learning 3rd language through 2nd?
Would you recommend learning a third language through your second language, even if you're not yet fluent in the second language? Do you think this will improve your skills in the second language also?
Would it be damaging to the third language, because if you haven't yet completely mastered the second language you might not understand as deeply what's going on when you learn the third one through it?
I think it would just make learning the 3rd language more difficult if you're not fluent in the 2nd language. One thing you should consider is that language materials often try to advise you on how to avoid making mistakes in the language you're learning and that these mistakes are often associated with native speakers of the language the material is written in. Chinese speakers and English speakers probably make very different mistakes when learning Spanish, so Spanish learning materials intended for Chinese speakers might seem odd to you if you were an American trying to learn Spanish, for instance.
But it doesn't matter if many foreign learners "converge" in the department of mistakes. The main reason is most good language books are only in English anyway. Among the Chinese, it's been almost auto-assumed that any language other than English (or other local languages) must be "second foreign languages", with English being the first.
So, there's simply no way to use language books from abroad that aren't in English. Then, mistakes become very transparent, and eventually the more fluent learners become, the more possible it is for them to know their native languages better AND introduce more Anglocisms into them.
It actually helps, but you must be at least able to read it really comfortably. I still struggle with new English expressions every day. When I want to translate from ____ (I'm only learning European languages atm), chances are that I'm using English only. I can give more equivalents in my language than in English... naturally, but my language has been a disadvantage when I can't make up anything as gender, tense, and latinate words as mnemonic devices.
But of course, when I read a random Japanese-English text, I can forget English translations very quickly... and I often skip that silly romaji.
<< Among the Chinese, it's been almost auto-assumed that any language other than English (or other local languages) must be "second foreign languages", with English being the first. >>
How do you think Chinese Peruvians, Chinese Mexicans etc would react to such a statement? Well, I have been advised by such people what they think of these sort of ideas.
'Would it be damaging to the third language, because if you haven't yet completely mastered the second language you might not understand as deeply what's going on when you learn the third one through it?'
Learning the third language if you haven't yet completely mastered the second can both damage and help for both of the languages. I know people who already spoke their second language good and when starting to learn the 3d, they started to mix up words in these languages and confuse grammar, these are naturally similar languages. but there are also category of people who have no damaging factor when they learn their 3d language and through their 2d language they master a lot the 3d. so it depends mostly on features of your brain, according to what the third language can help or damage
I would suggest just sticking to the 2nd language until you at least reach an intermediate fluency and then exploring a new language. The reason why learning multiple languages is not recommended for new language learners is mainly because their brain is not accustomed to visualizing the patters that occur in each language. But learning a language at a time actually builds or rather enhances those compartments in the Brain (Broca's area) to recognize various other patters than your native language.
Once you've at least learnt 3 language up to an intermediate fluency level, you can then start learning more than 1 language at a time (But this requires a lot of hard-work and a good instinct for being able to differentiate the word-patters, syntax differentiations and so on). It can be very tempting to jump from one language to another but it's best to avoid such a "wanderlust" for languages as you would end up learning nothing. This should slowly be acquired with time.
How do you think Chinese Peruvians, Chinese Mexicans etc would react to such a statement? Well, I have been advised by such people what they think of these sort of ideas.>>
I'm pretty sure he's referring to people IN China learning a foreign language. If you live in the foreign country then that's a whole different matter.
>> How do you think Chinese Peruvians, Chinese Mexicans etc would react to such a statement?
You're just picking me up. I suspect many of us don't even know where these two countries are. This isn't strictly an indication of utterly limited geographical knowledge, but this is way too specific to be worth mentioning.
>>I would suggest just sticking to the 2nd language until you at least reach an intermediate fluency and then exploring a new language.
It seems it's not a question of "whether", but "whether... at all". It's still barely OK to look up words of L2 while reading books in it, if the main messages are fairly transparent. I still haven't mastered an L3 successfully, but I could expect it takes another 2-3 years, even with previous experiences with an L2.
But if you can spend enough time, I suspect English natives can pick up any 2 random Eu. languages fairly quickly... while many others have to struggle with English before they can see the holy grail.
I did this when I started making the transition from spanish to french.
I bought the assimil french for spanish speakers, which worked out great for me.
Xie, are you some kind of mystic or something? Are you imitating Nostradamus?
<< utterly limited geographical knowledge>>
<< way too specific>>
Over use of superlatives. To get your point across, why not just write
"limited geographical knowledge" and "too specific"?
Incidently, Mexico is the country with more Spanish speakers than any other country. Spanish is also the chief language in more countries in the world than any other language. On this important measure, the Spanish to English ratio is about 3 to 1. This is not the only important measure that Spanish does better in when compared with English and Chinese.
Are you joking? I seriously can't believe Chinese people would be so utterly horrendously stupid as not to know where even Mexico is! Wow!
Why would they care where Mexico is? Americans only know because they keep sending people to our southern states.
Well, I don't really care about Mexico myself, but if someone has such bad general knowledge that they don't know where Mexico they really must be ignorant, with a third world level education.