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How many languages do you think someone can really be fluent in or reach complete fluency in?

Is there really a set number the brain can learn? I hear it gets easier to learn languages once you’ve learned one- but does your memory not grow tired? How many languages could one actively learn simultaneously? I'm currently learning two languages at the same time, but I really am considering adding yet another one on top of that. What do you think? Especially for regular 9-5 working people, realistically speaking. I want to be able to know 4 or 5 languages at native level at most throughout my life and just maintain that. Understanding classic literature, being able to write fairly well (blog posts, creative writing, etc), understanding most of the things you hear and being able to speak as well as a native. I currently only know English and Swedish and a bit of French. I know it’s not a particularly good idea(albeit tempting) to jump into another language already or even thinking about it and I won’t jump into anything until I’m fluent in French. I’m considering learning Dutch and Italian later. Is it feasible to learn and maintain these languages in the way in which I described? Do you reckon I’ll mess up and mix up the languages a lot? Are there any other complications I may encounter? How many languages do you consider to be the 'sweet spot' for long term? On average, how much time per day do you use to actively study a new language? What about passively? And for those who are fluent in a second language; how long did it take to reach fluency? I spent between 10 minutes to 3+ hours a day for a whole year on Duolingo trying to learn Spanish but was unsuccessful. Often I would feel burnt out after spending so many hours a day and still feeling like I was getting nowhere. I think my biggest problem is my own psyche when it comes to knowing how much I'll mess up when I try speaking the little bit I do know. For those learning French and native French speakers; What are some of the more popular podcasts, youtube channels, twitch streams, books, etc. that you have found the most beneficial or entertaining? Every time I look up French podcast it is always a "repeat after me" type of learning podcast, but I don't want that. Did you study a language in school? Did it work?
In the previous thread discussing language achievement, I kept reading stories about people who got good grades while studying French and Spanish, and somehow ended up not understanding a word of either afterwards. This reminded me of an anecdote from the man behind the Hustler's MBA, talking about his time studying Japanese at Stanford. He claimed that free online websites were a hugely more efficient way of studying Japanese than the method used at Stanford, making me wonder what was so poor about the technique used at Stanford. Given that there free and effective ways of learning languages, how does even Stanford keep failing to do so? What about language learning as done schools and colleges make them fail so badly? Is there something about language learning that is extremely unsuited to classroom teaching, or do people just accept a system working as poorly as it's clearly doing? How many of you have successfully learned a language through self study? I've met tons and tons of people who start up duolingo, or take a summer class or two, and never get anywhere. Lots of people get bored, give up, or study little bits of many languages and never achieve utility in one. The only people I know who successfully learned a foreign language on their own were either: Already reasonably proficient in an L2, so they sort of already knew how to go about language study (so they learned their L3 on their own but not their L2), in an immersion environment. So anyways, if you successfully taught yourself an L2 and don't fall into those previous two camps...share your stories! Especially if you're American, because I've never met an American who taught themselves their L2 (they have to exist though...). Also, I realize successfully is a subjective term...let's just say to a level where you could have lengthy conversations with a native speaker, watch the news, read a book for enjoyment, etc. Do most students really become fluent in a new language after taking it for four years in university? When you major in a language in university, you are expected to go from beginner in first year to analyzing a novel in fourth year. Does this system of education really ensure that students graduate with fluency skills in their language? How many languages are you fluent in? How many were you made to learn?
Language. On the Internet, Americans (or really any Anglophone) can get the impression that Europeans are all polyglots and that all are fluent in at least 3-4 languages. I do know that learning languages is a requirement, (usually 2 I think), and that Europe is much better about language learning than the USA. But you aren’t all trilingual/polyglots, right? (No education system can be that good.) What languages could you never learn? That’s not what I’m asking. What number of languages are you fluent in? What degree of fluency would you say you've attained in each of them? Are you currently learning a language, and thinking of picking up another to learn at the same time? Or maybe you just want to start learning two languages simultaneously? Some might think that this is a bad idea because you can’t put your full efforts into each language, and you could get confused and mix them up. The logical result is sub-par abilities in both languages. When do you study? How many words will you learn in a day? What keeps you motivated? What do you use to memorize vocabulary? What is your language learning schedule / habits like? I've studied multiple languages in my life, but never got good at any of then (partly, I now believe, because I studied so many concurrently without mastering any of them). I don't want to repeat my mistake, but I'm also not sure how good I need to get at the L2 before returning to the L3. Thoughts on this? People who learned multiple languages, how exactly did you approach that? Most often I would come across people on this sub that know multiple foreign languages. How many years did it take you to become fluent in multiple languages? How exactly did you approach that problem? Did you learn one completely and then started another? I often see interpreters that know 4 or 5 European languages. How long does it take to achieve that? For anyone who speaks more than 2 languages: how do you maintain/keep improving the ones you've achieved (relative) fluency in when starting yet another language? Do you start to have difficulty maintaining your previous languages? Why do so many move on to new languages after reaching B2/C1? In studying German, I've watched several youtube channels of Americans who make it to B2 or C1 in German, with good accents and good overall command of the language. But at the same time you can see that they have a ways to go to be at the C2 level. And then they all seem to move on to other languages, judging by their channels. This seems like a very common story, and one I don't fully understand. I'm probably C1 in my comprehension level in German and B2 in my speaking, and after all the work I've put into getting this far, the last thing I want to do is start over in a new language. It might take me 3 more years to make it from C1 to C2, but I plan to stick with it.
NCCindy · 31-35, F Best Comment
I know a several people who are quite fluent in two.

I have a very basic ability to speak in 3 beyond my native tongue (English) and admire anyone who can do even more than one fluently.

The biggest thing is having the opportunity to practice. In Europe, going from country to country is no big deal, it's like going from state to state in the US. I have had two occasions to visit another country frequently ... France and China, and in both cases, towards the end of it, my fluency in both languages was noticeably better.

That said, a couple of years later, I've forgotten a lot.

DeWayfarer · 61-69, M
Sorry only read the first paragraph. It's a matter of age really.

My father learned seven well enough to interpret before the age of 16 when he had to go to trade school.

In czechoslovakia all kids had to learn four different languages.

In fact he actually had interpreted between two germans in Italy just after the war.

One spoke high German the other low German. The vocabulary is different. High German is now mostly taught now so there's little problems. Yet not in 1945.
Helloeveryone · 56-60, F
Many couldn't even master the first lingo show..
You seem smart

 
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