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Two similar languages, is it a bad idea?

 Language Learning Forum : Advice Center Post Reply
primosanchez
Diglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 4386 days ago

32 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 1 of 7
2015 December 30 at 2:16pm | IP Logged 
what would you recommend as a method to maintain some ability in one while focusing
mostly on the other?

I learned Spanish growing up. Never became truly fluent but could have non-advanced
conversations no problem. I since married someone who speaks Portuguese and then
started focusing mostly on that language.

Now my Portuguese is decent, still not as good as my Spanish used to be but I can have
somewhat normal conversations.

However, we're now moving to a Spanish speaking country so I need to get back to
Spanish. I tried having a conversation the other day and I still retained most of it,
but I spoke much slower and Portuguese words snuck in here and there.

Long story short, I need to get my Spanish to a good level (preferably low level
advanced) but definitely want to still be able to speak Portuguese with my wife.

Bad idea? Sure, but what technique do you think would help the most? Keep them
separated, study Spanish on my own and still talk to my wife in Portuguese? Spanish 5
days a week, Portuguese 2?

Appreciate any ideas

Edited by Fasulye on 2016 January 19 at 9:39pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4677 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 2 of 7
2015 December 30 at 2:33pm | IP Logged 
See this wikia article.

You need to learn to switch between them, so don't artificially keep them separate. Be sure to watch movies or other stuff in Portuguese with your wife. Make sure she understands it's important for you not to speak Portuñol (she probably won't correct you much if at all).

If you have any interest in linguistics, learning more about how Spanish and Portuguese developed from Latin should help. I really like the book "Spanish vocabulary: an etymological approach" which has a lot of examples from Portuguese too.
4 persons have voted this message useful



primosanchez
Diglot
Newbie
United States
Joined 4386 days ago

32 posts - 32 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish

 
 Message 3 of 7
2016 January 04 at 12:20pm | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
See
this
wikia article.


You need to learn to switch between them, so don't artificially keep them separate. Be
sure to watch movies or other stuff in Portuguese with your wife. Make sure she
understands it's important for you not to speak Portuñol (she probably won't correct
you much if at all).

If you have any interest in linguistics, learning more about how Spanish and
Portuguese developed from Latin should help. I really like the book "Spanish
vocabulary: an etymological approach" which has a lot of examples from Portuguese too.


Thanks for the link. I feel like I need to keep them artificially separated in order
to not mix words, but we'll see.
1 person has voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4677 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 4 of 7
2016 January 04 at 2:29pm | IP Logged 
By artificial I mostly meant separating by the day of the week, which limits your chances to practise them. It's fine to associate them with different colours, places or whatever if you don't overdo it. Much like with mnemonics, these associations should eventually just create your Spanish or Portuguese "feeling".
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3246 days ago

3334 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 5 of 7
2016 January 05 at 12:57pm | IP Logged 
Try writing some short texts/paragraphs about the same subjects (it can be yourself, daily life) in both languages alternately. You can start once with Spanish and then write Portuguese, next time start with Portuguese to avoid one language influencing the other all the time.
2 persons have voted this message useful



hulk___smash
Newbie
United Kingdom
fsi-language-courses
Joined 1353 days ago

2 posts - 5 votes
Speaks: Portuguese

 
 Message 6 of 7
2016 January 05 at 5:04pm | IP Logged 
I learnt Brazilian Portuguese after living in Brazil for two years. I've been in
Medellin, Colombia for 6 months now and i'm still having problems separating the
languages.

However, while learning Spanish, I make sure to practice Portuguese with a tutor once
a week here in Colombia. Its a real mental strain to switch between the two languages,
but constant practice is making this easier.

I don't have any real problems remembering what words belong to what language. It's
just a case of Portuguese words slipping into Spanish conversations. I recognize the
error, acknowledge it and move on.

Practice with both languages at the same time is a must. Its getting easier and
easier, the fact that its hard to do, I see as a good thing...i'm learning.
1 person has voted this message useful



Medulin
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Croatia
Joined 2748 days ago

1199 posts - 2192 votes 
Speaks: Croatian*, English, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Norwegian, Hindi, Nepali

 
 Message 7 of 7
2016 January 06 at 1:31pm | IP Logged 
Basically, you need good Pt-Sp dictionaries like this one:


http://tinyurl.com/dicbrptsp

It is a small dictionary to learn from (and not exactly a reference dictionary to look up words from),
with a strong focus on differences and false friends between Spanish and Portuguese.

Edited by Medulin on 2016 January 06 at 1:35pm



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