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Two languages at a time, perhaps, or maybe something better...

Hello everyone! I hope you're all having or have had a delightful Sunday. :)

I don't want to be a bother, but I was wondering if this method of learning many languages is an okay one.

So, I've been learning my seven languages all at once, one language for each day of the week. It's been more of a challenge than I thought it'd be, though, juggling all those languages at once. So, I'm not the quick learner when it comes to learning languages. But I absolutely love these languages. And the thing is being fluent in these seven languages is one of my goals in life...

So, I was thinking perhaps learning two languages at a time. For example, right now, I'll learn French and Portuguese. And then when I feel comfortable and when the trees are finished and golden, I'll go on to German and Dutch. And then once I finish those, I'll do my last two: Russian and Greek.

I'm planning on doing them by doing one half a week and the other the other half of the week. And on Wednesdays I'll interchange and do a bit of both.

But I'm not completely sure. If any of you have any suggestions or tips, I'll be glad to take them. I'd really appreciate your help.

Thank you all so much!!! :)


I've decided to do ladder learning! Also, I'll learn two languages at a time, a bit of both every day, focusing a bit more on the harder language, and continue them until their trees are finished and golden. Then I'll go on to the next two languages learning them from the previous two languages I'll have somewhat learned.

In this order:

-Portuguese and German
-French and Dutch
-Russian and Greek

Though, I'm not so sure I'll be able to do Russian and Greek at the same time, but I don't know. We'll see... ;)

Thank you all soooooo much!!! You have all been such a big help for me!!! Truly, with all of my heart, thank you all! :D

August 6, 2017



Two at a time sounds like a better idea to me. You really need to be practicing whichever languages you're learning daily, rather than once a week. Diluting your learning just means that reaching fluency will take longer.

Even two languages at once means at least three hours of study a day (including Duo time), so unless you have all the time in the world it's better to stick to just a few.

"The successful warrior is an average man with laser-like focus."


You're completely right. Diluting my learning of languages isn't something I really want to do, so perhaps two at a time actually wouldn't be so bad. Thank you!!

I love the quote, by the way! :D


It's Bruce Lee. A lot of his stuff can be applied to many aspects of life, not just fighting. :)


I like the idea. I will make a suggestion:

Don't learn Spanish/Portuguese and German/Dutch together. You'll want more variation to avoid boredom, and you will confuse them.

Instead, I recommend doing Spanish/German and Portuguese/Dutch, or Spanish/Dutch and Portuguese/German. They're very similar, so when you finish 2 languages, I'd refresh them often so you keep that knowledge separate.

e.g. El gato bebe leche / O gato bebe leite

e.g. Die Katze trinkt Milch / De kat drinkt melk


Spanish is my native tongue. :D

But thank you for the tip. I will use it! I'll learn Portuguese alongside German and then French and Dutch. After these, I'll attempt Russian and Greek, my last two. :)

Thank you!!!


Good choice. Yeah I meant French lol. I just thought of what I'm learning and made an example, forgot it was French instead of Spanish. Glad to help.


No worries! :D Thank you so much!!

And I wish you luck in your languages. Enjoy them!!! :)


You might find it effective to ladder. Learn one language to say, the last checkpoint, then start a second through that language, then a third through the second language. It's a bit less time consuming and less confusing than trying to do two new languages at the same time. Of course, you can't ladder everything, but the French and Portuguese pairs will definitely work that way, and you can learn German through either one. I'm not sure about Russian, I know it's available through Spanish but I'm not sure about Portuguese or French. Also, reverse trees are good practice.


I'd absolutely love to! And that's a great idea! I'll do that. Thank you very much. :D


I focus on one language per week and make sure I get everything gold before I start any new lessons. Works for me =)


That actually seems like a really good method! And just by looking at how many languages you're studying, I know I can trust you.

Thank you so much! :D


<3 Good luck =)


I have this method of learning one language to the level of understanding most of the grammar and all of the tenses (the tree will cover most of this but not all) and trying to get to the point where i fully understand it and can conjugated a regular verb into any tense/mood with ease and once i can do this i move onto more passive learning like watching tv shows and reading book to expand my vocabulary and see all the grammar in use.
Now that i am just passively learning the other language i will have time to start actively learning another i.e learning all the grammar.

Its not that you just dont have good language learning skills, everybody would have failed with the task you set yourself because you just cannot learn all of those languages to a deccent level if you do them at once. I had friends that tried the same and in the same time it took my to be B2 in one language they had become A1 in four. so I think that if you want to become truly fluent in all these languages then stagger them like this and you will get to higher levels a lot faster


Grammar is key. That's a great explanation and a great method. Thank you so much for that! It'll help me in becoming truly fluent in these seven languages. :D


Personally, I prefer to focus mostly on doing one new tree at a time. I tried doing more than one a few years ago, but found that this is what works best for me. I also do a lot more and utilize resources beyond Duolingo to improve reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each year, I focus mostly on one language. It was French in 2015 and Spanish in 2016 and 2017.

However, I've sometimes had reasons to add one or two more languages for a short period of time during the year if I had an upcoming trip or other reasons. This year, I've learned kana and started the Japanese tree. Currently, I am taking a hiatus from Spanish to do the Portuguese tree. Next, I'll do the Portuguese for Spanish speakers tree (laddering), After that, I will get back to doing the Japanese tree and will also do some maintenance on the Spanish tree. Eventually, I'll probably do a Japanese class but that will be a long term project as it will take more time than the romance languages.

Here are suggestions on this subject from a polyglot that speaks 10 languages fluently:




Wow! I just want to say that this articles that you sent me are so helpful! Thank you so much!!! It's really interesting to see an amazing polyglot's point of view, someone with experience

I'll start off simple. Portuguese and German each day. But dedicate more time to the harder language, German. And I'll watch things in those languages. And speak to friends I have that are German and Brazilian in their language. Then I'll go onto French and Dutch, and then Russian and Greek. I might need to learn those last two separately though. We'll see.

Thank you so so so much!!! :D
And I wish you the best on your language journey!!!


How many languages have you learned well already? For me, I first started out with one, did that for about a year, got comfortable, then went on to more. I started with 2 more and now can do many more. Granted, I learned those first 3 quite well before I got onto anything else, but that was long before Duolingo. At any rate, I can balance a fair number now. Something I would say is that I wouldn't do one a day once a week. I think you are likely to forget a lot in the 7 days in between. I like your idea of focusing on two for a while. That way you could actually do a bit of each every day. The every day thing makes a big difference at the early stages and it's not just Duolingo that think so. I did a Spanish and Portuguese degree at a major US university. Nearly all of their beginning and intermediate language courses were 5 days a week with classes at 50 minutes each. If there had been classes on the weekend, I bet they would have done them 7. Every day, or at least most days, makes a huge difference when you are new to a language.

You will know when you reach the point you won't just forget everything and can go onto something new. Like I am not done with my Danish tree, but I have learned enough Danish that I can casually pick it up again. That is the point to add more in when you know you won't just forget X language in a few days or weeks.


The only language I've learned well and for a while now is Italian.

Thank you so much for that! And congrats on your success! It's very moving. :)


Personally I enjoy studying more than one language at a time..it holds my interest better...but If your ultimate goal is fluency I would suggest you stagger learning them and build up a fair amount of proficiency in one before adding the second...when you are studying two I would also suggest practicing both each day at different times rather than doing each of them on separate days. I think it is best not to study languages that are too similar when you are at a very basic level. Your reading comprehension will be fine but when you attempt to speak you are likely to Interchange words and make more errors. I personally find that the Pimsleur courses which focus primarily on speaking are helpful.


And yet another very helpful comment! Thank you so much!! :D

I'm sure you'll be pleased with what I've decided. It's in the description up top now, or in my new comment, down below. :)


I think it depends on your prior knowledge of the particular languages. I'm learning three right now, German, Spanish, and Welsh (I don't intend to go beyond that point). I have a decent to strong foundation in Spanish and German, and only Welsh is completely new to me. So in sum, I think it depends on your experience with the languages you are learning. If it is completely new then you obviously should devote more time and resources to learning that language.

However, seven languages at once makes me think you run the risk of getting burnt out so you may want to slow it down a bit like others are suggesting on this thread.


Thank you very much for your feedback!! And I'm sure you'll be pleased with what I've chosen to do! It's in the description and down below as a new comment. :)


I've decided to do ladder learning! Also, I'll learn two languages at a time, a bit of both every day, focusing a bit more on the harder language, and continue them until their trees are finished and golden. Then I'll go on to the next two languages learning them from the previous two languages I'll have somewhat learned.

In this order:

-Portuguese and German
-French and Dutch
-Russian and Greek

Though, I'm not so sure I'll be able to do Russian and Greek at the same time, but I don't know. We'll see... ;)

Thank you all soooooo much!!! You have all been such a big help for me!!! Truly, with all of my heart, thank you all! :D


Right now, I am studying two languages academically (French and Xhosa) at a university, and one (Greek) just for enjoyment. That seems to be good for me, although in the past I have actively studied as much as five languages concurrently.

The trick is not in how many lanugages you can study at one time, it is in how much time you allow your brain to let the knowledge sink in comfortably. Learn too much all the time, and one is more likely to forget a lot of it. Give your brain enough time to absorb the true essence of the knowledge.


Very useful advice! Many thanks to you!!! And I'm sure you'll like the decision I've made! It's in the description and down below as a new comment. :)

I hope your language journey continues to flourish!! :D


I think your idea is great. I used to try to learn Vietnamese, French, and Spanish all at once (I deleted Vietnamese because it was too hard.) Now I am just learning Spanish, then after that I am planning to move onto either French or a reverse course, because I got too mixed up learning three languages at the same time. But your idea is brilliant.


Thank you!! But I think the idea that I have now is honestly better than whatever that was what I had before. XD I think you'll like it! It's in the description and down below as a new comment. :)

Yes, what you're doing is a great job, doing them one at a time. It helps you to focus more on the language you're learning! And yes! You can also ladder, meaning, in your case, you could try learning French from Spanish! And then Vietnamese from Spanish. (If and when it's available.)

Good luck with your languages!! :D

So, once you're comfortable with your Spanish and French, are you planning to try and restart learning Vietnamese?? That language is a toughie!....

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I always suggest NOT starting more new languages in the same time. It gets really confusing when you are a beginner in more languages. So I'd say pick up the lanuguages gradually one by one, for me it worked to start French when I was about half or three quarters down the German tree. Any sooner attempts didn't work.


That's amazing! I'm glad for you!! :D I hope you get to finish them!

Yes, that's a great suggestion. Since I want to be somewhat fluent in seven languages though, I think two languages at a time and laddering is not such a bad idea, right? It's now in the description and down below as a new comment. :)

What's your opinion??


I staggered mine out. I first spent 2 years on Spanish, then 2 years on Japanese, then a year on American Sign language. Now, I am studying them all mixed together. (At the moment though, just focusing on Japanese. I have almost completed that course though. Then, I will get back to my ASL lessons.)

As for your decision to ladder, I highly recommend it, along with doing the reverse courses! (So, Span for English, then English for Spanish.)


Yes! I strongly believe staggering them out, as you did, is way better than trying to learn seven languages at a time. Especially if I want to be fluent in these. I truly hope my method works! X(

Nice job! And wow! Nearly done with the Japanese tree?? Impressive! See, it's better to stagger them out first so if later on you want to, you could improve even more learning them, how many there are, at a time! Amazing job!!!

Oh, no, I don't need to learn Spanish. It's my native language. XD

Reverse tree?? I have been thinking about it. It'd be even more to keep track of, but I might give it a go! Thanks for letting me know!!!

Thank you for your response! I hope you're languages and your experiences continue to flourish! :D


Thank you very much! And, the same to you!

For the Japanese tree, rather than focusing on "learning" it, I am focusing on how much I can recognize. Which, that is a lot different than being able to generate original content for writing passages or engaging in conversation. I am still very impressed by how quickly I've been able to progress. I thought I had forgotten everything but a few words. I am very appreciative of my sensei from when I was in university. She always encouraged me through my struggles. She was strict, while also being kind. :)


Thank you! XD

Ahhh! I see. Yeah, it's good that you can recognize many Japanese characters by now. So, you can read it, but not yet write if or talk it fluently. But still, anyone who learns Japanese is someone who accomplishes something big and I commend you for that because Japanese is hard!

Your sensei sounded like a kind teacher. :) Which university did you study in? Was it mainly about languages? I'm hoping I could get into NYU. I love to sing, and I love languages too, and they have a good set of languages the students there could learn!

My sister, pinky-purple07, is actually studying French, Italian, and Japanese. She absolutely adores Japanese. It's the main target language she really wants to learn. And she got super excited when I told her that Japanese is finally available on android devices. XD She tells me it's tough, but she'll never ever quit learning it.


It was just a small rural university. Language was not it's specialty. It is mainly known for it's theater program. Sadly, it only offered 2 years of Japanese. The sensei was willing to teach a third year, but their were not enough students for the university to pay her to teach it, because many students only wanted to fulfill a 2 year language requirement.

Sadly, with Japanese, 2 years is really just dipping ones toes in the pool, unless they excel in independent study, and are willing to put more years into it after.

The Duolingo JA for EN course is only in beta at the moment. (So, it is not an officially released course. It is a very short tree, compared to the others too. Hopefully though, more material will be added over the years, as has happened with some of the other trees.) I recommend your sister take the JA for EN while studying in uni. After completing the JA for EN tree, try the EN for JA tree. (This strategy is known as taking the reverse tree, or the reverse course.) ^_^


Oh, I see. NYU is also big on musical theater and anything music related! X)

It's too bad you guys only got two years of Japanese. The same thing's happening here at my school. The teacher teaches Spanish to all the grades but Italian to only the upperclassmen, so just two years as well. But now I don't even think she's going to be teaching it anymore, since there aren't many students who are willing to learn it. And I also tried to bring it back with a petition, but it never got anywhere.

However, I did make a petition for there to be a Choir Club at our school, and the principal said the she'll supposedly let it happen and put it as one of the club choices for this upcoming year! Can't wait! X)

Yeah, I'm sure they'll definitely add more to the Japanese tree as time goes on. I'll let my sister know about the reverse tree method, though, it'll be a while before she actually gets through the whole Japanese tree. I'm seriously considering on doing the reverse tree for Italian, though. I just might do it! :D

[deactivated user]

    You can try to learn your all languages at a time ! or maybe you are not that good at learning languages, you can learn one at once or two at once.

    small correction for you : your sentence " Good morning everyone! I hope you're all having a delightful Sunday morning. :) " , not every country is Sunday now ! my country is now 10:30 p.m. ( Sunday ).


    Oops! My bad. XD You're right. I'll change it right away!!

    Thank you! :D


    It's 9:30 PM here in my country.



    How are you finding Greek at the moment?


    Greek's amazing!!! I love Greek. The alphabet's not that hard, to be honest, but I'll have to do some memorizing in order to learn what words mean what. :)

    But I'll have to postpone Greek for a while if I want to try and reach fluency as much as I can in Greek and the rest of the languages I really want to learn.


    I recommend to do every week a language. I'm doing that right now, but I don't if that works for you.


    It might not since I'm trying to reach fluency but thank you! I was thinking of doing that before, though. :D

    Good luck with your languages! :)


    Hey Liseses! I saw the latest post you put up and wanted to say that I commented on it and gave it a thumbs up, if that helps at all. XD I don't understand why or how people can be so cold-hearted...

    And I'm commenting here since we don't have an activity stream anymore.

    Here's what I wanted to tell you:

    Maybe set goals for yourself, regarding that language/those languages. Like, in your case, maybe visit Sweden and Germany, and even meet some new friends there who you'll then be able to talk to in those languages. That'll give you motivation.

    Or maybe it's business. Perhaps your job offers you to go to Germany and/or Sweden, or your boss lets you choose, so you choose those places. And do what you've got to do over there.

    Or maybe become an interpreter whether it's for someone who has to speak to many people, or for your company's website, or for your own website, if you have one.

    If language learning is your number one passion and you're still young like me, you could look into any colleges that specialize in language learning, or simply offer good courses for learning Swedish and Germany, and maybe even trips there, too.

    Or you could simply start watching your favorite TV shows in Swedish and/or German, with subtitles, of course. And listening to music and ti any radio station there might be in any of those languages will help immensely, as well. There are most likely more German radio stations here in the US than any Swedish ones. But they're out there.

    There are many things out there that you can do to keep yourself motivated! :) Including letting me commend you on the fabulous job you've been doing so far and to never give up or lose focus!!! :D


    Thank you sm!! I already deleted the discussion because it had -6, I thought maybe people find it very annoying. But thanks for all the tips! I think this will help me :)


    Of course!! No problem! :D I'm glad I could help someone!

    No, I don't think it was annoying, honestly, because I used to feel the same way. Oh! Another thing is you could learn using different resources and even YouTube, through YouTubers. That'll help in making Duolingo less boring, since it's not really meant to be used alone. :)

    But yes, some people are just very cold-hearted or feel the same way or perhaps even felt offended by that.. But that was a good question.

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