1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Advice for Studying Two Langu…


Advice for Studying Two Languages

Lately, I've been having some trouble wanting to persist in my Esperanto studies due to getting more serious about Spanish than the mentioned. Any tips for liking both of them and learning them well?

December 22, 2017



I think your problem is just lack of motivation which is difficult to fix.


To be honest, I wouldn't advise it. I know it really sucks, but it is better to focus on one or the other. I know this is the answer you didn't want to hear, but in my personal experience, when you are learning two languages that are similar (eg, spanish and esperanto) things can get very confusing and your learning will slow down. When learning two languages at the same time, perhaps it would be better to learn things that aren't similar like Chinese and French, for example. Try and get your motivation back, it will come. I've been unmotivated with Spanish recently but I've fallen back in love with it. Good Luck!


It's fine. That's exactly what I was thinking, and I'm going to do Esperanto after Spanish. Thanks so much.


I currently study English, Arabic, German and French (Spanish is optional) at school, my native languages are English, Russian and Arabic. It takes me a minute to process what language I need to use lol, especially with French and German, I sometimes mix up English and Russian while talking, so ranking my skills in the languages first comes English then Russian, German, Arabic and French, I learned most of the German from Duolingo, it thought me more than school ever did xD, but in my opinion, I advise you to not force your learning, your interests comes form your nature, I learned German not by pressuring myself to do it, but because its fun doing so (in my opinion), I am forced to learn Arabic and French and it gets me no where. Trust me


Just do 1 or 2 lessons in Esperanto and focus on Spanish. It is nice variety to dable in another language, but the general consensus is to focus on one until you are pretty good at it.


Set your daily goal higher


Why do you want to learn Esperanto? Why do you want to start Spanish?

If you had finished Esperanto, learned it for a while and spoke it:

Well, yes, then your Spanish (Romance) may benefit from it - to share those parts which are similar.
This how I understood it (have not studied Esperanto myself).

A Polgyglot actually wrote this on his blog.

Another story was learning Esperanto and one Romance language at the same tip: Big mess, like learning Portuguese + Spanish, Italian + X, etc.

I can clearly see it with Portuguese + Spanish (2 days of Spanish on Lingvist; my SP Duo tree does not count: tested out on Android).

Both language are so different in base words, but still sharing so many words...or at least quite similiar.
Quite confusing with similiar languages in the Romance language category:-)

You better check for yourself if that will / can happen to you!

I already fear, that I will overwrite my Portuguese with some Spanish stuff learned (for reading) and create just lot's of mess.

I would give Spanish the boost, as:

  • Duo Labs Spanish stories
  • DuoLingo Spanish podcast
  • SpanishPod101
  • Language Transfer Spanish (free)
  • 50languages Spanish (100 days native recorded audio); well, there is also Esperanto ;)
  • Google TTS sounds horrible for Esperanto
  • you can join my Lingvist "end of 2017 year challenge" for Spanish: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25606961
  • you can go to a local language "Stammtisch" on www.meetup.com and speak Spanish


I've had good results learning multiple languages. My tips, especially important for similar languages (like romance languages, or even indo-European languages which IMHO are all pretty similar to each other in deep ways) are to focus in-depth on one, getting it to a pretty advanced level, and then only start learning the basics of another language later. Linguistic interference is worst if you're trying to learn the grammar of two similar languages at roughly the same time. So for example, get to where you're learning advanced grammar and deep vocab in one language but still working on basics of pronunciation in another. Then when you're moving on to the advanced grammar of the second language, in the first, you want to be at the level where you're focusing on fast listening comprehension, conversing with native speakers, and learning by immersion.

With distantly-related languages, it's less of an issue I find.

Also though...I find it really helps if you master the pronunciation of both languages. If you're pronouncing (and perceiving, mentally processing) a language in a sloppy way that is mostly based around your native tongue, any languages you learn are all going to blur together. Hearing the sounds and producing them in your mouth, more close to the way native speakers do, helps reduce the linguistic interference a lot.

To this end I recommend a lot of listening...a lot of supplemental material, just DuoLingo isn't enough.


Beginningthe study of two languages at the same time has never worked for me. It looks like you may have not advanced really far in either language, so your idea of studying Spanish and then Esperanto sounds good. If you're fairly far along in Spanish, however, you might try Esperanto for Spanish speakers if you want to continue w/ both.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.