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Learning a third language by laddering your first two?

Has anyone ever tried this approach:

I am a native English speaker and am about to finish the Spanish tree (I also have some experience with Spanish prior to Duolingo). I would like to then move on to French.

I will almost certainly be using the French for Spanish speakers course to help reinforce my Spanish. However, I'm wondering if there is any benefit to simultaneously progressing on the French for English speakers course. In practice, this would probably mean doing a lesson from the Spanish->French course and then immediately (or the next day) doing the same lesson from the English->French course. I would progress along both trees at the same pace.

This of course would be double the work, but I regularly do 100-200xp per day so I'm not too concerned about that. My theory is that this would reinforce both my Spanish and French at the same time. Are there any downsides to this approach other than the extra time commitment?

June 5, 2017



I am currently doing french to spanish and spanish to french simultaneously and finding it helpful. Every answer I give is in either Spanish or French. However I had completed both the Spanish and French trees before attempting this. What you suggest is certainly doable and will be great review in Spanish.


Of course there are benefits in doing the two trees, especially for french. You are going to take advantage of Spanish constructions (very similar to french), and at the same time similarities with English.

The trees are not exactly equal, and if you one day get bored of one of the trees, you still have the other to practice, and vice versa.

Don't focus on XP per day, rather focus on the learning process itself, XP points and levels mean nothing, they are just part of the gamification.

Currently I am learning from Spanish and English.


Doing both will definitely be better as they will contain somewhat different vocabulary and give a different perspective on common vocabulary which can highlight how it is actually used rather than leave you with only a word to word translation in your mind which is not very accurate. Unless your Spanish is far better than that 13 indicates you will miss much just laddering and not fully grasp the French without the from English course.


I'm a native french speaker and learn a few languages from English (for their availability). I can say that those lessons force me to keep check on my English in ways I didn't expect. In fact, quite often, when I mess up, it's because I've been lazy with the way I provided answers in English, not because of the new language. What I'm always a bit wary of is being stuck with lessons that focus too much on concepts I already get from my first language's perspective.


I think it is a good idea. I've been laddering a lot in the last months and I love it!.

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