https://www.duolingo.com/PkmnRanjya

What are your tips on not mixing up a language?

I really want to learn both Swedish and Norwegian however I heard that since they were both so similar linguistically it is very easy to get them mixed up and it's pointless to try to learn both. I know there are problems with mixing up languages such as with Portuguese and Spanish but does anyone have any tips on making sure that doesn't happen? Or at least happens less often?

1 year ago

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/RobertoAlerto

I wonder if speaking in a high squeaky voice when in say Portuguese, And low gravelly voice for the other Spanish would help? It would signal other people familiar with the speaker, "Now he thinks he is speaking Spanish, because the voice is low and plates are shaking" .

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

I'm really sorry but just as the tv News was getting me down, your comment came as gloriously wicked wonderful relief. I'm still rolling with laughter, you naughty DL person. I lingot you with pleasure.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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Ha ha that would really give a cacophony (=a harsh discordant mixture of sounds) when many such speakers are together.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/germanwannabee

I would advise that you start one, finish the course and then start the other. Swedish has a really short course whereas Norwegian has a really long one, so maybe do Swedish first.

I always find that by the time I finish a course, I'm at a level where i won't mix my languages up too much :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
DragonPolyglot
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Associating them with different personalities helps. I tend to think of Spanish as very flamboyant and expressive, and Italian as a little mysterious and somewhat relaxed. By giving them two different voices, it helps me not confuse them. Although I will admit that I have a problem substituting Spanish words in otherwise Italian sentences because I can think in Spanish but not so much Italian. I find I do that less often when I give Italian a voice that is a little more soft than Spanish, which is deeper in voice. For Swedish and Norwegian, you can do something similar. Compare them to each other and then imagine them interacting as people, and see how the people act when they speak; when I look at Spanish and Italian in this way, Spanish is a social man who is artistic and Italian is an introverted woman who enjoys literature. This is how I think of them as separate and I give them a "voice" based off how I see them, and I speak in that way as best as I can. (You should only give them positive traits so you can be encouraged to learn the language. Negative traits will encourage negative associations, which isn't the best way to learn.)

And yeah, studying one before the other helps a little bit more, at least with not confusing common words. I never use Italian words in Spanish because I got a footing in Spanish first before I started seriously studying Italian. But, it takes a while not to melt one into the other. :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espatially

Giving them a voice is a good idea. I have found when I do that exaggerated, hackneyed Italian accent, it helps me remember the Italian better. Kind of goofy, but it does work! I am so used to Spanish, it's hard to mix up Spanish with anything else, but I have mixed up Portuguese and Italian before. I find Portuguese is more like Italian than Spanish is to either one.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Borbotrincess
Borbotrincess
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Yeah, the accent helped me a lot when going from Spanish to Portuguese. It got my mind into that "other setting". Also, I made the point of learning lots of jargon so as to differentiate both languages as much as possible.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kansokusha
Kansokusha
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The best I could come up with myself is, if you really want to learn two very similar languages, "learn one of them first and steadily, then the other one". If you learn one of these languages first and grasp a steady command and vocabulary, you will be able to tell yourself later on which words are the same and which words are different, having to worry less about words that are the same while mostly trying remember just the differences. It's a 2x1 the right way, in my opinion.

Native Spanish speaker learning Portuguese.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lexicon25
Lexicon25
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I agree, you want to grasp many of the basics in your second language, before moving onto another.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lea.1717
Lea.1717
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I woud advise you to learn first one to a decent level and the other only after you were comfortable in the first. Otherwise it will just be incredibly hard and the results won't be very good. I'm learning Norwegian and i can already understand swedish pretty well, and even pick some. As a Portuguese person learning spanish, I know how hard it is. NO and SWE are even closer than PT and SP, so please, think well. But if you're learning both, its important to surround yourself with both languages and get used to the intonation of both of them, but study them separately. You can even use different colors to help your brain distinguish.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ryan.xiong

I have trouble french and chinese, so i try to understand how to say a word in both languages so it won't be like: ni hao i am ryan and i like eating mian bao

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lexicon25
Lexicon25
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A successful polyglot has recently shared with me, study your separate languages at different times of the day. For instance, you might study Japanese in the morning, German around lunch, and English at night before bed. :D She added that it helps you to separate the languages, because you associate each one with a separate time of day and/or task Hope that helped!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Espatially

I could never mix up Spanish and Portuguese, only because I have enough experience with Spanish.

I recommend the same thing someone else recommended: learn one before starting the other. If you learn two very similar languages at the same time, you could easily mix them up, and consequently give both of them up in the end. I have seen others quit for this exact reason. Even though they swear they haven't quit, they are in denial!

Acquaint yourself with both languages at first. See which one you like more. The intonation, the pronunciation, the grammar, the syntax, everything. Trust your instinct, and start with that one first. Delete your progress in the other one and forget about it until you have absolutely formed a linguistic instinct for the one you chose first.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Learn consistently, keep separate notebooks.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/autumn330
autumn330
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wait till you reach a certain fluency in one, whatever you may want that to be(you don't have to be completely fluent in one before starting the other as long as you reach a good enough understanding to separate them). Also it helps to remember their difference rather than their similarities, for example most words in Spanish that end in -dad end in -dade in Portuguese. Hope that helps!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Borbotrincess
Borbotrincess
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I'm a native Spanish speaker who learned Portuguese not too long ago. Learning PT, I forced myself to not let me get away with being understood in ES. Also, I guess that, since I really know what is real ES, it was easier for me to know what to avoid.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joe733089
Joe733089
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I am taking Spanish and Portuguese at the same time and I have not had much of a problem. But I also take Welsh and Irish . What I do when my brain has been on a language similar to other. I switch to a totally different type of language for a bit. For example when I practice my Portuguese and I intend on doing Spanish on the same day. I put Irish in between to give my brain a change in language pattern. Then switch back to Spanish. This seem to work well in most cases.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Monika462979
Monika462979
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You can speak Swedish in Norway and mostly being understood or the same with Norwegian i Sweden. Choose one of them, it's my tip. I think the spelling is easier in Norwegian.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/calynca
calynca
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I had worried about the same, but it's not as bad as expected. I started with Norwegian and spent a year finishing the tree, listening to podcasts and reading books. Only then I started with Swedish in addition. I'm currently reading my first Swedish book (by now already without a dictionary) and am quite fine with seperating the language, mostly by thinking of the Norwegian word as the "correct" one and Swedish as the odd version of it. :D

It's a little early though to say anything about the long term effect. For now I'm confident about my Norwegian skills, but still have difficulties using Swedish actively, while I'm doing fine passively.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AmareloTiago
AmareloTiago
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Practice, practice, practice.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/knudvaneeden
knudvaneeden
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E.g. when you speak Swedish they say you have a Norwegian accent, and when you speak Norwegian they say you have a Swedish accent.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IsakNygren1
IsakNygren1
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Many words in Swedish and Norwegian are either the same or very similar. People will still understand you even if you mix it up. I know some Norwegians joking about Swedes who are working in Norway trying to speak Norwegian as "Svorsk" which is a mix between both languages. Swedes, Norwegians and Danes normally don't try too much to learn each others languages if they move to each others countries since all these languages are mutually intelligible. Politics have decided that this are three different languages and not dialects.

1 year ago
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