Russian and Japanese

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Sep 10, 2009, 8:29:33 AM9/10/09
to Huliganov and friends
Has anyone here tried to learn two languages at once? I know that this
had been considered already in others forum throughout the internet;
however, I am not looking for suggestion ... I would like to know your
personal experiences.

This is the deal! I am learning Russian, my motivation is extremely
high and I have a good study method setup already. But surfing the net
I came along with Japanese, and the same aspects that motivate me to
study Russian are the ones to intrigue me about Japanese. Moreover,
much to my surprise when I mentioned to my wife she told me that she
has been looking into it for months, together with my kids. Even my
kids know a few words in Japanese already, and all these from watching
a few videos in YouTube.

I am not planning to drop Russian; however, I was thinking in adding
Japanese to the melting pot. I will make it a family affair, you know
making it fun. So, if you have tried and succeeded or failed please
let me know your insides, issues, goals, failings, etc. I would like
to know what are up to!


Sep 10, 2009, 1:49:16 PM9/10/09
to Huliganov and friends
Do you have a job? :)

Geez, this seems like quit a daunting undertaking. It would seem to me
that it would be infinitely easier to learn something similar to


Steve Reaves

Sep 10, 2009, 1:31:30 PM9/10/09
I have a BA in Classical Greek from the University of Texas at Austin.  While attending UT in addition to Greek, I studied Latin, Hebrew and Russian.  Almost every semester I had courses in two different languages.  It was challenging but manageable.  A couple of semesters I studied three languages at once.  I found this to be very difficult.  Once the basics are learned, it is not so bad to work on several languages at the same time.  Most days now I study Greek, Hebrew, Old English, sometimes Russian and Latin.  At the beginning, however,  when one is trying to commit so much to memory, 3 at once is quite hard.
There are some who, by their situation, are exposed to many languages at once and seem to learn them fairly well (the Swiss, for example).  When one is learning on one's own, however, without the benefit of immersion, it can be very challenging.  I would say that studying two at once is not unmanageable, but of course the time devoted to each will take away from the other.

From: lepensuer <>
To: Huliganov and friends <>
Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 7:29:33 AM
Subject: Russian and Japanese


Sep 20, 2009, 10:34:10 AM9/20/09
to Huliganov and friends
Let me first start with saying that Japanese is an extremely intensive
language. Not only must you learn the 2 alphabets (Hiragana &
Katakana), 1000+ standard usage Kanji characters, their writing
strokes (for faster, more effective writing), their Chinese/compound
readings (Onyomi) and Japanese/singular readings (Kunyomi), honorific
grammar system(s) called Keigo (Sonkeigo, Kensongo & Teineigo), but
also the general opposite sentence/grammar structure from Russian.

I have learned Japanese for about 6 years until I stopped recently; I
lost interest and starting learning Slavic languages. Slavic languages
and Japanese, by the way, are the most difficult languages for English
speakers to learn, due to their intensiveness and differences. Your
learning of both of these languages will be a truly daunting task,
because as I have experienced, Japanese is a career in itself - you
must review CONSTANTLY or you will forget the little annoying things.
But, if you have the passion, and the time, you can do anything.

You may have noticed that the Japanese Particles are sometimes viewed
as Cases. I never learned it like this, but as far as learning Russian
at the same time, this may help keep your transition between the two
languages consistent and less confusing. Learning Japanese is requires
more understanding of the culture since the notion of politeness and
honour plays an integral part. Also, the idea of context plays a role
in Japanese more so than any language there is. What may be friendly
towards someone, may be rude to someone of higher standing (the
opposite applies with a certain amount of arrogance), and what may
seem like a statement about someone else (due to lack of use of
certain pronouns or subjects), may be a statement about themselves...
and the instances go on and on. So Japanese requires more attention to
politeness and context than Russian. I would not say that Russian is a
rude language at all, just that Russian does not go out of its way to
be polite and respect a person of a certain standing.

However, of course, you may choose to learn and teach your children
Japanese at a certain pace which slowly introduces them to these
complex ideas later in your and your children's learning. But in order
to live in Japan (working in a workplace), these concepts play a
critical role to integration within their culture. I am welcoming you
to learn both languages at once, but do not come into it thinking that
you will master each language in 5 years or so - they both take a very
high level of intensity. I may suggest you will be able to accomplish
more, quicker by learning one language at a time.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.


Sep 20, 2009, 11:03:49 AM9/20/09
to Huliganov and friends
I'm learning Czech and Japanese. With my Goldlist Method it works
Nihongo-wa muzukashii desukara, watashi-wa Nihongo ga yozu de nai
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