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tips for learning multiple languages?

Hi everyone,

I've taken it upon myself to learn, to some degree, four languages this year. Polish, Italian, Turkish and (when it comes out) Welsh.

I'm not starting as a beginner but I'm definitely not as strong as I thought in my head! I'm at the stage where I can follow a fairly complex conversation along quite nicely but merely nod and not contribute. My descending order of strength would be Polish (could live there with some difficulty but eventually I'd catch up), Turkish, Italian then Welsh (barely understand the road signs)

For those of you that seem to have taken on a few languages, do you focus on a language a week or do you mix and match daily?

January 14, 2016



My advice would be to learn two new languages at a time until you are fairly comfortable with them, then add two more. Normally I would suggest to make sure not to combine languages from the same language family at an early stage, but the languages you mentioned are all from different language families, so you should not get confused. Since I make an effort to keep my trees golden, I practice all of them on a daily or at least weekly basis, depending on how fast the trees deteriorate. The trees that I finished a long time ago don't need that much work anymore because they are in long term memory and DuoLingo seems to know that.


I just work at each language every day. Mixing up the languages is not a problem.


I study German and Spanish at university, and when I'm home I also study some Turkish. Three is already a lot for me though. If you think you have the time to learn four languages at the sime time, I'd say do it.

Be prepared to invest a lot of time in all of those languages though (especially because Polish and Turkish are very hard, maybe Welsh too but I don't know anything about that language).


I'm doing three - Turkish, Polish and English from Arabic. Turkish is my main language so I do most of my work on that. I just do one lesson a day for Polish unless I'm feeling really energetic. I try to do at least 3 lessons daily from either the Turkish tree or the reverse tree. The English from Arabic (I would prefer to do Arabic from English, but it doesn't exist yet) is proving difficult for me because there are a lot of words in Turkish that are similar, and I find myself mixing up the sentence structure and using Turkish sentence structure. This is a new course for me, and I think that the problem will sort itself out eventually. I'm not sure how much I will end up doing on this course. I'll try to do at least one lesson a day for a while. I'll either get really into it and it will become a secondary main language or I'll give up because when it gets difficult.

I was well into my Turkish study when Polish was introduced, so there was no particular conflict. I already know some Arabic, so the early lessons in this course are not too challenging or confusing yet. I don't think that I could start two courses at the same time. It would too difficult.

I definitely need to study all the languages every day. I know some people like to do different languages on different days. You have to work out what's best for you. Experiment and see how it goes.


I am learning Arabic now and I am having the same issues. And I am not even a native speaker of Turkish! :) There are so many words that are similar, but are different in meaning.


Hi,I use mix them


I juggle Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish (Esperanto is just a side-fun-project-thing). However, I try to focus more on Chinese


I do a bit of all of them everyday but I only do two languages from scratch max. I am currently learning Russian ( and soon Polish or Vietnamese or Hungarian aswell) while also maintaining my Portuguese, Turkish, French,German, Swedish and Spanish.

[deactivated user]

    I live, eat, breathe, sleep, and the like entirely in Turkish -- thus adding a third language isn't difficult because I'm at a point where I can't lose or confuse my Turkish because it's my main language. I went for Danish for personal reasons and because it's close to English, so it's like learning an obscure dialect. I would recommend learning languages in groups/families, but you really have to have a very very very strong base in the ones you know before you can move and add with ease.


    If you are in the process of making sense of things I would not suggest focusing on a few languages at a time. Just focus on one if you really try to absorb something. If you are just getting acquainted with the words or structures and you prepare a base for the future then it doesn't matter.


    This is pretty much in line with what I have done and still do. I have completed a number of trees and try to keep these languages alive by making an effort to keep the trees golden. I have no illusions about my fluency in those languages, but I can understand what's going on when reading or listening to content in that language. Speaking is a hard if you don't "live" the language. For those langugaes where I have the ambition to become fluent I have done the reverse trees and use a lot of other resources and also try to converse with native speakers. The other languages have a base for the future, so when they become more important I can get up to speed more quickly.


    Thank you everyone for your feedback :)


    I started German when I was comfortably conversational in Spanish (probably B2). I added Turkish after about five months of studying German. Working on three languages worked fine. I was using Spanish in daily life, learning intermediate vocab in German, and so I was learning different things in Turkish than I was in Spanish and German. I could switch between them with little more than a quick break.

    I tried to add Romanian after only 1-2 months of starting Turkish. I got the Romanian and Turkish vocabulary mixed up, so I dropped the Romanian.

    I read a blogpost by one polyglot who recommended starting new languages one year apart, and focusing on two at a time, while doing just enough on the advanced languages to keep from losing ground. Based on my experience, he's got the right idea. Of course, "one year apart" might be shortened or lengthened depending on the learner and the hours per day spent studying.

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