Learning Several Languages

Hi guys, I’m just curious as to know what languages you guys are learning while also studying Japanese or at least want to learn.
I’ve started getting into Russian literature the past few months and I hear people say it’s a difficult language and the grammar is tough (which actually excites me a bit lol) and I’m thinking of dabbling into it to see what its all about

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I think it’s best to gain a degree of fluency in a language such that you can easily read moderately difficult texts for 15 minutes a day without issue before you learn another language. I learned Spanish to a fluent level before studying French. My French is enough to read books in French. Now I am halfway through Wanikani and do listening and reading practice daily. I would focus hard on one and once you get there you can add another language on.

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I’m studying English as a second language at school( ironically enough) My speaking/ vocabulary and understanding of the language is at a pretty high level, I’d say. But when it comes to grammar, I’m pretty clueless, and I’m often confused by the spelling… It just makes no sense sometimes… Then I also learn German as a third language, and it’s a lot more difficult to handle,since it’s not a very popular language in my country and I usually don’t go out of my way to look for german media, which makes remembering things and getting the hang of the language pretty difficult! I’ve also dabbled in Korean and I can read Hangeul, but I know next to no vocabulary… The only Korean word I can really remember of off the top of my head is ant or 개미 (gaemi)! I’ve got to admit that Korean writing is easier to understand than Japanese, since it’s more similar to roman alphabet rather than hieroglyphs, but it’s still unique in it’s own way, since you have to combine multiple sounds to create a “letter” if you will!

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I was still learning Spanish when I started with Japanese. Big mistake in hindsight. If you’re still at a stage where you have to consciously pay attention to grammar and remember vocabulary while constructing sentences, your brain will have trouble distinguishing between the two languages, adding an extra layer of difficulty that would not have been there otherwise. And learning one language is already an insane time commitment. You need constant exposure to the language preferably every day, and as much as possible.

What I’d suggest is get the language you’re learning to a level at which you can output pretty comfortably, because then, if you’re starting another language, your brain will have a better time distinguishing between the two.

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haven’t tried it but i’ve been fascinated with the concept of learning your second language, then learning a 3rd language via materials in the 2nd language rather than your native language, so as to reinforce things as you go along.

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I was going to say that sounds like a not so great idea, but then realized that that’s just every non English speaking country. Like me. At least when studying online.

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I’ll say this. Its different enough from Japanese that you wont get confused as easily as say if you wanted to learn Korean or Mandarin. However, your language acquisition will be slowed by your other target language and the ability to read books in said language will come much later to the point I don’t know if it will be worth it, considering Russian is still very different from English. If you were learning something similar to Japanese or English that could benefit you, but you picked just the right language for me to advise against it. haha

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I just passed N2 this summer and now I’m learning Irish and relearning French on Duolingo as a way to procrastinate on N1 studying lol

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I did the same thing (or am still doing it), but I never had the situation that I was mixing them up, the languages are too different for that (though it probably helps that I speak two other Romance languages). The most that happens is that I’ll think “I learned this word before but I don’t remember it”, but I actually only learned it in the other language.

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You could have fooled me, your grammar seems perfect!
What’s your first language?

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I’m studying several ancient languages, but Greek is the one that takes the most of my time (not modern Greek, I have no idea about modern Greek). I will say that learning Greek verb forms years back was crazy hard, and any time I see someone complaining about Japanese verbs I just laugh. Greek verbs are next level. That said, most of the grammar has finally begun to feel at least somewhat natural and now I can learn more by reading and just constantly learning a few new words.

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At my boarding school, I started to be forced to learn German during the summer term right before I graduated, and most of the time I would continue to insult my teacher by using the “child” words and saying numbers in nihongo.

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Oh wow, thanks! :durtle_noice: :durtle_love: Although I messed up a bit with using grammar, because I googled the definition of grammar and realized that the term was too broad, Syntax would be closer and even that’s too broad… Hmmm… Ok, I got it… I suck at putting punctuation marks in the right places! Now that’s what I meant! Phew…
My first language is Latvian! When I have to write something I just use the same syntax rules for punctuation.

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I’ve been studying Russian pretty intensely over the last few months, and I’m just getting into Japanese right now. I’ve studied both languages in the past, as well as German, Arabic, and Spanish. My advice is to stick to one language at the time. (I’m not doing so for personal, family reasons). I’m not fluent in any of these languages (except Spanish), and now I’m going back and trying to become fluent. You get confused when you’re trying to learn more than one language at once, and I think it’s much much better to become fluent in one than half-fluent in 3. Learning a language is like climbing a mountain - there’s a big payoff at the end, but you have to get all the way up there first.

Russian is difficult, but easier than Japanese. I used to think the grammar was difficult, but I’ve been using Lingq (which focuses on reading and vocabulary and ignores grammar), and I think it’s really just a matter of time and practice. I took one year of Russian 20 years ago, and I’ve been practicing on Lingq the last 4 months, and I’m able to read newspaper articles with the aid of Lingq, and I’m reading a short book about the Ukraine war. The Cyrillic alphabet is easy with practice, and after that you just need to know some case endings and develop your vocab.

I started with an interest in Russian literature too, but it will probably be years before you get to that level.

My advice: decide which language is more important to you, and will give you the bigger payoff, and go for that one. If you’re already well into Japanese, finish that first. Russian literature is great, but you can always read it in English. =)

I’m reading an amazing book, Natasha’s Dance, by Orlando Figes, about the cultural history of Russia, and it gives a background about Russian literature that is completely eye-opening. You should really read it to understand the conversation the intelligentsia were having about the peasantry and Russia and the West, why they speak French in War and Peace, and why there were nihilists in 19th century Russia.

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This is pretty much the truth. You won’t make it far in either language if you try to tackle them at the same time.

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