I recently found a very interesting book called ‘How to become fluent in multiple languages: learn more than one language at the same time in a fun and efficient way’. I’m not affiliated with the author or the method in any way, shape or form, however I thought this might be interesting to those of you who want to learn and maintain many languages in a time efficient way and without getting them mixed up:
It’s by a polyglot called Elisa Polese. She specialises in helping people learn multiple languages at the same time and even in the same lesson, which is something I’ve never seen anyone doing before. So I bought the book out of curiosity and it was a compelling read.
Part of her philosophy is that learning multiple languages at the same time doesn’t lead to mixing them up as most people would expect. She clearly shows that it actually helps you remember the differences between each language better than if you learn them in succession, because she compares the similarities and differences between each language side by side and then gives her students exercises to get used to switching between each language quickly. She also shows how this actually produces results faster than learning one language at a time.
Having read the book and listened to some talks and interviews by her, I think this is something really interesting.
In my own personal experience, I’ve found that the brain does not get different languages mixed up. It’s almost as if it puts them into separate folders, but still links the similarities between them without getting them confused when you switch between them. I don’t know the exact mechanism behind it, but this has been my experience. I’ve always preferred to learn several languages at once and it has not been a problem, besides finding enough time for it really.
I was actually thinking of having a few lessons with her myself to explore her philosophy a bit more and to help me to come up with a way to revise the main points of each language I know, as time is of the essence when trying to learn and maintain many languages (obviously using them a lot in your life helps maintain them too).
On her website, she states that she has studied more than 25 languages, and teaches 13 of them, (some at different levels than others), and she can also teach with other languages besides English as the base language too:
I was wondering if there are other people here who prefer to learn several languages at once, and what your personal experience has been?