Episode 173

Keep Saying YES To a New Language


March 2nd, 2020

38 mins 35 secs

Your Host

About this Episode

It is difficult to learn several languages together. You may forget some, you may lose some, BUT hey you’re learning more than one language.

In this Q&A episode I answer a question from the wonderful Elizabeth:

When did you know you were ready to start Mandarin? And how do you keep your Welsh healthy, happy and well-fed? What does a two language study routine look like for you?

In my answer, I'll take you on a trip through my language love life featuring English, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Polish, Icelandic, Luxembourgish, Welsh, Russian, and Chinese.

6 Tips for Starting Another Foreign Language

Tip 1: Teach your previous language. That way you will never lose it and you’ll actually get extremely solid knowledge.

Tip 2: Keep saying YES, don’t worry so much about losing skills or levels. It's all part of life. You can get them back really quickly whenever you need to.

Tip 3: Use that interference when it comes up - it's your brain helping you with extra vocab.

Tip 4: Get to a point of “solidification”- for me it’s roughly B1, but ultimately it’s a gut feeling. When it’s a dabble, you’ll lose it. When it’s solid, you won’t.

Tip 5: Do intensive re-familiarisation weeks where you only study and practice your previous language. In country, out of country, in conversation. Weeks where you are rubbish at the start and better at the end. They boost your results!!

Tip 6: Have fun!!!! If you forget a language along the way, that is not a big deal. You don’t have to be so serious and it’s not like money. With languages, you get to have a serious go at playing.

Thank you to Katie Harrison for this episode introduction.

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