Friday, September 3, 2010

Learning Italian through French, or a Third Language through a Second

BLOG "Jennie en France"
August 17th 2010

I’ve mentioned before that I find learning a third language using my second language much easier than using my native language. Currently, I am improving my Italian by using resources written in French rather than English. Switching from French to Italian takes much less effort than switching from English to Italian, and the same is true regarding German, so I’m reluctant to say it’s merely because of the genetic relatedness between French and Italian. Granted, learning two Romance languages together is probably easier than learning two unrelated languages for most people, but for me it’s more of a question of my second language having priority over my native language when other foreignlanguages are involved.

I found these two comments from Jennie's post interesting:

I would like to share my experience in learning foreign languages too as I do think languages from the same family can help understand the other better.
I am a Chinese, graduated with a Japanese major in college. My best friend is Korean so I started self-learning Korean a while ago. I do find out that the books written in Japanese are easier to understand than those written in Chinese or English.
Right now, I'm working in an European company which most staff speak either French or German. As I am going to a company training in Luxembourg soon, I just started learning French. I feel lucky that I took an elementary Spanish class in college, which does help me a lot in learning French! The concept of masculine and feminine word, the conjugation in verbs, and the use of pronouns are quite similar between the two. Although French is still very hard for me, I am doing better than most of my classmates.

I'm currently learning Japanese, which will be (hopefully) my 4th language. I'm mainly using resources in L3 (Korean) and I find that it makes learning Japanese more interesting! Also, Korean and Japanese have alot of similarities in terms of language and using Korean resources does help. At the same time, I can also improve and make use of my L3.

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