Your 3rd Language: Why It’s Easier Than Your 2nd
Learning a foreign language is hard work but it can also be great fun. Some people enjoy the experience so much that they decide to then go on and learn a third language. This might sound a bit daunting at first but it needn’t be something to be terrified of. Let’s check out some of the main reasons why it could be easier than learning a second language.
Get into the Habit
Studying is a habit which you can get into after a while. This appears to be especially true when it comes to languages, as you can get into the habit of finding interesting things to read and listen to all the time. Once you start to learn new words from a variety of different sources you will realise that it is an exciting thing to do and be keen to do more of. This means that you will begin to see a lot of different ways to keep learning; with the television, on the Internet, with books, through music. By the time you start on your third language this should be something you do naturally to complement the rest of your learning methods.
Find Common Words
Even more of a help when you move onto to learning another tongue is the fact that you have more chance of finding common words to help you out. This is obviously going to be most likely when you study similar languages, such as those from the Romance group. Let’s say that you are a native English speaker who learns Spanish and then Italian. You will find that in Italian there are plenty of words you already know from English, such as the loan words we use for things like food and musical expressions. However, you will also come across words which are similar to some you have learned in Spanish. This might sound as though it could get confusing but the human brain is smart enough to let us pick up new words and store them in the right place, rather than confuse the languages.
One of the most difficult things about learning a foreign language for the first time is that it is something of a step into the unknown. You get embarrassed by the sound of your voice saying strange words and you get downhearted when you make simple mistakes. When you move onto your second foreign language you will still make mistakes and feel awkward at times but you know that things will get better after a while. Having done it before and studied another tongue means that you will be more confident about eventually learning this one well too.
Learning a third language can be even more exciting and rewarding than learning a second one. What combination of foreign languages do you think would most enhance your life and career prospects?