https://www.duolingo.com/Cumeon

Learning Languages who are similar.

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Hola, mis compañeros de español.

I have gotten pretty deep with Spanish at this point and my love for the language is only growing and growing. But my issue is this:

There's a high probability I will go to live in Florence because I will probably get a job there and i want to learn Italian, because as far as I've seen they are not the biggest fans of English. And I also respect their culture a lot and I want to talk to them in their native language.

But I am worried if I start Italian at this point it will turn into a mess in my head ,because it's very similar to Spanish. And my Spanish is far from fluent. I feel like I am at this point with Spanish that if I start mixing Italian in my head the languages will start to trip themselves up and I'll start confusing a lot.

Does anyone have experience with learning two similar languages at once? How did you do it and is it as difficult as I think it will be?

1 month ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ajsbr
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Try doing the Italian for Spanish speakers tree! This will allow you to practice both at the same time while also solidifying Italian and Spanish as distinct categories in your brain.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Heike333145
Plus
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This is indeed how I try to battle that "interference" from one language into the other; in my case also Spanish and Italian. I feel that I make fewer mistakes today than I used to, and I know better which words and structures belong in which language. I imagine that my brain created different drawers for the languages. ;-)

Duolingo is really a wonderful tool for doing that.

I would only recommend it for a language that one feels quite stable in (which seems to be the case with Cumeon's Spanish). I'm learning Norwegian, and was curious what Danish would be like in comparison, but after a few lessons I realized that in this case, the (short) exposure to Danish made my Norwegian fade.

I think I'll repeat this once my Norwegian is well established in my Grey Material. ;-) Just my experience.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cumeon
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Thanks for your answer. :) I'm not very secure in my Spanish to be honest, hah. I don't think I ever will be until it becomes second nature to me, like English did.

Maybe at some point I'll learn Italian in Duo FROM spanish. Seems like a good idea in my head. I'm not sure if it is though.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cumeon
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Yeah but what I am worried about is if :

Io sono un uomo * and * Yo soy un hombre For example, will mix in my head. And when I talk in Spanish I'll go Yo sono un hombre or something, because the italian will bleed in my spanish because they're similar.

You're saying it's the other way around, they'll solidify as completely seperate?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajsbr
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Everyone's different, but I think it's worth testing out to see how it works for you. In my experience, when you're constantly translating between the two instead of learning both from English, it helps keep them separate.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/David952132
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I think that will not happen if you also continue with your Spanish lessons while you learn Italian. You may confuse them for a while but eventually if you keep practicing your brain will learn to completely separate the two.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
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@David952132

Hi David,

how does it work out for Spanish vs Portuguese vs French so far for you?

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/David952132
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Hi Thomas, I found that Spanish helped with both Portuguese and French. It helps guess the meaning of new words when they are similar. Also the logic structure of phrases in Spanish, French and Portuguese is similar.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maltagerr

One tip that I have seen before about trying to separate language is to really learn the pronunciation of the two languages. So when you learn a new Spanish word, you will hear it in its full Spanish accent in your head. So if you're thinking of the Italian word, you will immediately notice that the Spanish word doesn't fit there for example.

I'm not sure how well this works since I am only seriously studying French and my Spanish isn't even at any form of basic conversational level yet, but I really couldn't imagine trying to use a French word in the middle of a Spanish sentence since the pronunciations are so different! When I hear "papillon", I hear it in a very French accent, not English and not Spanish.

Good luck!

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El_Gusano
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As a person who learned Spanish, French, and Italian, it was actually not difficult at all. In the beginning, some words would bleed from one language to the next, but that was only a temporary thing. I attend language groups in person for Spanish, French, and Italian and I rarely mix the languages up, even when someone asks questions in Spanish during the Italian group (native Spanish speakers love Italian, btw). Spanish was my first language learned as an adult and it was the most difficult. I moved on to French and though it's objectively more difficult, everything learned in Spanish, the important concepts, were all the same in French. Then I started Italian and already speaking Spanish fluently, I found I understand large amounts of spoken Italian before I even finished the course! Right now I'm focusing on Portuguese and I find it to be super easy as there are no new concepts that I haven't seen before, except maybe the personal infinitives. Some people think learning similar languages can make it difficult to separate languages in your head but I find it's rather automatic now. So go for it, there's nothing to be afraid of. Not to mention, there are large number of Italians who also speak Spanish because it's easy for them.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/angus390025
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if I start Italian at this point it will turn into a mess in my head

Of course it will. I was a very good speller in spanish till I started studying Portuguese, now I misspell everything. I find myself writing quando instead of cuando, or quero instead of quiero.

But that's part of the fun! And a great challenge. Go for it.

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JoseManuel120298

yo aprendí esperanto y cada vez se hace mas fácil aprender otro idioma, pero eso solo pasa cuando se parecen. Al aprender un idioma que pertenezca a otra familia se vuelve mas difícil, ya que uno ya se acostumbró

i am from Colombia, and obviusly i espeak spanish

1 month ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Judy_Blue_Eyes
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I mix up Spanish with Italian. I also mix up German with Dutch, and occasionally I mix up Dutch with English. It happens. I just try to not rush through the lessons.

1 month ago
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