I just cleared another group of exercises on Duolingo. I’m hooked. I can finally admit that over the past year I’ve gotten somewhat of a language addiction. I confess I’m even thinking of adding Mandarin and Spanish as I write this.
It started with Norwegian. I spent the summer of 2016 living in Norway, with my ex. I was there for ninety days and didn’t really learn much. I found so many people spoke English that it was hard to learn, or even hear, Norwegian. So when my ex reached out to me, now in California, to ask me to compete with them on Duolingo I knew just the language to pick.
I started out with single exercises a day but quickly upped my daily requirement. I told myself I could stop anytime I want. There’s something very satisfying about learning things. And there’s something satisfying about pushing your limits.
One limit that presented itself to me was the ability to pronounce new vowel sounds that I’ve never really had to pay attention to. In this way, studying Norsk became like studying sound and voice. And I wanted to expand this. If my voice is capable of other sounds, what else is out there?
So, then there was French! I was intrigued to learn to make even more sounds and found French to be the best choice. I’ve always wanted to be able to pronounce, with confidence, French words and phrases. The only thing was the question of whether or not learning two languages at once was wise. And I think it is.
Americans are too uptight about language. They overprotect and plan around the like they were suburban soccer kids. To most Americans languages are these far away tongues immaterial to their lives. But the rest of the world is surrounded by different languages.
European kids grow up in a multilingual environment and it is from that chaos that fluency arises. It’s not that Europeans learn languages /in spite/ of being in a multilingual soup. It’s /because/ of all the noise that they’re able to discern more patterns and connection. One doesn’t ask a musician to put down their guitar and /only/ play piano until they’re a master. Learning multiple languages at once, I hypothesize, is preferable.
I’ve now added Chinese. And I’m thinking about adding Spanish. I just can’t get enough. I’ve made it far enough with Norsk that I’m actually looking for a language exchange partner, or coach, to work with. So far it seems multiple languages hasn’t created a problem. Im interested to know if anyone else found multiple languages easier that they are by themselves. .. @_honeynymph http://honeynymph.net