Dabbling with languages

When studying one language you may sometimes feel the urge to find out more about other languages. These might be languages related to the language you’re learning, or completely different languages. This is something you could call linguistic dabbling or flirting – an activity you engage in while remaining loyal to one language.

If you try to read something or listen to something in a language closely related to the one you’re learning, you might be surprised by how much you can understand. For example, if you’re learning Spanish and you try to read Portuguese or Italian you will probably be able to make some sense of them.

If you dabble with an unrelated language there will probably be very little you can understand, but if you’re listening to a news report, for example, the names of people and places, and international words will give you some clues to what’s going on.

Apart from being an interesting exercise and challenge, after dabbling with other languages your main language will seem much easier in comparison. So it can be a good way to motivate yourself.