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Pros and Cons of Learning More than One Language Simultaneously

by Veronica Hunt

So, you are fond of learning languages and decided to learn French, German, and Korean at the same time. Well, let us reassure – you have chosen a really advanced mode. It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about languages – learning a number of them at the same time isn’t a joke. However, there are still numerous advantages of this idea, and we are going to talk about pros and cons of it in this article.

Pros

Train your brain

One minute of neuroscience: German and Swedish scientists have done a research and concluded that a brain that deals with a number of languages at the same time on a daily basis can be structurally changed for the better within a couple of months. The brain works like a muscle – it becomes stronger and sharper when you use it regularly. People who have learned a number of languages can boast of having their brain in good shape.

Save your time

Of course, if you have decided to learn more than one language, you need a good plan. There are two common ways of learning languages – simultaneously and sequentially. The names are self-explanatory. Working with two or more languages at the same time saves your time because you are multitasking. You can speak one language in 1.5 years or two languages in 2 years.

Compare similarities and differences between languages

You can remark peculiarities of different languages and better remember them when learning more than one at the same time. Take advantage of learning cognates (words in different languages that share spelling, pronunciation, and meaning).

You won’t get bored

So if you have already made a list of the best languages to learn, learning them simultaneously will keep you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Sick of “Guten tag”? Tired of remembering the difference between estar and ser? Try a little bit “Ohayo gozaimasu” and find yourself in the Japanese language.

Cons

Your verbal skills might become weaker

Some studies claim that when your brain is processing two or more languages at the same time, this involves additional processing energy, which might cause weakening of verbal skills.

More languages – smaller word stock

People who learn one language seem to have better word stock. It is no wonder that those who work with different languages simultaneously know fewer words of all semantic categories while those who choose only one have more concentration and therefore – better vocabulary.

“Tip of the tongue” moments

Get ready to experience those awful moments of tip-of-the-tongue syndrome more often than ever before.

Even a few disadvantages of being bilingual are not a problem comparing to a great deal of advantages you get. You need to apply significant efforts; however, bilingualism is surely worth it. If you are worried that learning multiple languages will cause you more obstacles and problems than benefits – don’t worry, your brain will get used to constant work and will quickly adjust to new languages.

Knowing more than one language is great, since it will help you lead a richer life and understand different countries, their cultures, history, and art. So don’t be afraid of challenges – go for it and you will never regret it! Good luck.

About the writer

Veronica Hunt is an edtech expert and an experienced blogger from Philadelphia, PA. As a blogger, she sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing, linguistics and psychology. Follow @VeronicaHuntt or find her on Facebook.

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