As you know i’m still a english learner, but would like to become english in spanish and mandarim (perhaps more).
Everyone who speaks more than one language not counting your native language needs to manage, practice your other languages and my question is: How often we must study the languages that you learned once you have reached fluency.
Everyone knows that if you stop at all your activities in language you will loss a gradually knowlegde of the language so how can we keep fluent in languages forever? 1 hour/week? More?Give your experience.
Thanks and sorry about my gramatical mistakes.
I would think the only way to stay fluent in a language forever is to use it regularly forever…but that’s a good question, I’ve wondered that before too–what’s the best way to learn multiple languages at once?
Twenty minutes a day minimum on each language helps a lot to maintain them.
I think it depends on how you learn these languages. I believe that if you learn them as an academic exercise, learning grammar rules, and useful phrases and words, you will quickly forget these things if you stop studying or using the language.
On the other hand, if you learn from massive exposure to interesting content, you are embedding the language in a broader range of areas in your brain. You are engaging emotions and imagination and other functions. You can leave these languages for a while and when you return you quickly get back to where you were. In fact, in my experience, my languages benefit from periods of neglect. Whenever I spend time on a new language, all my previously learned languages improve. That has always been my experience.
What if you’re learning two or more languages from scratch, though? Say you had been studying Spanish for some time, but then you wanted to start studying Japanese also. What do you think would be the best way to go about it?
Devote equal time to both languages every day/Devote double that time per language on alternating days.
Study in bursts throughout the day./Study for long sessions.
It depends on your own preference and how much time you have. My own preference is to focus on one language at a time. I find that I need the intensity of really getting into the one language, and find it difficult to devote anything like equal time to a second language. Therefore, I tend to go in spurts. I will go 80% or more on one language, my major, occasionally looking at another or minor language. I will do this for months at a time. Then I can switch. I prefer the focus. But this is something you will have to find out for yourself. You will have to see what works best for you.
“I believe that if you learn them as an academic exercise, learning grammar rules, and useful phrases and words, you will quickly forget these things if you stop studying or using the language.”
“You can leave these languages for a while and when you return you quickly get back to where you were.”
I agree 100% with the above. I think if you have a strong base in the language (through lots of input), it won’t take long before you are as comfortable as before. Maybe one or two weeks of ‘study’ per year?
“I will go 80% or more on one language, my major, occasionally looking at another or minor language.”
I agree with this as well, athough I don’t think I actually do 20% in any minor language. In practice, I think it ends up being about 5, maybe 10 %. One of the things I find is that if I’m doing lots of ‘study’ (listening in particular), when I go to rest, or even at other times, I will have words and phrases randomly popping into my head. I think this would be a bit confusing with two languages.
The obvious point, of course, is that if you are dividing your time between two languages, it will take you longer to get anywhere either of them. If you can successfully study two languages seriously while working full-time, you are hardcore!
I agree with my friend above. It is already hard to “study” 1-2 hours day working in a fulltime job, can you think about two or three?
But i could take an idea about how to manage more languages, once i think i’m going to take fluency in english i will start spanish and i will divide 80-90% for the major and 10-20% for the minor.
I find that alternating languages every 2 - 3 weeks (ie a couple of weeks of Russian only, then a couple of weeks of Japanese only) works quite well. I think having a break that length can actually help the learning process.
I’ve also found it a bit difficult to manage multiple language when learning. For me what has worked is having language one as the main focus and language two as a supplement. Language learning can take a lot of time as it is (you can never have too much), so I find that it’s best to focus on one, and if you must study another, then assign less time to studying the second language.