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What language should I learn French from?

Initially, my choice was English, primarily due to the bonus skills, but now I'm really unsure. I'm a native English speaker, I'm fluent in (European) Spanish, and I completed the Italian from Spanish tree on DL. However, I'm now unsure which of these 3 languages I might take the tree from because I see advantages to all 3.

From English:

It's my native language. Bonus skills, which showed in EN -> IT but not ES -> IT *More content than the ES -> FR tree. Not sure if this is because of English not being a Romance language.

Desde castellano:

A lot more like French than English. Taking the Spanish tree for Italian was part of why I did so well with Italian. I sort of, maybe, just might get a job at NOA in 4 years as a Spanish translator, so I get kill birds in one stone. (No offense to Duo)

Da italiano:

Even more similar to French than Spanish. Since I live in the USA, there's more Spanish available to me than there is Italian, so I had better practice this whenever I have the choice.

Any ideas? ¿Me podéis ayudar? ¿Cosa pensate?

October 11, 2017


  • 2222

One of the fun parts of learning a language is to use it in real life situations. It sounds like Spanish would make a great winner for you! Plus, it would be another Romance language that is close enough to French!


English. Then do the other languages and then do the reverse French tree.


Mateu-san could do more than one reverse French tree. :)

English for French speakers and French for English speakers are the reverse trees of each other, Spanish for French speakers and French for Spanish speakers are the reverse trees of each other, and so on. :)


Italian. The fact that you're even asking this question (not to mention the fact that you chose to learn Italian from a non-native language) implies you're probably like me: you enjoy stretching yourself and learning from languages you have a certain ability in but you're still in a learning process.

Also learning French from Italian will help you avoid confusing them I think, although I think such concerns are easily overstated. The tree is low on T, but it's not like you need them much between Romance languages.

Rock that ladder!


By learning from English, you'll have the strongest grasp of French in shortest time. You are instinctively translating from French to English and will be quicker to understand and respond back. For the other options, you are strengthening the origin language a lot more than your french -- sort of like practicing with the reverse trees of Spanish or Italian.

I've had some trouble with Duolingo, because while I'm good at English it's not my native language. So when I hear e.g. Spanish, I will first instinctively translate to English and only then to my native language. I'm sure this will go away with fluency (meaning I just reply/understand and not really translate in my head), but while at this stage it's making things a bit more difficult.

Hope this helps!

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