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Old 10-04-2012, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Most effective way to learn more than one language at once?

Any pointers? At this stage I'm doing 3 at once. It's been manageable so far but I'm lagging kind of far behind in one.

Learning:
Mandarin (in University)
German (same)
Spanish on my own/with a spanish friend.

So no worries about confusion. Anyone done something similar? I'm thinking on holding off on the German.

*edit: Forgot to mention, I'm already bilingual (English/French), so I'm not hitting the wall most people get when learning languages past their teens.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Does your school have language tables during meals, basically students speaking the same language at different levels sitting together and conversations are conducted in one language. At least that's what I have at school.

Also, watch cartoons/children's television, starting with the ones for kids and work your way up.

It's not completely about being studious with your new language. It's all about exposure.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Everyone's schedules are so different, it's only really viable to get together with the chinese kids to practice.

That's actually a good idea re: kids shows

What I'm noticing:

Mandarin speaking people like to not enunciate, making it a huge bitch for someone taking it as an alternate language. The symbols are just painfully difficult to remember and identify.

Germans speak way too fast, but I'm picking this one up the easiest cause it's so close to English.

My spanish friend is a girl. Rather attractive, but not the best teacher. MLIA.

Woops got distracted, Spanish has a LOT of slang.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, that's crazyness.

Maybe keep yourself immersed. Have the radio playing in the background whenever possble. For me, I picked up more spanish being in Spain for 3 weeks than I did in school and learning from friends. Also I picked up the ability to listen to spanish being spoken. Instead of a stream of sounds coming out of someones mouth, I can make out the words now.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Try to find Sesame Street in the language you are trying to learn.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you can afford Rosetta stone language software its pretty damn good, if not there are always other ways to get it........ yar har!
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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best way ive found is this. Live there :-P

Also, carry a small notebook with you and write down some of the sentences on how you think it sounds (phonetics) then also write down the exact way its spellled with proper punctuation. Then write in english what the direct translation would be.

This will help you get the sound, also see the proper way its spelled and the translation. Writing it down like so will help your brain remember/memorize what you are learning.

example

Phonetic -Ick How Vahn Yow
Proper - Ik hou van jou.
Translation - I love you
(dutch btw)

on a side note, when you are fluent in German, you are almost 90% fluent in Dutch
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I I find that when I relate things back to english I lose the essence of it. Especially a language like Mandarin that shares literally no similarities to english at all. That being said, english isn't even really my "first" language, I've been learning french since I was 4 so I can use either interchangeably.

I like to use the Helen Keller approach. Find tangible things or parts of conversation and relate them to the actual object or thing. Makes for faster learning imo. I found Dora The Explorer in spanish so far

@Rymzor No point buying or Y'arrr-ing the Rosetta Stone, I'm already paying to learn Mandarin and German at school 6 credits each, not too shabby. Spanish I'm learning 100% for free. Well, I guess she has a place to stay...but still totally worth it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bilinguality is not a marker for a language capability. By taking up too much at once, you might mess up your chances for success but you also might be that person that actually can do it. No one but yourself can figure that

Im trilingual with basic capabilities in 3 more languages.

In high school i was already bilingual, and was taking 4 more languages. I failed two of them, and attained only basic understanding of 1. So i achieved fluency in one.
In uni, i was taking also languages. I failed one of them (it was one of the failed ones in high school... effing French!) and got basic understanding of the other 2.

Possible explanation? I dont have the talent for languages, it is an extremely hard work for me, that in my case demands total immersion, not classes.
My brother on the other hand has this unique talent, of being able to pick up new languages, including regional slang and dialects, on the fly.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Honestly, I think I just have a thing for languages. The only language I speak with an accent is Mandarin, and I just started learning it a month ago, and I'm not having difficulty learning any of the 3 I'm doing now. My only gap is speaking them on the fly. Like if someone says to me "Say something in German" I find it hard, but if someone walks up to me and starts speaking to me I'll respond in German without going to English first. I also know cockney and mersey english, which are almost new languages on their own.
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