Learning two languages in parallel - one in real life, one self-taught

Since starting a "real life" crash course in Dutch last month (16 hours a week is quite intense :) ), it's been pretty hard to find the motivation for Duolingo. Therefore, I'm really proud I passed the third checkpoint in Danish today, hurray! I though I'd never make it...

It's the first time I learn two languages in parallel (I am fluent in three though), so I wondered what your experiences are in taking proper classes in one while learning another at home. Since starting the Dutch lessons, I merely keep strengthening my skills in Danish until they stick. Also, the fact that both languages are rather close makes it a tricky business.

What learning methods worked out for you?

March 18, 2017


I don't like proper classes, they always made me feel like I was supposed to 'perform' in front of others and always know the right answers :( tv shows, lang-8, hellotalk and italki are much better

March 18, 2017

Although I totally understand your position, classes have always worked fine for me because one gets to practice much more (and, I believe, more efficiently) than alone at home. Also, when it comes to learning, I don't see making errors as a failure but as a way to move on. There are no stupid questions: only stupid people who never ask questions :)

I have to agree. With classes I can learn more grammar and have someone to correct me

How do you do so many languages at once?

I only have two languages that I really focus on which are polish and Dutch, but the others are languages I just dabble in. It's hard for me to just pick one language and stick with it

It took me a couple of days to decide between German and Italian and then I chose German. I even used to dabble into languages. Anyways, press on my name and you will see a surprise

I guess you are saying they are to formal

Keep up the good work!

I would advise you to do one language at one time because whenever I try two, it gets me out of the mood of learning anything and that's why I only do one right now.

That's usually the advice I give to others and have been following it until I had the opportunity to start a crash course in Dutch three month after starting Danish here. I briefly thought about interrupting my Duolingo lessons but don't wanna be bothered to start all over again, so I guess I'll just swallow the bitter pill for the time being...

But don't get to bitter with your languages

In my experience things are okay when the languages are very different. I am taking lessons in japanese and so far I never had problems with doing spanish and swedish in parallel, because the overlap is very small. I remember facing some problems while doing french and spanish in parallel though, so I guess my experience won't help you much, seeing as danish and dutch are in the same language family... Either way, keep up the hard work!

I suppose things will be easier once my crash course is over, for I have easy access to native Dutch speakers (as opposed to Danish speakers who are really rare) thus I should be able to practice one while studying the other on a more theoretical level.

Keep working, too, and good luck!

Where are you learning Dutch? There seem to be very few good classes, books or apps for learning Dutch. And why are you learning Dutch? Very curious.

I live in Belgium: it's one of our three national languages, so the Dutch classes are basically all over the place.

Ik ben getrouwd met eenj vlaams-sprekende belg, maar wij wonen en de verenidge staten. Ik wens dat ik kon nl beter spreken. Ik moet mijn nl boeken studieren. Beste wensen met uw streven.

Gelukkig heb ik een gemakkelijke toegang tot boeken, films en 'native' spreekers.

Ik wens u veel succes met uw training!

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