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Confusing two languages together

[deactivated user]

    I'm learning French at school, and I was happy with that, but recently, I have suddenly gained a liking to the Russian language as well. Everything was fine at first when I didn't know much Russian, but recently, sometimes when I go over my french in my head, if I forget a word or phrase in French, I automatically replace it wit the Russian... I really like both languages and I don't want my grades to drop in French. Is there anything that I can do that doesn't include giving up Russian (I have to do French for another year and I'm thinking about taking it for GCSE - which I have to chose my options for early next school year)? I really don't want to say something and nobody understands it in my class except the teacher (who also speaks Russian) due to the fact that I have switched languages (luckily this hasn't happened yet out loud)...

    July 23, 2017



    When I first saw your question I imagined you meant that you confused two similar sounding languages. I agree with psionpete's comment, but if you ever want to go back to learning Russian I suggest you be at a very different level than French (since vocabulary you know better for one language can't be applied yet to the other and it may make things easier to sort out). For me personally I find it easier to begin a language when I'm farther ahead with my knowledge of the other languages. Also if there is anyone out there that has trouble sorting out similar languages I'd suggest learning them entirely separately, especially when neither one is similar to your primary language. Otherwise, some people are perfectly capable of learning two or more languages at once, similar or not, at once. Fair warning though, it can become confusing.


    When that happens it is a good idea to stop learning one of the languages. In your case French seems to be the one you keep as it will allow you to get a recognised qualification. Russian will still be here on Duolingo when you have your GCSE in French.

    [deactivated user]

      Ok, Thanks. I guess that means that I have more time to focus on French and get better grades as I was learning French in school and Russian in my own time.


      Perhaps you could focus on studying French but listen to some Russian movies, TV, or videos in the meantime. That way you could get a little taste of Russian to tide you over until you have the time to focus on studying it.

      [deactivated user]

        Good idea :D thanks!


        When I was you, I learned both English and French at the same time and later had to add German as well. Maybe it depends on intense you study. In general it is better to keep focus and learn one thing at a time. The other alternative I can think of is to study less intense, to accomodate your learning capacity.


        That's because you are trying to learn two languages at one time, especially being beginner in both. I see this problem all the time with Duolingo users. I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but you NEED to have a solid base in French like B1/B2 before bothering with another language. Because you'll be able to read books, watch movies, etc. in French to keep your knowledge up and improving while focusing more on Russian. If you keep trying to learn two languages at once, especially novice in both. You are just wasting your time, not going to really go anywhere, and burnout, and continue and continue to mix up the languages because you don't have a solid foundation in either of those languages.


        So sorry to say this (because I have the exact same problem way too often), but there's not a whole lot you can do about that. I'd recommend buckling down and getting a really good foundation in French before you learn Russian, and then once you've got a pretty good-sized tidbit of French done, start on Russian. In the meantime, though, there's no need to give up on Russian entirely - you can, for instance, still watch movies and tv to keep that feel for the language that you might have already begun to pick up. Just don't sit down and study any vocabulary lists. Learn the words as you learn the grammar and eventually, things will settle a little more into place.

        [deactivated user]

          Thanks to everyone that has contributed, it had been really useful and I have acknowledged everyone's responses.

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