Overcoming language promiscuity

Does anyone out there have the same problem?
I can stay focused on a language for a while, but after I get to the intermediate stage, I start looking at other languages, and have an urge to reduce the amount of daily work or even abandon the language I’m currently working on.
I’d love to be able to avoid this, and stick with a language until I get to advanced, but I start losing motivation after a while, especially when there isn’t that much material available that interests me.
Any tips?

What a harsh word :slight_smile: It is called “Wanderlust”, not promiscuity, tut, tut, tut! (@AI3 had a great thread about this some months ago).


Yes, it may be harsh. I probably used it because it annoys me that I feel and act this way (towards languages only, I must add).

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I fear we all have been infected with this particular ‘virus’ to a greater or lesser extent. There’s not much hope, although some people have been working hard on a cure by seemingly giving up the filthy habit of foreign language learning and coming clean about their addiction.


Here´s the thread that SanneT mentioned : How To Resist Language Wanderlust - Language Forum @ LingQ

My 2 cents: It really helps me to simply look for interesting content. I´ve been studying English for 15 years, so by now the language itself has become almost as boring as my native language (German). The reason why I´m still using English is that there´s interesting stuff to listen to (podcasts and music), interesting stuff to watch (movies), internet forums, tourists, “internet friends” and whatnot.

Things like romance, friendship, travel plans or business are helpful too, but I guess that´s a no-brainer.^^


I quite like the term ‘language promiscuity’. I can’t wait till we can start with the ‘I had sex with yo momma-tongue’ jokes!

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You can’t make that kind of joke here, apparently. Posts disappear misteriously.

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I have that filthy habit too:(
Wiping the sweat off my brow, nervously trembling, taking a deep breath…“My name is Julie, and I am a LingQaholic!”


For me it helps I have been switching between French and Spanish every few months. I focus in one of the languages at the time, and try to make my learning experience as intense as possible. But when after 2-3 months I start to get bored, I switch back to the other language. For instance, right now after 2 months of focusing on Spanish, I’m feeling a bit bored. I have exhausted most of the interesting material I had, have listened to a number of podcasts, imported a lot of content into LingQ, read a book, and practiced conversation. I feel like switching back to French.

It made me think of Deka glossai, a polyglot with a youtube channel (which I really enjoyed watching) once (according to this video) tried to focus on only German, while living a short period in German. However, he went back to study 3-4 or whatever languages daily, simply because “it wasn’t him”, to just focus on only one language. If you really would love to stick to one language, whats holding you back really?

Yeh, I like Deka glossai, too. I can’t stick with only one language, either. I found myself listening to both French and Mandarin the past couple of days, and enjoying it immensely.

The combination of being a LingQaholic and a perfectionist is not an easy one to live with. All these languages to learn and to be imperfect in, a nightmare. No wonder we go off the rails at times with multi-lingual dreams or impulse buying of course material.

Nice to meet you, Julie. How long have you been clean?

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Good advice. I first started studying Dutch because I’m planning to go to the Netherlands in the future, but it’s so far off in the future that I’ll be C2 by then (if I can manage to stick to my studies long enough).

I have been trying to focus on Dutch and French for the past couple of months, with good results, but the lure of other unknown languages is hard to resist. Maybe I should take a break from both and go for a quick fling.

As I said, after I get to intermediate, I start getting bored, and want to move on to something else. I’m trying to find a way to stick with it longer. I can’t really stay focused if I’m bored and if it looks too much like work.

Tell me about it. That’s one of the reasons I have never spoken to anyone in French or Russian or Dutch or Spanish or Italian, although I have in English and German because I took those in a classroom, and I couldn’t help it.

If there isn’t much interesting material available, why are you studying the language in the first place?

Hm, because I want to learn the language?!

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But why, if not to discover the culture, communicate with people who speak it, and so on?

If, say, you want to learn French so that you can read Voltaire in the original, then get yourself a French language edition of Voltaire and get to work. If you want to be able to talk to French people, find a French language forum on a topic that interests you and start talking. And so on.

My point being that languages don’t exist in isolation, they are a product of the culture that speaks them. Any culture contains enough riches to keep anyone busy for a lifetime. If a culture interests you, then finding interesting materials should be easy. If it doesn’t, then why are you wasting your time?

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