IWTYAL 69: Are some language pairings easier than others?

itunesButtonAllen asks: “I want to learn French and Japanese at the same time. What do I need to consider?”

In this episode:

  • You can learn two languages at the same time
  • It is easier if the two languages are from different language families, such as French and Japanese
  • By learning both at once, you can satisfy your desires and learn about more than one language and culture
  • However, progress will be slower in both

Today’s Quote:

Focus on the journey, not on the destination. Joy is not found in completing an activity, but in doing it.

-Greg Anderdson

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  • In my opinion when exists a huge gap between the knowledge of both talkers whe have problems.

  • robert fish

    Sometimes learning languages within the same family can also cause problems such as Slavic languages where each one language might use a hard sounding pronunciation of letters and the other a softer sound this then makes it hard to remind your brain because of such small differences between each language

    • Interesting! I’m not very familiar with Slavic languages but I can see how that might be a problem.

      • robert fish

        It really was a problem for me when i learnt Russian and i tried a language challenge with Polish. Its almost like mandarin with the tones,the huge amount of importance a sound can reveal is amazing in languages.

  • Anca

    Nice to see you open to approaching the subject from a different angle, despite having a very definite opinion on it. 🙂
    I’ve doing something akin to your 80/20 suggestion for the past 2 months or so (OK, maybe more of a 70/30 😀 ) and it seems to be working rather well yet one nuance I would point out is the fact that my 2 different languages are at very different levels, i.e. I took a new one on board when I felt pretty comfortable with the first one, while still studying it actively. Starting out with 2 entirely new languages, however different, does imply being satisfied with not making as much progress as possible, agreed.

    • Great point. It’s different for everyone, isn’t it? Concepts are useful to guide our thinking, but everyone ultimately needs to make the right decision for them. And you’re doing a great job of that 🙂