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  5. Can't decide what to do -- op…


Can't decide what to do -- opinions wanted


I'm currently facing somewhat of a language learning dilemma. I'll lay it out here.

I've been on and off learning French, and then German. I'm now in a position to commit fully to one or the other.

I know I can't learn both at once. I'm much further in german than I ever was in french. However with French I feel more connected to it since my family is French and all speak it besides me. I also visit France regularly and have friends who are French. It's been embarrassing when they have to translate for me.

German on the other hand I enjoy learning a lot as well. I am much further into it. And there's lots of high quality German media to help me whereas French entertainment isn't quite as good.

At the same token I will be starting Arabic this coming semester in college. Whichever language I pick I'd be studying alongside it.

So my question is should I finish German and then go to French later? Or should I drop German for now and pick up French, then return to German later? This question has been boggling my mind for weeks and any opinions are appreciated.

July 20, 2017


[deactivated user]

    OMG!!! This is hard. Well, what I would do is learn German first and then French. As you said German has a big online presence, you really enjoy learning the language, and you are more advanced in German. This means that all of these things are going to make you master German faster than French, therefore you can get German out of the way quicker. Besides German is the most widely spoken native language in Europe meaning that Germans are everywhere, so it is kind of an essential language too. Your family is always going to be there and you will always be able to visit France in the future so no rush. You don't have that opportunity with German. Plus isn't it kind of cool that you are the only person in your family that speaks German? I think I can relate to this but in reverse. My whole family speaks German but I've always had this love for the French language and I'm way more advanced in French than in German. So my plan was to learn French first and then German. (And I live in Spain too like wtf hahaha) I hope this helped. Bonne chance!!!


    I'm very jealous of you living in Spain. That's what brought me to DuoLingo. Had my first trip to Spain, this summer. Fell in love with the country. Didn't want to leave. I must say that trying my conversational German didn't help me much. It has, however, helped me in other countries, if English wasn't working. But, being able to speak, and practice a language with family is a big bonus. Tough choice.

    [deactivated user]

      Me alegro de que te haya gustado mi país! Me halaga mucho que me digas eso :D. Espero que tengas la oportunidad de visitarlo de nuevo y mucha suerte aprendiendo el idioma! Ahh y si te surge cualquier duda me la puedes comentar si quieres :)


      I actually vote you continue with French unless you've already been studying German for a year or more. Becoming fluent in a language requires a lot of time and having a reason for learning the language helps a lot. Since you have family and friends who are French and you know you want to be able to use it when you visit France, that might keep you motivated.

      I also believe that Arabic and French share a few similarities (albeit still not many), so that may also make it easier to learn those two at the same time.


      Hi Omar,

      how many hours per day do you want to concentrate on active and passive learning a language?

      No, I definitely would NOT put German aside (completely).
      You will probably just have forgotten the most if you do not regulary review and practice for the next 6/9-12 months, like Memrise, etc. daily.

      Have you already completed your German tree?
      Have you started the Duo reverse tree (to get more writing excercises in German)?

      Maybe you should try the laddering course German-French or www.50languages.com DE-FR?

      If you want to continue with French (great option to speak it in your family environment!) try to find a way to do both languages, maybe each at least 30-60 mins. / day.

      If you are pretty advanced with German, you can easily concentrate on more passive resources (youtube, TV, audio CDs, reading books) and review your vocabulary on Memrise, AnkiSRS, etc. than with your active learning phase of French.

      I would expect that once you started with Arabic your 3rd language, you will maybe have to put both languages to the side, to have a real focus and experience the boost in the first 6-12 months you are looking for.
      I would NOT expect that it is enough to learn/practice Arabic just 1-2 days / week only at the college. You will have a lot of things to do to like review grammar excercises, vocabulary, homework, etc.


      Well, French is easier than German and if you have friends that speak French it'll be a lot easier than German so as much as I love German I'd have to say learn French. But still why Arabic? That is a level 4 language I think, while French is a level 1 and German is the only level 2.

      But besides that, how far are you on your German according to Duolingo in %? If you are really far then don't drop it and come back to French later on.

      • 1695

      This doesn't work generally. For me German is much easier than French :-) It depends what your native language is and what type of learner you are.


      ally x That is true, the difficulty system is specifically for English though. For me, German is easier but that is because of the fact that I have been exposed to German my whole life (through TV, Movies, Video games and even music) plus I'm genuinely interested in the language and culture which for me gives it an edge. But if you think about it, all this exposure could be classed as slow learning of the language. For example, if you watch a movie or documentary where JFK is saying, "Ich bin ein Berliner" and you see it translates to "I am a Berliner", you learn that "Ich bin" means "I am" which gives an edge.


      I think you're going to have an easier time with French, as you've stated that everyone in your family speaks it. Easy, regular access to native speakers is key to learning a language successfully, and most learners would kill for the oppourtunity to practice daily like that.


      My opinion is to keep things as simple as possible: go where your heart tells you. If you are drawn more to a specific one, then go for it. You can always do the others after. Nobody can really tell you which one to go for because it's ultimately up to you to decide no matter what anyone else here says.


      It depends on what you're learning a language for. Is it for fun? If so, which language do you have more fun learning? Which language do you feel you take to more easily? Or, are you learning a language to connect? Would you want to be able to speak in French with your friends and family? Would you find it more rewarding to learn a language if you could converse in it with the people close to you?


      I'd stick with French. Screw the internet if you can have real people with real knowledge of a language. Besides, you said you want to visit France. There, you're only accepted if you can speak French. In my opinion, there are plenty of similarities between English and French, just look at the vocabulary (sometimes I just think of the English word if I am out of French ones - voila, there it is!) Anyway, German will not go away, so if one day you want to re-enter this language path, German will still be there.


      The important thing is that whichever you choose, you like the language and enjoy learning it. That way you will (hopefully) stay motivated enough to keep going :)

      Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.