One language, or more than one?

We’re here ‘playing’ Clozemaster with the objective of learning a language. Or more than one.

And my question is whether you folks find it more effective to stick with one language, or whether those who are learning two or more find the multiple language experience is reinforcing their ability to learn.

Personally, I am learning Romanian and French here on Clozemaster.

My native language is English, and here in Canada we know (and have forgotten) a fair bit of French, so the practice in Clozemaster is very helpful. But Romanian is the language i’m trying to learn, from scratch, so I think of French as a route that is helping me learn Romanian. (Before Clozemaster, I had some private tutoring In Romanian, a year on Duolingo, a few million points on Memrise, and some high-school Latin to help.)

There’s a lot of common vocabulary between French and Romanian, and romance languages all have similarities in the way their verbs are set up. So doing the French helps me ‘think Romance language’…

But occasionally i get confused between French and Romanian, in doing things like spelling the word equipe or echipa… Mayonnaise or maioneze…

Bottom line, doing two languages, does it help more or confuse more? I guess i really don’t know since i didn’t do a controlled experiment. I was thinking that some of you who are playing five languages, or just one, might have an opinion that is relevant.

Thanks.

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At some point, you will move on from French and/or Romanian, but you might still want to keep them warm on the back burner.

I grew up living ‘overseas’ and I am still living overseas, so I have 3 days (Mon, Tue, Wed) devoted to 3 different ‘old’ languages.

More recently, I have lived in countries where I didn’t quite master the language. Getting old or getting lazy? Thursday and Friday are devoted to those two languages.

Most recently, I have traveled to countries where I wanted to at least be able to read some street signs and decipher menus. Oh, and I have a student who was getting ready to study abroad, so I was helping him with his L3. Saturday and Sunday are for those ‘wild card’ languages.

I had this system working quite well, 7 days a week, but then I really got into my student’s new language, and started studying it 7 days a week, with the other languages taking the ‘back burners’. Until the point of plateau. Then the point of burnout. Now my student is no longer going abroad because of the Coronavirus outbreak. He’s currently thinking of other possible destinations. I keep jumping in a different direction every time he names a new country: France? Brazil? You got it! Austria? Yeah, I know some German. Let’s go!

Then I spotted a new language on Clozemaster–KERNEWEK!–Shiny new object! SQUIRREL!!

Conclusion: 1) Study whichever language(s) you have to study for school or work, first and foremost. 2) Study whatever languages interest you at that moment because life is short and although you will never have time to learn everything that you want to learn, there is CLOZEMASTER!

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I appreciate the reply. Well, obviously you don’t think learning two languages brings confusion… if you are working on about seven at a time.

And in the past year since I wrote this, I have added a bit of Latin on Clozemaster. And then as my COVID project, I am working on German. But since I’m starting German from scratch, i am doing it on…i am sorry to say… Duolingo. I am about half way through the German duolingo… and perhaps when i finish it, i will do some German here too. Perhaps i will have run out of Romanian words on Clozemaster by then.

So, bottom line, I guess i have come to the conclusion that the more languages the merrier. The more flexible the mind.

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I have also started new languages on Duolingo, then after a few lessons, and after starting to ‘get a feel’ for some of the features of a new langauge, I come over to Clozemaster. I also use anki (Memrise or Tiny Cards) for new langauges sometimes. I still use both Clozemaster & Duo everyday, but lately I’ve found myself only doing the minimum to keep the ‘streak’ alive in Duo. Here in Clozemaster, I like being able to set daily goals for each langauge. I also like being able to check other players’ progress here. A little external motivation (competition) is good!

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I’ve also come to this conclusion. Strangely, I didn’t realise until quite recently that it was possible to just start learning a new language online!

For a long time I only did French, which I studied in high school. It was my worst subject then and I’d always felt a little bad that I hadn’t managed to learn more. When I discovered Duolingo, and then Clozemaster, French was the obvious choice. Duolingo helped me refresh what I’d already learned long ago, and Clozemaster has done a great deal to improve my aural comprehension (which was TERRIBLE pre-Clozemaster) and expand my vocabulary.

At the time I was surprised by the long list of language pairings many people study here and wondered how it was possible.

When they added Latin to Duolingo, I decided to try it from scratch. Their course is very introductory, but I really enjoyed it and was surprised how easy it was for someone who knows English and a fair amount of French. Once I finished the Duolingo course I started Latin here. I just do it for the fun of recognising the source of French and English words, and the pleasure of seeing history come to life on my screen. I doubt I’ll be inspired to go further and delve into original source materials, but you never know.

My other two languages (Occitan and Catalan) I just do casually from French to continue to practice French while observing the similarities to French / English / Latin. I use multi-choice only for those languages and would only study them more seriously if I was planning a trip.

The only language I study “seriously” is French, but I think adding the extra languages has made me more interested in language study in general and even more likely to persist with French. Perhaps one day I’ll try a really different language that doesn’t share common ground with French and English!

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