IWTYAL 085: How should I allocate time to different languages?

Freddie asks: “I’m a professional English translator and interpreter living in Portugal. However, learning Portuguese is detracting from my English…what should I do?”

In this episode:

  • Freddie’s aims are very different
  • English is his professional obligation, while Portuguese is simply the local language
  • Is there a big rush to learn Portuguese?
  • I suggest deciding exactly how much time needs to be spend on English every day, and allocating that time strictly

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  • dandiprat

    I face a very similar dilemma to that faced by the person asking the question. I’m living in the United States and I translate Mandarin for a living (written translation). My in-laws have just moved in, and they just speak Cantonese and Vietnamese. Studying Vietnamese takes up most of my language learning time for now. It just takes so long to improve, I want to be able to understand what the in-laws say; I’m jealous of all those people who can apparently reach B2 in just a year or two because it’s always taken me much longer. I really don’t get enough sleep, but I just can’t let myself get into bed and go to sleep early enough. Now it’s hard for me to find time to practice my Mandarin at a high level because sometimes I need to use listening and speaking as well as reading. I also don’t have enough time to practice Cantonese listening either. Hopefully Vietnamese will get easier eventually, maybe when I’ve wrapped up Glossika Vietnamese. I guess your advice about not putting so much pressure on oneself is probably good.

  • thiago

    Hello,I have a question for you 🙂 . I am starting to learn Japanese now, but I don’t know if the right thing to do is “study” the language through my native language or through English. I think that through English I’d be doing two things at once, practicing English and Japanese. But I heard that if you learn through you mother tongue, the ideas and concepts of the words and culture will deeper inside our brain(I don’t know if it’s true). So, that’s it, what’s your opinion. What should I do :). Could you please respond in a podcast?Thanks.