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Is it a bad idea to try to learn two languages at once (French and Dutch)?

So I want to learn French but I also want to try to learn Dutch because it is easier (my primary focus is to become more fluent in French).

Is it bad to try to learn both of these at the same time?

November 25, 2017



It's easier if the languages are very different. I primarily focus on French but do some Spanish now and then. I tried to do Italian as well but there are quite a few similar words with Spanish so I started to get confused!

  • 1889

People do it all the time. It does depend on your time and ability to absorb the information in your spare time... Bon courage!!


The amount of time you’ve put into all those languages is absolutely inspirational.

  • 1889

Thank you kindly. It used to be fun to dig deeper into some of the languages when Immersion was available...


Same for you. I would have forgotten about half the courses your doing!


Not "bad" per se, just easier and more effective if you focus on one at a time. Get to know one really well instead of both "sort of" well.


It is not necessarily an either/or, mutually exclusive set of options.. Many people can (and do) make a third choice, and learn both choices really well.


I would give it a go if I were you. I am learning French and Spanish, my main priority is French but I do a little Spanish. I find it easier to just concentrate on one language but it depends on how you are.


Well I learn French and chinese, and I feel perfectly fine. Go ahead. ^-^


No it all depends on patience, courage, and your learning speed. Plus I should know, I'm doing 3 courses!

[deactivated user]

    Sounds cool! I think it's just fine.


    If you feel like you can, do it. If not, put one on pause. Or, if you are up for a real challenge add Esperanto. Esperanto has similarities to many European languages. The Germanic roots will help with Dutch, and the grammar will help with French. Also, remember learning is a life-long marathon, not an explosive bing-bang-boom-done thing. Native speakers of your target language have spent years immersed in it. Some may not even speak another language. Its like getting a PhD in English (or any language[excuse my ethocentrism]), it is an accomplishment for anyone, but more so by a non-native speaker; anything you learn is more than remaining ignorant, and always wishing you had done something.


    No not at all. As a 14 year old who is learning like 7 languages it is not a bad idea. although it is hard to find time to study multiple languages, studying two languages at once will help you be able to learn them much quicker then if you were to learn them separately. And since they are from two different language families that will make it more easy.


    another option is to learn enough French to feel like you are starting to get a grasp of it, then start learning Dutch from French. This is called laddering, and there are a lot of people that say that using your target language to learn another language is a great way to consolidate your knowledge of the target language. You can find discussion threads on Duo talking about this if you type laddering into the search field at the top of the discussion page. Here is one that I thought was helpful (but there are lots of others) - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/10266321/Laddering-Languages-Should-I-learn-a-third.

    You do have to change your base language to get to the courses that are available from your target language, and then change it back if you want to access language courses from your native language. One way to avoid that is to set up a second account for each base language that you use.

    [deactivated user]

      Yeah go for it ! As long as you’re enjoying the languages and want to learn more every day, it’s a good thing to do. I’m fine with learning more than two at a time thanks to being a “polyglot”. I love languages.

      And i also think that learning more than one language at a time is very useful. Why? Because that way, you can compare and contrast the languages as you are learning them. That really helps the overall learning in my opinion :-)

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