Learning multiple languages

redlips
Bento-ing from: › Nebraska › USA
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
User offline. Last seen 2 years 31 weeks ago.

I'm a current high school student taking French. My high school only offers two years and I would like to continue past this point. Not only do I wish to learn French, but Japanese as well. (My plans are to become an English teacher in Japan.) I have to work very hard to learn French because I don't have a good memory. What is the best way for me to learn French and Japanese?

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anon.
Re: Learning multiple languages

I have taught English in China. You do not need to know the native language to teach there. Although having a basic grasp of the language helps a great deal. Just study, study, study! You'll be fine.
Good luck!

Loretta
Moderator
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 4 Mar 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 17 weeks ago.
Re: Learning multiple languages

French, Portuguese, Catalan, Spanish, Italian... these are all related languages and once you start learning more than one, the others become easier as you see many similarities in the root words.

So learning multiple languages within this group is quite different from trying to learn two completely different languages such as French and Japanese. Learning one isn't necessarily going to help you learn the other (says me who speaks English and Spanish, learned some French at school, understands Catalan and quite bit of Italian and is currently learning Japanese).

The main key to success in another language is motivation. As to which approach or method works best, it entirely depends on you. Everyone is different.
With ipods and ipads and all the different kinds of mobile devices out there there's never been an easier time to learn vocabulary, so keep slogging at it and ensure you are memorising at least 5 words a day - those words soon stack up. You might like to read to yourself for ten or fifteen minutes a night, use an audiobook and read along with the text to mimic the vowels and rhythms. Comics are great to give context to words so you can effectively guess their meaning and not have to rely so much on dictionaries. Watch films and things you actually want to see in the language. If retention is a problem there are lots of different mnemonic approaches and techniques for both languages.
Personally, I'm picking up loads by reading books written in hiragana to my Japanese daughter, and children's books are cheap and easily available for the ipad (the main reason I bought one, Spanish books - the language I use to speak to my daughter - are also cheap when purchased through this medium).

The main thing is to stay motivated and, yes, study, study, study, but stick to topics and scenarios and methods you enjoy.
The reality is that memorising French words is going to be easier in the main part than memorising Japanese words as so many English and French words stem from the same source. The amount of loan words in Japanese from English is tiny in comparison.

Bonne chance!

redlips
Bento-ing from: › Nebraska › USA
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
User offline. Last seen 2 years 31 weeks ago.
Re: Learning multiple languages

Thanks for the encouragement! I think I will find a tutor and buy books, watch movies, anything I can do to learn. After talking to someone who has learnt multiple languges, he said the best way is immersion. Hopefully all of these methods will help me learn.

Thanks!

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