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Portuguese after 3 roman languages

  Tags: Portuguese
 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
37 messages over 5 pages: 1 2 3 4 5  Next >>
guiguixx1
Octoglot
Senior Member
Belgium
guillaumelp.wordpres
Joined 2202 days ago

163 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Esperanto, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Polish, Mandarin

 
 Message 1 of 37
05 April 2015 at 6:47pm | IP Logged 
A friend of mine can lend me some portuguese materials (an Assimil and another book,
but he didn't tell me more. I'm going to see him tomorrow). Since I am meeting maaany
people, mainly from Brazil, I thought that I could give it a try. Since I speak French
as a native language, Spanish (level getting rather close to B2, I don't really know)
and Italian (level getting close to B1, if not already B1, I don't really know),
although there is still a risk of mixing them up (I had some experience with
Italian+Spanish), I still want to try. If I realize I just can't, then I'll stop.
I am thus fishing for advice. To those who also speak French/Spanish/Italian, and have
also experience with Portuguese, is there any shortcut, any podcast, or other things
that might help me? I am aiming at A1, or more if I can (although I doubt it, since I
have until end of the month). After that, I want to be able to keep on using it with a
very basic level, with my friends. I thus just want to get the grip of it, of its
grammar (although it seems so close to Spanish at first sight), and get used to its
pronounciation.

Any advice?

NB: in the meantime, I plan on keeping working on my other languages, mainly by
speaking and reading

Edited by guiguixx1 on 05 April 2015 at 6:48pm

1 person has voted this message useful



nystagmatic
Triglot
Groupie
Brazil
Joined 2419 days ago

47 posts - 58 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, French
Studies: German

 
 Message 2 of 37
06 April 2015 at 4:18am | IP Logged 
I'm not speaking from experience, but you'll probably be able to infer enough of the language to comfortably jump right into L-R (see also) or MarcoDiAngelo's "best method ever" (see also).
1 person has voted this message useful



Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 4171 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 3 of 37
06 April 2015 at 2:06pm | IP Logged 
If you plan on learning Portuguese or Spanish to a greater extent later on, I'd advise against it.

When you're learning Romance languages, you must be aware of interferences: French and Italian, Italian and Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and (perhaps the worst) Portuguese and Spanish. And then there's Romanian, Catalan, Galician, etc. Un truc de ouf. ;)

I speak all four, and started as a native of one. Fortunately, it took a long time to acquire the others: very intense exposure to French in two significant periods, giving it firm roots; long and continuous exposure to Spanish, permitting it to gradually take hold; and finally, a very well sustained learning period with Italian, building it on solid (and separate) foundations. I hope this curriculum vitae was not too boring. :)

You basically have two options: (1) you "give it a try" now, as you put it, and risk speaking Portunhol (*) for the rest of your life; or (2) wait until tour Spanish takes hold and then learn Portuguese properly.

(*) Portunhol (or Portuñol): a cocktail of languages spoken by hundreds of millions of persons in both the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. If you are native to either Portuguese or Spanish, chances are you speak the other one using this formula. Very, very hard to unlearn.
5 persons have voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2162 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 4 of 37
06 April 2015 at 3:20pm | IP Logged 
I support Luso's recommendations.

Since my French is C2, I found that learning some basic Spanish and Italian (first one, then the other) not too difficult. However, while my knowledge of French provided a solid point of reference for learning these two languages, I was constantly confronted with the problem of interference "between" Spanish and Italian. Then, I added Portuguese to the mix.   Since my Spanish and Italian were somewhere in the A2-B1 range, I had "just enough" of these two languages to extend the phenomenon of interference to all three of them. What a mess! Ultimately, I decided to postpone my attempts at learning Portuguese until my Spanish and Italian had improved to at least a very solid B2 level.

If you still want to attempt Portuguese, you might wish to consider the relevant programmes at FSI Languages. I found the short From Spanish to Portuguese course to be quite useful for highlighting the differences between the two languages. Also, while there are differences of usage and pronunciation between Iberian Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, you might wish to try the Portuguese Programmatic course. The "programmatic" method of learning is no longer in vogue and it takes a bit of time to adapt to it. However, the FSI Portuguese Programmatic course is well conceived. If you try this course, I suggest that you complete at least the first ten Units before deciding to put it aside (the first four or five Units might seem a little strange, at first, but they are a necessary step in the learning process. The subsequent Units are more conventional).
2 persons have voted this message useful



guiguixx1
Octoglot
Senior Member
Belgium
guillaumelp.wordpres
Joined 2202 days ago

163 posts - 207 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Esperanto, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Polish, Mandarin

 
 Message 5 of 37
06 April 2015 at 3:49pm | IP Logged 
I understand your point of view, from the 2 of you.
@Speakeasy, Since my Spanish is around the B2 (although low B2), and my Italian is
around the B1, do you still think it is so dangerous?

Another question that I would have for the 2 of you: did you work fully, and for long
periods of time (at least a year or 2), before learning the next roman language?
I actually began learning Spanish last year. Thus, I began a year and a half ago,
although I took a break of about 4-5 months when reaching B1 (end of august, until
quite recently, but I kept practicing it from time to time, and my ease at using the
language rose a bit in the meantime). Then, in end october, I began working on Italian,
but worked on it more seriously from February on. I thus have a bit less than 6 months
of practice.
Since I found that portuguese was closer to Spanish, I thought that my Spanish was
strong enough. I was thus probably wrong?
1 person has voted this message useful



Speakeasy
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2162 days ago

456 posts - 1067 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 6 of 37
06 April 2015 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
Hi quiquixx1,

Ultimately, your own experiences will provide the answers your questions concerning interference. That is, since we react as "individuals" to similar situations, our individual experiences can be quite different from one another. From my own experiences, I suspect that you are "on the cusp" of experiencing interference between your present levels of Spanish and Italian and your attempts at learning Portuguese. However, we should not over-dramatize the situation. If you enjoy the learning experience and can accommodate yourself to the discomfort or mild confusion, then, by all means, proceed! I can still recall my 10th Grade Mathematics Teacher's standard reply whenever I asked him a question: "you just think about it a little more." I hated it at the time, but he was right. So, just think about it a little more!

As to your second question, I spent about two years learning some Spanish, followed by another two years of learning Italian. In both cases, I spent most of my time trying to advance my German, while Spanish and Italian were pleasant diversions. I began to experience the frustration of interference when I attempted, in a concentrated effort, to advance my Spanish and Italian simultaneously. At no time did I experience interference from my knowledge of French. As an aside, I experienced a similar problem of interference when switching back-and-forth between German and Dutch, even though my German is a fairly solid B2+.

It is quite possible that my experiences are well outside of the norm. For example, even though English is my mother tongue, and even though my French is C2+, whenever someone asks me, in either French or English "how do you say ...", I experience something of linguistic "court circuit". Je reste bouche bée and it takes quite some time for my mind to re-engage. I have even found myself replying in German to someone who addresses me in Italian! Now, while this is not a matter of interference, it does speak to some underlying difficulty in switching between languages.
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4707 days ago

9753 posts - 15775 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 7 of 37
06 April 2015 at 6:08pm | IP Logged 
Luso is much more experienced than me in the languages in question, but I'll offer my opinion nevertheless.

You're basically asking two questions:
-shall I add one more language?
-shall I study Portuguese?

First, let me post my wikia article again. It's about any simultaneous learning, but much of it is based on my experience with the Romance languages. A key factor I mentioned there is that you can choose to learn only passively, and then activate it when needed. Also, Prof Argüelles mentioned that he learned Portuguese through a lot of conversation practice, where he started out blatantly speaking Portuñol and eventually became fluent, of course with some other learning on the side and eventually reading etc. He later repeated that with a Scandinavian language, I forgot which one but I think Norwegian after Swedish. Of course he already had a lot of experience with linguistics/philology, he might have even been doing postgrad studies by that point.

One more thing is that when a language is extremely similar to your native one, like Belarusian/Ukrainian for me or Spanish for Luso, you get a lot more vocab for free (also through the uncommon/old-fashioned words you barely use but know), but it's also much harder to "unlearn" the grammar. I've found the Spanish and Polish grammar much easier than the Belarusian one (and I'm not even trying to speak or write in Ukrainian).

Basically, I think the experiences of Luso (and for example Expugnator) take Spanish passive skills for granted, but you don't have those passive skills in Portuguese. I think you'll have a lot of fun if you learn to understand Brazilian people but speak normal Spanish in return. They'll understand you for sure. And this shouldn't damage your Spanish.

Besides, reading from the beginning is highly underrated. Despite what I said about the similarity, I do think that I would be more confident about the grammar if I read as much Belarusian as Spanish (which isn't even all that much either).

I agree that LR is a great idea. With B1 in Portuguese, I also found GLOSS and lyricstraining really useful for my Spanish (these sites have materials for both languages). Spanish is also a relatively recent addition to my "speaks" list, so I wrote about my learning here in my log (and on the next page too). Sometimes I just couldn't resist using the awesome materials that are not available for European Portuguese, but most of them are available for Brazilian. (apart from legal paid e-books. but I've been able to buy some from wook.pt)

Edited by Serpent on 06 April 2015 at 6:11pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 4171 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 8 of 37
06 April 2015 at 7:47pm | IP Logged 
guiguixx1 wrote:
@Speakeasy, Since my Spanish is around the B2 (although low B2), and my Italian is around the B1, do you still think it is so dangerous?

This is not addressed at me, but I'll answer anyway: advanced Italian is very similar to advanced Portuguese (and, I guess, advanced Spanish). So, you risk a lot of interference, not only from Spanish, but also from Italian.

guiguixx1 wrote:
Another question that I would have for the 2 of you: did you work fully, and for long periods of time (at least a year or 2), before learning the next roman language?

Yes. A lot more, even. I'd say maybe a decade per language.

guiguixx1 wrote:
Since I found that portuguese was closer to Spanish, I thought that my Spanish was strong enough. I was thus probably wrong?

I can't say that. Maybe you can separate the two. Maybe you're being modest. Maybe your method is good.

There's a lot of people in this forum that can do it without any major problems. Some swallow Slavic or Scandinavian languages like potato chips. A few are even tackling a lot of Turkic ones.

My point is: as a Romance native speaker, you have an advantage. You can learn a handful of popular languages at a discount. Right now you seem to be juggling two at an intermediate level. Do you want to risk overextending yourself at this point? You may be jeopardising your current ones.


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