~Italian (as spoken by a Spanish-speaker)~
Here's another funny story, which I just posted in a different thread, but it really belongs here.
When I first moved to Rome from Madrid, I knew very little Italian. Often I could insert Spanish words when I didn't know the Italian ones, and be understood. But that didn't always work.
Once, when I was in the University of Rome, a gentleman approached me and asked me where the History Department was.
I said, "Non lo so; lo sento."
I meant, "No lo sé; lo siento." (I don't know; I'm sorry.)
But what I'd actually said was, "I don't know; I hear it..."
I realized immediately what I had said, but I had no idea how to correct myself. I was just paralyzed. (A horrible experience of impotence!)
So, I just stood there, looking into his eyes, as his face clearly registered the fact that I was clearly a crazy person. Nuts! Someone who "hears" places...
First off: I know that confusion of words and grammar often occurs between Romance languages. This is a well-known fact and quite common among learners.
The question is especially directed rather at people who know, let's say, at least three Romance languages (I don't). By "know" I mean that they are at, at least, an intermediate level in learning those three Romance languages.
My question is: How do you handle/avoid confusion between the languages. This question leads to my real question: Is it (or How is it) possible to learn maybe 4, 5, 6 or even more Romance languages?
Personally, I would love to do so (in good time) but I'm a bit concerned about the possible risk of confusion and maybe finally messing up all of these languages.
What do you think about this? How did you manage to learn so many Romance languages without losing track of the differences in grammar and vocabulary?
One of my theories is that one has to learn one language until a certain level and then begin the next one. So, maybe (I actually have no idea about this stuff) there would be different "blocks" in your brain whicht don't intervene with each other so easily if they have been created one after the other.
I hope you understand this obscure theory and I hope that many people can share their experiences (although I know that it is quite much to know 3 or more Romance languages and that there are probably not so many people in this forum who do have the quality for which I'm asking in this interview).