have no suggestions or advice; just thought I'd share my experience.

Native:  English      Fluent:  French   German    Learning:  Norwegian
July 15, 2011
13:41
libresco
St. Petersburg, Russia

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ArielTedesco, that's really fantastic way :D

Not sure I am artistic enough to use it but I definitely will try! Thank you for sharing :)

Native: russian (russian) 

Speak: english (english: upper intermediate) 

Learn: spanish (spanish: B2)

Dream about: french (french: elementary),  (hebrew: zero) and  (polish: zero).

My language mission

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