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Is it hard for you guys to learn multiple languages at once, and if so how many are you learning?

I am only learning 6 and i find it hard to keep it all straight sometimes what about you?

February 23, 2017



This question about learning more than one language at once gets asked a lot on these forums. The consensus seems to be that you'd learn each language slower, you might get confused sometimes, and you might find it frustrating, but if you really want to learn two languages, then why not? It depends what you want; if you have a broad curiosity, learn two at once, but if you want to gain proficiency, learn one at a time.

Here's a list to some of the previous discussions, if you want to read more:


Hello, Queen Reis! This is indeed a question that is asked with a lot of frequency. Ofttimes, the answer is different for everyone! I see that you currently have levels in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian (with Swahili and two lessons of Dutch). Those languages, save for those parenthesized, are quite similar, and unless you have had prior experience with some of these languages, may be difficult to keep completely straight! However, if you have a high neuroplasticity, it is certainly within the realm of possibility to keep actively learning them all! Just a fun fact, the sections of the brain responsible for language learning are Wernicke's Area and Broca's area. If these areas are strong, the volume of languages will seem less difficult than otherwise. If you begin having trouble with your languages, I would recommend keeping notebooks for your separate languages, or Google Docs, what-have-you. I'm only actively dealing with six/seven currently, even though I have twenty-five on my profile. I work on some more than others, but I still give them all time and love. =)


"Wernicke's Area" and "Broca's area"

Any ideas on how to strengthen those areas, besides through language learning itself? Or is it more about genetic factors than anything else?


Indeed! Part of this goes hand-in-hand with strengthening your brain as a whole, but are still relevant. Perhaps a bit of background on the areas themselves will be beneficial as well. The Wernicke's Area is responsible for word and language comprehension. Broca's Area has to do with the ability to articulate and produce language yourself. Through what is called "aphasia" (possible to be contracted/caused in either/both Wernicke and Broca's area), such functions are lost, i.e. for Broca's Aphasia, one can understand language and words being spoken to them, however, they cannot replicate or articulate the language(s) themselves. So, it is possible to strengthen one without benefiting the other, i.e. just reading the language and never verbalizing it, just as one can have a perfect foreign accent as they speak a bunch of gibberish. So, doing a mixture of oral and written practice stimulates both areas of the brain, making for more productive language learning. Playing word games also helps. Changing location of studying will also help, as monotony can make the brain lax. If you always study in your bedroom with the shades drawn, your brain will retain less than if you go outside to study for two days and to a café for one other to mix up your studying. Your brain learns to deal with other activity/distractions and studying simultaneously, and it can be really good for forging new neural pathways and increasing brain function and speed! This is because the brain is seeing/receiving more activity/information and it is more actively stimulated. Getting proper amounts of sleep and eating right is also beneficial.


I am now currently learning 3 languages. Spanish, French, and German. It's not hard for me, but 3 is my maximum!


so far im juggling learning 13 languages on duolingo in real life im fluent in German English Spanish Italian and Norwegien


Hello, I´m a venezuelan person and I´m learning 3 at the same time. Sometimes it´s hard ´cause you feel so lost, frustrated or confused, but if you really wanna learn 3, 4 or 6, you could. You just need be focused and you must fight for that. You must wish that too.


I think it depends on the person.

My dad knew Ukrainian and he told me a story. This happened when I was a little kid. He had two friends. He told them each a word in Ukrainian. One of his friends took all winter learning this one word and still didn't know the word. The other friend was a doctor and learned the word really easily. My dad was saying it was because doctors are used to studying and learning medical terminology and abstract concepts.


I'm learning 3 mainly, and a few on the side. No, i dont find it hard. i use flashhcards to help me


i wouldn't say it's hard. i'd say it's an interesting balancing act. i am currently maintaining three languages (english | german | spanish) while seriously learning three more (korean | russian | swedish) and playing around for fun with a bunch of others (greek | norwegian | swahili). (currently paused: catalan | hebrew | japanese | mandarin) i definitely worked my way up to that many. this isn't an ability i always had. i also tend to juggle too many at once resulting in having to cut back for a while but mostly the multi-lingual approach works for me. it's worth noting that apart from my native french, english is the only language i'm actually able to speak, not just read & understand when heard.


I only work on 7-9 of mine on a rigidly consistent day-to-day basis corresponding to the possibilities for eventual certification in them and how much course material there is for them, particularly whether they have speaking drills. I used to actively study 17 of them, but abandoned various of them according to the aforementioned criteria after I came to need more time in what I think was the late 2015 timeframe. I'm not studying so many that I run out of time in the day to study them or anything of that sort, so it doesn't seem to be difficult to me. That said, I doubt we're all the same in this regard, so finding what works best for you may be best.

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