How many languages?

Tabisora   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 19:14 GMT
Do you reckon it's possible to speak 4 languages (including your mother tongue)? I'm learning two for the time being and I wonder if learning a third one wouldn't make me mix my knowledge up. :)
Otherwise, perhaps I'd have to practise each of them everyday...
Do some of you have any experience to tell?

Tremmert   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 19:27 GMT
I think children can learn four languages natively if they hear all of them from birth ... as far as I know if you're careful not to use words from one language as a substitute for a word you don't know in another there shouldn't be a problem.
chantal   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 21:16 GMT
I reckon it's possible to learn several languages. If you learn them academically, you woudn't mix them up. Every time you speak one of them, you should imagine yourself completely within that language.There are people around me who speak two, three, four or five languages. Every time they speak one of them, they are completely in and they forget about all the others. I myself took some Spanish a couple of years ago. I had finished 120 hours lessons before I went to Barcelona for 5 days. It was a kind of synchronization. I was amazed to see the ease with wich I could express myself in a dialy routine. To order my meal in a restaurant, to book a ticket for a flamenco concert. To ask questions about the museums, ...etc. I almost never asked a quetion in French or in English. Not only could I converse with people who spoke "Castellano"; Spanish, but also with those who spoke "Cataluno"(the language spoken in Cataluna).
So my advise to you is :
Go ahead ! good luck !
tulip   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 21:20 GMT
In my family, we learn more than two languages and we love it.
My cousins grew up speaking 4 languages and they didn't suffer at all. They didn't mix up neither. They are very good at school and being polygloth bring them a lot; more than just langaue and words.
matt   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 21:33 GMT
It depends at what stage of your learning you are.
Are you quite beginner ? or Advanced or Proficient in one or both of these languages ?
Are you learning two Roman languages ?
Are you learning two Germanic languges ?
Are you learning by yourself ?
chantal   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 21:35 GMT
Sorry !
"...the ease with which ..."
BenIII   Sunday, June 15, 2003, 22:30 GMT
Is it not possible to learn a maximum of seven languages?
to BenIII   Monday, June 16, 2003, 10:54 GMT
As many as you wish !
Tabisora   Monday, June 16, 2003, 15:41 GMT
Thank you everyone.

It appears I'm crazy about each language I learn and I want to know each of them, hmm... as much as possible. I mean closely to a native.

Do you think it's unrealistic or not?

Because it's very hard to know many expressions, what word is academical, slangy and so on. Right?

Btw, my native language is French, then I study English and Japanese.
Regarding the fourth language I will possibly learn, I haven't really decided yet.
silk   Monday, June 16, 2003, 21:50 GMT
Good for you Tabisora !
It's not unrealistic. You do your best and you'll see.
sam   Monday, June 16, 2003, 21:51 GMT
There's no confusion between the two languages you're learning, as they have no common origin.
BenIII   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 00:49 GMT
How far along is your Japanese?
Jim   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 03:05 GMT
Perhaps all languages have a common origin.

I don't think that there is a maximum number of languages that it's possible to learn. If there were I reckon it would be much higher than seven.
shana   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 03:42 GMT
There is no limit. You can difine the limit. Some learn quicker, better and more. Depends on the individuals.
Clark   Tuesday, June 17, 2003, 07:09 GMT
I have been re-reading a book about language, and the author seems to believe that all languages stemmed off of a language that originated in Africa, just as all people originated in Africa.

As for learning languages, I do not think there is a limit. But when you hear that people speak 30 languages (yes, 30), I doubt that the person is truly fluent in all 30. I think a person could understand 30, but as to whether one could actually be fluent in all 30, would be dountful, UNLESS this person had daily conversation in all 30 languages.

I have read about a handful of people who have supposedly been fluent in 30 or so languages.