hey, I would need some advice :)
Hi, I have started learning Russian and this has opened a whole new world of languages to me. My thirst for languages seems to be unquenchable and now, I would love to learn Thai and Arabic (MSA) too. All of them come from complete different language families.
I already know Thai alphabet and I am halfway through Arabic alphabet too. What would you guys advise based on your experience, should I stick to one language at a time or should I branch out into many? Russian seems quite tough especially its grammar and learning Arabic won't be easier too. Thai seems easier to me since it borrows several words from my native language (Hindi/Sanskrit).
I find it hard to imagine you'd be able to achieve much useful progress in gaining communicative ability in more than one of such highly divergent languages at a time. If you're familiar with Sanskrit, you'll have a massive leg up on Russian grammar, even if the vocabulary doesn't seem familiar.
Realistically, attaining fluency (or even just comprehension ability) in any of those three languages is a task years in duration, so probably best to find the one you're most motivated by and focus there if fluency is your goal. If it's not in particular, then do whatever you feel like!
Thanks, I didn't know Sanskrit grammar could help me so much with Russian :) Yes, I have chosen to learn 3 languages with completely different scripts but I feel very comfortable with Thai. Moreover, learning Thai alphabet and some vocabulary has been quite an experience for it opened doors to Thai culture and language which derives so heavily from my Indian Hindu culture is many ways. I could relate to it so easily and as they say, if you can relate to a language on a personal, half the work is done. :)
I like learning multiple languages at the same time (no more than two or three, though), but I'd never be able to learn a language more difficult than Russian, or as difficult, while still learning Russian. As a native Italian speaker I find Spanish and French to be quite easy, while Arabic for example would take too much of my time, time that I need to spend on Russian. That's just me though, it might be different for you.
Thanks :) I respect your opinion since you have already learnt Russian and even acknowledged it high difficulty level.
Lucky you! You are the master of one of most difficult languages of this world. :)
I suppose :). I never really valued the language until I became interested in learning languages (2-3 months ago) :) Being able to speak Hindi is pretty fantastic as well though, a very beautiful writing system! :D
I wanted to learn Arabic and Farsi at the same time, but then I realised that in order to complete one language as fast as possible.. I should dedicate all of my attention to it, and not just 50%. So hopefully, I will speak Arabic fluently in about 3 to 4 years instead of 8. :)
P.S not saying you should learn Arabic, just learn any one language.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am also using several other websites for learning Russian. But, those websites simply offer lessons.
Sorry but how is it that many Russians here have such a good command over English. :o) I have been under the mistaken impression that most Russians are not really interested in learning English.
Russia is a country of roughly 150 million. Some estimates I've seen say about 5% could be considered fluent in English. Of those 7ish million, a very select few enjoy spending time hanging around internet forums helping English speakers with Russian. These are some pretty cool folks, and their contributions to the Russian sentence discussions will help you tremendously in your studies!
I think it's the older generation of Russians who aren't comfortable with English. I have dealt with some Russian clients in the past and one of the main reasons I thought of learning Russian was easy & smooth communication with them. :)
I would recommend not starting multiple languages simultaneously. However, I think that once you have made a reasonable amount of progress with one, it is OK to start another, even before finishing the first tree. Progress will be slower, but you do get extra insight from being able to compare different languages.
How many languages have you studied so far?
Thanks, I think I should start with other languages when I have achieved a certain level of comfort with the one that I am learning now. It's just that I have seen youtube videos of polyglots who make learning seem so easy while juggling several languages at once.
I have started out - focussing mainly on Russian and then, Thai and Arabic later. I just know their alphabet and some basic terminology.
PS: You seem to be a polyglot yourself. :)
Thank you. But I would not consider myself fluent. My problem is that I have learned various languages at various times, then lost facility in them through lack of use. What I appreciate about Duolingo is that while learning a language here, I can relatively easily ensure that I do not forget the others.
By the way, I notice some people commenting that you are setting yourself a difficult task, by being interested in three such different languages. Personally, I find it easier to learn very different languages, than a second language that closely resembles another. It is evidently a personal thing - but you may find that you are the same. :)
Yes, you are right, one really needs to go back, revise and even try putting one's thoughts in that language of learning. If one starts thinking in that language rather than in one's native language alone, it is then that the language-learning process becomes far more natural. Yes, it is nice to know the diverse opinions of people at this forum and it does help! I can properly weigh in the the pros and cons of following one strategy over the other.
To each his own; I must say. :)
Moreover, a language like Thai may seem far different from Russian and Arabic, but it actually shoots out from my native language (Sankritized Hindi) - so, learning it has been an exciting journey of discovery for me.
I had been oblivious to the fact Thai and my native language (& culture as well) have so much in common.
As they say - When you learn a language, you learn the whole culture with it :)
Well, Arabic (the Egyptian Dialect) is my native tongue, and to be honest, learning the MSA "only" is classically acquired through a long scholar education since childhood.
This is mostly how you would find any Arabic person is able to use the MSA.
And we also learn English during the same period we study MSA.
To add up, even after finishing studying them at school, a respectable number of people don't use English commonly, and due to that, unfortunately, they gradually lose their English (and sometimes even some of MSA) abilities and knowledge.
So, shortly, taking the classical approach means that you have to continuously use and practice the language over and over and over at your current level of study, be patient, and predict a mild (but somehow deep) learning curve with a small overall progress rate.
So, I guess (based on the Arabic case), one should study up to at most 2 languages till he have a good level of proficiency with both of them, then, he can look for 1 (or 2 more), but never to forget to continuously use the previous 2 languages.
And of course, this is a classical (and somehow conservative) point of view.
And If you're studying two languages that are from the very difficult type, it's recommended to just concentrate on one of them and sadly sacrifice with the other (so as to not take the horribly long period like the classical school case).