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The question in the title is strongly shortened. In full-length it goes like this:

Do people who speak fluently two languages (which they have learned as a child) that are quite different from each other (e.g. German and Arabic) learn a third language as a foreign language which is quite different from the other two (e.g. Chinese) more easily than those who speak fluently only one language learn a second language as a foreign language?

  1. Is there evidence by studies?
  2. To which extent?
  3. Depending on age?

References to specific studies are welcome!

The question aims at linguistic universals (à la Chomsky), not at learning techniques.

migrated from linguistics.stackexchange.com Aug 27 '17 at 16:39

This question came from our site for professional linguists and others with an interest in linguistic research and theory.

  • 3
    Seeing the close votes, I would like to point out that the other question is more generic than this one. This question is specifically about three unrelated languages. The other question isn't so precise. – user800 Aug 27 '17 at 19:11
  • @ChristopheStrobbe In my opinion, the answer to the other question is still mostly applicable to this one. – fi12 Aug 29 '17 at 2:02
  • 1
    An amateur's opinion: an important step in learning a foreign language is to learn that the "obvious" way to express things is often wrong in other languages. And after the second language, esp. a quite different one, you already understand that. – Ralf Kleberhoff Sep 3 '17 at 18:56

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