Studying Another Language

Hello Everyone. This is a question for people who are studying a Third, or have studied a third language. so apart from your native language (first) and then another studied language (second). This question is purely out of interest.

What was this language?, did the first language you studied affect the choice of your next? How did you find the process of learning this language having already previously studied one? I just thought it would be nice to hear some different experiences from people :slight_smile:

Years ago, in high school (U.S.), I had the option of learning Spanish, French, or German. German was the coolest sounding to me, so I chose it, but I was quickly discouraged by the difficult grammar that I couldn’t understand and the fact that I wasn’t terribly interested in the language at the time.

During class I began studying Mandarin on my own with a book I had bought at the bookstore (or maybe my mother bought it for me). I practiced Chinese martial arts and was very into the Chinese culture. So interest, an integral key in language learning, was definitely there. The teacher didn’t mind, because at least I was willingly learning another language. Chinese wasn’t available in schools back then. I continued on with Chinese until now, living in China and doing CN-EN translation work.

Last year, I had the interest in learning another language and took up a little Cherokee, as it is an ancestral language for me. However, with the serious lack of resources I was forced to basically give it up after not getting very far. It was enjoyable though and I really wish I could learn it, even though it is polysynthetic, tonal, has its own script and basically any other nightmare a language learner could dream up. It’s a monster of a language, but beautiful.

A couple months later I decided to take German back up, because I did like the sound of it and it is also an ancestral language for me, and I had previously learned some already (false beginner). So it was a logical choice if I wanted to learn another language. A year later I’ve seen great progress. I watched a show last year at the start of my learning and had a hard time following it, having to look up words or phrases for every other sentence spoken. I just revisited the show and it is quite easy for me now.

I think before long my German will catch up with my Chinese. Chinese is a completely different language and I didn’t really have a language learning method during my years of study. So I made slow progress and didn’t always study. With German being so close to English and now knowing an effective and efficient method of learning, I’ve seen and will likely continue to see much faster progress with this language than I had with Chinese. I certainly have the confidence, having already tackled Chinese.

If I decide to learn another language some day, I’m not sure yet what it will be or why I will choose it. It could be anything from Italian to Korean, because they sound cool and have interesting cultures. :slight_smile:

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that’s a pretty cool story! As you say pretty much, If you’ve already tackled Chinese then I’m sure there’s no language too difficult for you :stuck_out_tongue:

English is my first language and Spanish my second. Spanish was a natural choice since I lived in California and had the opportunity as a young teen to spend a summer in Mexico. I began studying Spanish on my own before I took it in high school.

When I was in my 4th year of high school Spanish, I took 1st year German because German was the formal language of my ancestors. I liked it (I was still enamored of grammar in those days and thought that conjugation tables were really interesting), but didn´t continue with it.

So my real 3rd language, the one that I actually began speaking, was Haitian Creole, and I began that one because I lived in Haiti for 9 months. And yes, Spanish helped me with Creole because Haitian Creole vocabulary is largely French, which is, of course, related to Spanish.

Then Haitian Creole led into French…And with the help of LingQ, I´m back at German now too.

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I’m Argentinian and Spanish is my first language. I studied English as a child, and I use it on a regular basis, so I feel comfortable with it. Then, as a teen, I took some French, which I found easy but not too enticing. Later I really discovered its charme and committed myself to study French on my own --I think I can say I taught it myself. French grammar and vocabulary is quite similar to Spanish, and not much of a challenge to Spanish speakers. I developed my own language learning, immersive methodology on the go, which is, basically, never miss an oportunity to read, write, speak, listen the language. I bought a course on cassette (remember them?) which proved very useful and well-conceived. Internet resources are plentiful, one only needs to devote some time and care to learn; I used them all.

I also remember having bought a tiny SW radio to listen to Radio France. Reception was poor, even with a home-made, RobinsonCrusoesque antenna. Progress was under way.

Suddenly, one day, as I had just awaken, I turned on my radio and understood a whole French programme. I cannot describe my feelings of joy at the moment. This was a colorful radio programme by this man from Mali, who researched present-day African magic and witchcraft practices. He interviewed real --well, real life, witches --and recorded them at work! I was able to watch a radio programme! As I realized the spoken language, the sentences were depicting the action before my eyes. I shred into tears. I even wrote a joyous thank mail to RFI. They were thrilled, and guess what - this very same man, Benson Diakité, the author of the emission, my hero, wrote back to me.

Then I realized I had fallen prey to my passion for languages. My methodology had finally worked. I decided to test it once again with German. Why German? Well, I realized I had never been really exposed to German culture or language. I always wonder how other people live, work, eat, have fun. As for Germany… I knew really nothing about Germany. Just a few words, a little music, so much lost in translation.

So here I am…