The benefits of learning two foreign languages should not be underestimated. Some studies show that individuals who study multiple languages together have different brain structures than those who study only one language. This allows them to improve memory, increase attention span, and build stronger cross-cultural relationships. Furthermore, engaging in this challenge can facilitate the growth of more advanced cognitive abilities.
On a personal level, speaking more than one language correctly can open up numerous opportunities in the professional field, especially commercial and tourism.
However, one wonders if trying your hand at two languages isn't too difficult and doesn't take too much time. Individuals who try this path are aware that it involves more effort and time, especially if you are not young.
Time is not a factor to be underestimated. For example, for a foreign student who is already attending summer English courses, it will be difficult to find the hours available for an Italian course.
Age is also a determining factor. For children already growing up in a bilingual environment, this is obviously easier and more natural. Not only for the learning ability, but also for the degree of immersion. Learning two languages as a child is feasible, less tiring and stimulating.
We come to the case of older students, for example teenagers. For them, learning two languages together is still feasible, as they are still young and have time on their hands. But why should they try? There are many reasons why they should.
It is possible that they want to study in one country and then pursue a career in another. Or they could nurture the aspiration of enrolling in a multilingual faculty at an institution abroad, such as those present in the Italian city of Bologna.
Whatever the reason, acquiring proficiency in more languages opens up a wider range of communication opportunities and provides a comprehensive intercultural insight. Also, exposure to media from different parts of the world can greatly broaden their general knowledge.
For students it is therefore a challenge that is worth trying, even if only as an exercise to stimulate memory. Acquiring the mastery of two languages in parallel is in fact a beneficial exercise for the mind. The alternance develops the cognitive faculties and favors a proactive and organized approach to general learning.
As you progress to more advanced levels of fluency, you will find that it can be a source of enjoyment. This process becomes even more enjoyable if you can find ways to savor it as you get better at it. The degree of satisfaction that can be drawn from it can be unique.
First of all, it is essential to make a careful selection of target languages. When trying to learn two languages at the same time, you spend twice as much time studying. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right pair and plan your schedule so that you have sufficient time for learning. Knowing how to organize yourself is important in order to dedicate the right energies and obtain results. Otherwise you risk doing everything in a hurry and accumulating stress rather than progress.
Furthermore, you could also consider spending some time abroad on a study holiday, a form of language immersion that allows you to learn a language in a short time. An English holiday is perfect for those who want to fully immerse themselves in learning the language. These holidays offer a unique opportunity for cultural discovery and study, allowing you to combine education with personal growth.
Experts suggest that knowing two languages at the same time can be facilitated by choosing a pair that belongs to the same stock. Linguistic groups of the same lineage share similar elements and patterns, having evolved from a common family. By choosing two options from the same language group, young people may find it easier to recognize and understand grammatical similarities and patterns. To help you in this process, we suggest pairings you can try.
If you are interested in learning German, you should know that it has a lot in common with English. In fact, both belong to the Germanic languages and share similar structures. However, it is important to note that German is considered to be one of the hardest languages to learn. But by combining it with English, you can make things easier. The good news is that English is the second language most learned by foreign students. Therefore, if you already know English, just focus a little more on German alone. Students can combine their summer English courses with some independent exercises on the second language, to see similarities and differences. They will quickly notice that the main difference is in the accent, as German is rather harsh compared to English.
Italian and Spanish are considered Latin languages and both derive from spoken Latin.
Learning Spanish together with Italian can be advantageous, as both share the same grammatical and lexical characteristics. Many words are similar. For example, the word lingua is translated into “idiomas” in Spanish and “idioma” in Italian. Compared to Spanish, Italian has a greater number of grammatical exceptions. Once students understand these rules, if they already know Spanish, it will be easier to progress.
Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, as well as one of the most studied. Those who already plan to take a Spanish course could combine it with an Italian course, perhaps in the summer, when you have more time available.
If you already speak some Dutch, learning German can be easier than it usually is. This is because they both have many similarities, as they belong to the same Germanic lineage.
However, if you don't speak either language, it's best to start with German. This will provide you with a foundation, making it easier for you to learn Dutch later on. By starting with German, you'll become familiar with the commonalities of both, and will be able to learn Dutch in less time. In addition to understanding the similarities between the two languages, learning German first will also help you with pronunciation. In fact, this language has a more complex system of sounds, which requires the right amount of time to be acquired.