Avarice is the root of all evils. We sometimes bite more than we can chew, but to be reckless does not guarantee success. You may end up yielding only half the result with twice the effort without meticulous planning. I want to thus give some advice on those who aspire to be fluent bilingual speakers, although these suggestions may also apply in other fields.
- Evaluating your language learning ability
The more you know about yourself, the better you can formulate your learning plan. Learning two languages simultaneously is undoubtedly a daunting task, and you will probably end up confounding one with another, if you do not learn them systematically. SVO pattern, generally regarded to be the threshold grammatical concept of all languages before going on to the next step, should be mastered well, or it will be excruciating for you to move on.
- Learning two languages from a different origin
I suggest, if you insist on learning two languages concurrently, that the two target languages have a different origin. The learning progress, as well as the level of difficulties, as I have mentioned in the previous entry, varies with the native language of the learners themselves. It is confusing, for example, to learn Italian and Spanish simultaneously because words, syntaxes and grammatical structures are surprisingly similar. A much better choice will thus be either the combination of French and Japanese, that of Italian and Korean, or Arabic and Chinese.
- Optimizing your schedule
Having decided to accept the challenge, you should devote more time and efforts to learning the two languages. My advice is to try preparing two separate sets of vocabulary cards, two groups of audio files and looking for a couple of language exchange partners. In my case, I spend every day learning French in the morning, and Japanese in the evening. Also, you are reminded that you will end up being less focused on each language.
- One language at a time
I don’t discourage you from being a polyglot, but the language mountain is easier to ascend if you try to learn one language at a come. For instance, you can try to attain an intermediate level in one language before starting another. Abiding by these little rules, I think, may lower your chance of getting mixed with both.
In conclusion, you should plan more meticulously before a decision on learning few languages concurrently, or you may end up getting nothing – a disastrous result nobody love to see.