https://www.duolingo.com/Herm1on3

At how many languages does your brain get confused? Or doesn't it?

Herm1on3
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Hey everyone :)

I sometimes experience that my brain just mixes up all the languages I am doing at the time. And then I am just stuck or I can remember a word in all the other languages just not in the one I need it in :)

Sometimes I can't even remember words in my mother tongue but the foreign word just pops up in my head :)

This happens especially if I am doing more than 2 foreign languages at a time.

I was wondering whether you had similar experiences?

2 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/kdscavella
kdscavella
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That usually happens because the brain hasn't removed its filter for that language yet. We are accustomed to filtering out sounds and structures we haven't been introduced to. So when the brain encounters something strange it tries to match it up to something it already knows. Don't worry though its temporary as you get more familiar to the sounds and structures of the language your brain removes the filters it set up :). Try listening to more audio or reading some more books in the languages you are learning, speaking helps the most !

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Herm1on3
Herm1on3
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Well, it also happens sometimes with languages I am fluent in :) but I know you are right with the filter :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/vadimfowler
vadimfowler
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My suggestion is not to study several languages literally simultaneously, but alternate them from day to day or week to week (I personally prefer weekly periods, since it takes time to enter the language, just like an actor enters a role by living it every minute of real life.)

The languages that I speak fluently do not interfere with those that I study (unless I am very tired). I also do not have much trouble with similarly sounding words... but I noticed that I tend to borrow from another language the words that I lack.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Herm1on3
Herm1on3
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Yes, I also found out that using and learning one language only and regularly for a certain time is easier. But at school for example, I had two foreign languages and both two times a week ... there it is impossible to do that.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/trebach

If you are going to study multiple languages at once, I highly discourage multiple languages from the same family. Dutch and Spanish might work but Dutch and Danish together is a recipe for disaster.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TheEeveeLord

I don't think there's really a limit. There are hyper-polyglots who speak 20+ languages (one of whom is ~20 years old now)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LiaLeonetta
LiaLeonetta
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That happens to me sometimes, especially with Irish :( I can always recall words and form sentences pretty quickly in Italian, but in other languages I have to pause and think, trying to ignore the Italian translation that immediately pops into my head :P But I'd put it down to the fact that I've been using Italian much more recently and much more often than Irish, which I've been learning at school for years. Once I begin to use more native material in Irish (like I already do for Italian) I'd expect the problem to fade away :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sapphireoceanELF

That happens to me all the time, because I'm doing Norwegian and German, and they're quite similar. I usually find that when I'm doing German I can remember things in Norwegian, and when I switch to Norwegian I can only remember German lol :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Herm1on3
Herm1on3
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Oh yes, if languages are similar, it gets even more difficult :) I had the same thing when I started Spanish and in my head, everything was French somehow :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/eclecticscholar

Yeah, this happens to me once in awhile; so annoying.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prgmstr
Prgmstr
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On occasion when just jumping straight into let's say speaking ancient greek (or trying to) my brain will confuse it with other languages' grammar... This doesn't usually create a hybrid, but it sure gives me a headache till I remember that that grammar's from a different language XD No Pfil! You can't say "Corrομεν"!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tchachkii
tchachkii
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personally, i'm learning about 10 languages at a time, some very similar, so i find it hard to translate a word to the language i am learning at that moment of time, although my brain tends to translate it into french as it is the foreign language i tend to focus on. i do a bit of each language every so often, just to refresh my memory on some of the languages.

the 10 languages i am learning in case you're interested: dutch, russian, ukranian, norwegian, french, danish, italian, swedish, polish and finnish

as you can see, some languages are very similar, so i tend to focus on about 3 languages every 2 weeks or so before alternating. i tend to learn the scandinavian languages separately, as it means i am less likely to mix them up.

2 years ago
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