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How do you stay focused on a language?

This may sound like a stupid question, but I have major problems with this. I am trying to focus on Spanish and Russian and have made great progress in Spanish, but I can't seem to progress far in Russian. One of my biggest problems is that I get distracted and want to learn another language like Turkish, Italian, German, etc. So I was wondering, how do you stay focused on your target language and not get distracted by all the other languages?

October 28, 2017



It should be extremely rare for anyone to have a genuine need for more than 2 or 3 languages. So learning more than that should be just self-actualization. We need to ask ourselves how good we want to be for a particular language, and then it will drive our motivation. I recently started Korean, but I have already foreseen that I would stop somewhere (probably when it is enough for asking direction and not having to always order bibimbap). However, I have never felt having learned enough Japanese and this will keep me learning it forever.


Well, simply because you elect to learn a new language doesn't mean you have to loose focus on the previous one. If you really want to learn it, I suggest thinking about your plan for how you are going to do it.


Sure takes a lot of time to do every language every day


I had that problem for a long time. You should learn a little bit of the languages that are distracting you to satisfy your curiosity. Even if it slows you down at first when you do this, it'll be better in the long run so you don't always have the languages hanging over your head. Once a language gets less mysterious to you, it's less exciting, in my experience. It has always been hard to focus on Japanese when I know I want to learn Korean and possibly Mandarin. Don't try to use Duolingo to try to learn bits of others, but look up certain grammar aspects to read as an overview instead, until you seriously learn them.

Whatever languages you learn at once, make sure you study them every day, not alternate weeks or days.


which language do you enjoy which one are you most interested and passionate about for me it’s french which is why I do it at school and duolingo. Spanish and Japanese is if I have some free time/ just for fun but french is top priority. I really want to major in french hopefully


I start each day keeping each language up-to-date. After that I work on my lowest level language for a week, changing that after each weekend. If I don't have much time, I just keep them up-to-date as much as possible, but all extra time each week focuses on one language.


Focus on one language for now. I speak Russian so maybe I can kind of help you.


Hi Matthew376161. No, your question is not stupid, it is a valid question that comes up often in these discussions. Most people with multiple flags in their profile focus on 2-3 languages at a time and keep up with the other languages if and when time permits. Spanish is my priority, last year I started Russian too, but this year I got sidetracked with completing the Japanese and Korean trees (Japanese: to scratch an itch, Korean: have prior learning in Korean, so I wanted to refresh my knowledge by completing the tree). However, I aim to go back to the Russian tree soon. I have a French from Spanish tree to supplement my Spanish, but that again was on hold until I finished the Japanese and Korean trees. I suggest that you learn to prioritize and ask yourself which language or languages do you 'need' to focus on the most and focus on the reason why? Once you've done that, consider which do you 'want' to add to your collection for fun or to dabble in. For example, do you need to learn Spanish or Russian for work, school, social network, family or travel reasons? If these two languages fit at least three of these categories then it is practical to focus on these first and get to a level of fluency that is high beginner to intermediate. As for Turkish, Italian, German etc, if you are curious about them, and think they are fun, then by all means spend time on them. But not as much as your priority languages. Try aiming for 200 XP per day, which is what I do with my languages. Allocate the XP according to your needs. For example, Spanish 60 XP, Russian 60 XP, Turkish 30 XP, Italian 30 XP, German, 20 XP. Remember to have fun with all the languages that you are learning, and that it's ok to change priorities and rest a language if motivation is lacking. Good luck.


As a person only looking at one language presently I cannot offer you advice based on experience, but some of the suggestions written here from others are definitely worth considering.

It has been mentioned by several people to prioritize your needs, to satisfy your curiosity, and to have fun. All very sound advice.

I notice you currently have seven languages on the go. If you are not too concerned about having a high level of understanding TODAY, then you could possibly do 10 XP per day on each. Progress through the trees would be slow but it may assist you to prioritize which languages are important and which are more for curiosity.

I admire all of you who tackle learning multiple languages simultaneously. I may try it in the future, myself.

Good luck with your learning!


Take off less courses, I guess


I am learning seven language but I am prioritizing Spanish because that's the only one I really need. I like to do Spanish and one other language, filling in the tree plus one new skill each day


You must have a cool head and a little focus.


Make a list of reasons why you want to learn your language (or one reason, if that's sufficient). Ask yourself everyday if you've learned enough to satisfy that list. If not, get back on the horse! Don't let the "new car" shine or allure of new languages distract you from that. Good luck!


Look into the culture plan a trip. If that does not get you motivated Russian probably is not for you right now.

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