Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Anybody actively studying another language as well as Chinese?


Recommended Posts

I had to learn French as I was born and lived in Montreal, Canada till I moved to the UK when I was 15.


I think it doesn't matter what other languages you are learning or have learnt. It shows a passion/adeptness of languages.


If you have learnt or are learning other languages you should have a good idea how to go about it and the ability to apply yourself.


Its a bit like a degree, its not just what you have learnt that matters to the employer but more to the point it shows you can apply yourself to the 2/3 years or even longer task of working to the end goal of a degree.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

On 9/23/2019 at 4:06 AM, DavyJonesLocker said:

Do you find any synergy doing this or does it negatively affect both language learning ability?

When I was actively studying other languages alongside Chinese (viz Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Spanish and Russian all more or less at the same time) any useful reinforcement was between  related languages only. However, the regular switch from one language to another did at least bring refreshment in the form of variety.


I did have moments when I inadvertently lapsed into Spanish when the right Chinese word didn't come to mind, but this only happened when I was trying to speak; as you'd expect, reading, writing and listening were unaffected.


15 hours ago, 889 said:

I'm surprised you'd make that remark. That's how those who haven't studied the language usually view Chinese.

My perception of the labour involved in learning characters may put me in a minority among people who have studied Chinese as a foreign language (I doubt whether it does, actually, particularly when you include learners who, like me, took up Chinese long before the advent of digital learning resources); if it does, I'm more than content to belong to that minority when it includes such distinguished company as the following:




Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

One of the reasons for my post is that I wonder what the future holds for me in China. I am not convinced I can or would stay here for many years to come. Japan appeals me greatly but it would a great shame to lose the chinese given the thousands of hours i have put in and not to mention the financial cost (i.e. lack of a income )



Oh, trust me, you'll have plenty of opportunities to speak Chinese in Japan, especially if you're planning to live in Tokyo. I don't think I've gone a day without encountering Chinese people in months (and not counting deliberate encounters). There are tons of Chinese people living here, and even more, it seems, here as tourists at any given time. And there's work to be had here for Westerners who speak Chinese, depending on your field of work and level of Chinese. Luxury retail, for example—I was once offered a good, high-paying job at an upscale department store, without even interviewing, just because someone vouched for my Chinese ability and "previous retail experience." Uhhh...I was a store manager at a Hollister factory outlet 10+ years ago—not exactly selling Jaeger-LeCoultre. I turned it down, of course, because I have a dictionary to finish. :)


That being said, my spoken Chinese has regressed a bit since moving here, because I haven't actively been seeking out opportunities to speak Chinese. So you do have to go after it actively if you want to stave off language degeneration.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

How do you guys compare the 3 ( French, Chinese, Japanese) in terms of difficulty ?


The US Foreign Service Institute estimates that it will take the typical English speaker the following amounts of time to reach "general professional proficiency":

  • French - 600 hours
  • Chinese - 2200 hours
  • Japanese - 2200 hours
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, NinjaTurtle said:

I had to completely block out French in my brain in order to study Japanese.


What does "block out" mean in this context?  I think this gets to the crux of the matter.


Did you actively avoid hearing/speaking/reading French during this time, or do you have a technique that helps you avoid French words springing to mind when you're working in another language?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Shelley said:

It shows a passion/adeptness of languages.


Yes I think we probably all find that the more languages we try to learn, the better we get. Because we adopt strategies that work for us, and we are more able to accept language principles that were previously alien to us.


For example, the first time an English speaker learns a language with SOV word order. You have to re-wire your brain a bit.  (This is one of the bits I enjoy most!)

Similarly, first time you encounter a writing system which is not your own, you have to work hard to learning the new system. 


I think it does get a bit easier the more languages you learn. Because you become adept at learning new languages.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2019 at 11:10 PM, mungouk said:

What does "block out" mean in this context?

I'm guessing he means something like the following -


I lived in Latin America for a while and did interpreting in the US. I haven't spoken Spanish regularly in about a year in a half. Every once in a while, I'll meet a Spaniard or someone from Latin America and try to jump right back in to Spanish. On at least two occasions, I accidentally added a 吗 at the end of a question out of habit. I then was talking about how often I go to study Chinese, and used the "every week one two time" structure as opposed to the "once or twice a week". 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

On at least two occasions, I accidentally added a 吗 at the end of a question out of habit. I then was talking about how often I go to study Chinese, and used the "every week one two time" structure as opposed to the "once or twice a week". 

So that's L2-L3 interference then. 

I thought "block out" meant he has some way of preventing the interference.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...