It's often said that learning more than one language at the same time is an efficient way. As far as I'm concerned, that's only if those languages are not too similar What you're learning and what you know are all from different language families, right? So I think you're doing fabulously
That's right, French and Italian are really close and it's even sometimes confusing. But it's so close that actually, Italian and French people can easily catch what's going on if you mix up the languages. I experienced that many times actually!
Finnish, close to Japanese? I'm really astonished, could you explain it, please?
From http://linguistics.byu.edu/classes/ling ... panese.htm "The majority of scholarly opinions point toward the Altaic family as the home of Japanese. _no (1970) indicates a number of reasons to support this theory. For example, Altaic languages include many cases of vowel harmony, like that found in Finnish. Also, like Japanese, Altaic languages have no grammatical distinction of number, nor of gender. Neither has relative pronouns or passive voice, but both have postpositions or particles instead of word order or declension to indicate function (_no, 1970). On and on trails the list of similarities between Altaic and Japanese. I find the sheer volume of evidence to be convincing by itself. But even more than that, the Altaic family shows the most promise because of the quality of the evidence. Many of these characteristics are not very typical in other language groups, especially Indo-European. The probability of Japanese and Altaic sharing an unusual trait is not very high, and when so many of them are combined, the probability plunges. So I see the abundance of improbable evidence as significant support for the relationship between Japanese and the Altaic languages."
I read about Finnish and Japanese languages being more closely related on another website, but the explanation I found at the site I posted above was much better at explaining it. However, it is still very much debated where the Japanese language roots are from.
tpgames3546-san, you're very right; the root and language family for Japanese language is still very controversial.
The fact about Finnish is fairly known, and also Hungarian, if I remember correctly. Those two are said to be related to and belong to widely-classified "Uralic languages". Japanese is sometimes included into it (as "Uralic Altaic languages"), but the official classification recently shows different position (in many academic and any definitions). There are also a language family calling "Japanese language" which of course has standard Japanese and kind of "dialects" of it (i.g. ryuukyuu go). I didn't know about this classification, but it could be a recent new classification because they couldn't find an appropriate answer
Grammar of Japanese language is very unique and very different from any other language (= the reason why antient European, maybe it was Portuguese...?, called Japanese language as "lanugage/tongue of devil).
There are some postings from JapanesePod listeners that learning and/or knowing Arabic is beneficial. I don't know about it in linguistical level, but in a way, I understand why they say or think so. When sentences are very simple, Japanese sentence like "watashi wa gakusei desu", this "A wa B desu" is versatile, right? Such fact is close to Arabic's case. However, syntax for those two languages are not same, as far as I know.
Because Japanese language is very unique, I believe knowing many other languages is beneficial. When we know only one language to compare, it's more difficult to analyse a new language in terms of "how this language works" issue. If you know different languages ("different" in terms of grammar, especially), you can understand another language more based on functions, not comparing or translating to other languages you already know. When you come accross some typical expressions in a new language, the first thing you will feel is "I see; that's how this language function", rather than "what's the literal translation in English?"