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How do you manage to learn 2 or more languages at the same time?

I see so many people learning several languages at once here. How do you not get them mixed up? I think if I tried learning more than one at a time I would always get them confused in my head.

November 8, 2017



It's fun! I find the writing systems and grammar of languages to be absolutely fascinating. I love their phonological systems as well, especially with the languages of the Caucasus. The more I look at a language and its features, the more I want to learn it.

As for the "mixing up" problem, that tends to happen when you learn closely related languages at once, like Spanish and Catalan, or Swedish-Norwegian-Danish. For some reason, I don't suffer from that problem though, despite studying all those languages at once.


Some people are just really good at it. I see you are pretty far along. It all depends on the person though I guess. There are certain people that can learn like every language and other that can only learn like one or two. But I doubt that anyone is fluent in 3 languages. But once again it depends on the person and how long they have been doing it.


??? There are tons of people all around the world that are fluent in way more than three languages. Not that I'm one of them lol


I agree with missy20201. I've heard of certain countries where just about everyone is fluent in 3 languages.


Even if you would define fluency as near-native (which isn't the common definition), then there would still be plenty people around the world fluent in three languages or more.


Learning two completely different languages helps. Learning two Romantic languages at the same time would be hard because of the similarities (say Spanish and Italian) But if you were to learn a Cyrillic language (Russian, Ukrainian etc) and a Romantic language it would be easier.


I'd argue that learning two related languages can be very beneficial because of the shared vocab and grammar. Yes, you'll mix up the two sometimes, but you'll learn their differences quickly.

It's Romance and Slavic languages by the way, not Romantic and Cyrillic (Cyrillic is the alphabet, not used for Slavic languages like Polish or Croatian).


That's a good question. I don't know but i don't get mixed when I learn two languages at the same time. I learn German and English at the same time but I cannot understand why don't I get mixed. : P

[deactivated user]

    I don't know why I don't get mixed up. I am learning spanish at school and here. I am also learning French in Memrise. I also tried to do Italian but I didn't have the time to do it.


    It is not the most difficult thing in the world, but it is more preferable to stick to one at a time, for me, at least. I like to learn bits of other languages while sticking to one base language I want to learn, and it helps me expand my knowledge without devoting too much time to other things. There's no harm in trying if you want to test it out :)


    I do not know. I am going to but I was too nervous about starting the second one for the exact same reason as you


    Select two totally different languages (I'm doing Spanish here and Chinese on my own outside Duo), and dedicate time every day to both of them so you don't lose track of one or the other. You'll get the hang of it. Of course, some people do struggle with learning two (but again if they're that different you probably won't mix them up, at least not badly), so you could always just stop the second language until you've got what you would call an intermediate grasp on the one, where it's solid in your head and you won't forget/mix it up with anything.

    If you want to learn multiple languages, there must come a point where you are decent with one (perhaps you can decipher a newspaper or read simple books), and you can keep strengthening that one while starting another. Since we're never really "done" learning a language, right? :)


    Partially habit. I've learned two or more languages at the same time since the age of nine and it gets easier with more and more languages. It also helps not to start two new languages at the same time. Try to only ever be a beginner in one language. As for not mixing them up in day-to-day practice, you should try to keep pauses between practising different languages, which can get shorter and shorter over time.


    I've done it in the past but generally prefer not to.

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