Using a second language to learn a third

Hi everyone,

Has anyone here, using the lingq system, learned a target language using a language other than their mother tongue? For example, I have been learning German for over a year now and am fairly comfortable with the language. I would also like to learn French. Would be it beneficial to change my dictionary and interface language on Lingq to German as I learn French? Does anyone have any experiences or recommendations they can share?

It can be a good way to keep your German fresh. You can also switch back and forth if you get tired of using one or another language. It is always good to experiment and vary things in our language learning in my experience.

My interface is French, which I use for learning French and German, and occasionally Italian. You very soon get used to seeing the foreign language, almost like it’s your “base” language, which can’t be a bad thing.

When I was at university I had German lessons with a Dutch woman. I was so impressed, she was so fluent in English she no longer even considered it as a foreign language, and learned advanced German apparently effortlessly off a German who explained things in English.

I have used German as an interface with Russian, because a German friend gave me some old East German textbooks. You get used to it, although I’m not sure it had any positive benefits. Other than feeling kinda cool :wink:

I have mostly used English as a third language to study another foreign language. This is mainly due to the fact that for some languages there is little study material available in German. I have gotten used to this situation, but I have to admit that I still prefer working with study material in my mother tongue. In the final analysis, however, I think what it boils down to is the quality of the teaching material. I’d rather go for high-quality material in English than for some mediocre books etc. in German.

I agree with lovelanguages.
With Japanese, the German ressources for language learning are limited and I used a lot of English therefore as well. I also often cross-check dictionaries in Japanese-German with such in Japanese-English. Still, I prefer GOOD ressources in my mother tongue. It’s just more likely that I’m aware of tiny nuances in my mother tongue. I also found myself studying some vocabulary Japanese-English, just for finding out that I actually didn’t know exactly what the English word meant after a while. (okay, sometimes that even happens in my mother tongue, when studying vocabulary concerning topics I don’t have much clue about)

Funnily enough, I also am kind of unconcious to whether or not I’m using a foreign language (@skyblueteapot), I am not translating that much, I am thinking in foreign languages. But this is exactly a danger when using them, as I will only be able to think within the limits of my language knowledge then. So, when speaking Japanese, I am thinking in more kindergartenlike terms than if I’m speaking German.

For a while I only used English as a base from which to study other languages. (I was convinced I couldn’t learn in my mother tongue.) I now happily learn in whatever language the book happens to be in. As to the interface here on LingQ, I switch back and forth between languages, because otherwise it only becomes background and doesn’t stimulate interest anymore.