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Learning a language in a language you're learning

My native language is italian, but my second language (which yes, I didn't study on Duolingo) is english. When it comes to make research on the internet you will be shocked on how many information are there in english more than in any other language. Seriously, how do one find the time to look at all that bunch of sources? Because of this, I'm really glad to have an A2/B1 (I did the Ket and passed it with distinction :D). Now I can learn German with much more pdf, podcast and also skills on the Duolingo tree. It's funny to think I'm learning my third languange listening podcast on my second language. Have you ever learned in this way? And because you could improve your second language or because (like me) it was easier?

Probably there are some mistakes, but ehi, my writing skill is improving :D

January 2, 2018



Yes, I am improving my English (first foreign language) by exercising my second (German) and third (French) foreign languages in the courses:

  • "German for English speakers" and the reverse tree "English for German speakers"
  • "French for English speakers" and the reverse tree "English for French speakers"

And writing in Duolingo's English discussion forums is also a very good exercise to improve my English.


This method is called "laddering languages" when you learn a third language using the second and so on if you wish. It can solidify your grasp of L2 if (AND ONLY IF) L2 is at a high level of competency.

I once read 60% of internet traffic is in English, no other language was more than 10% German, Russian and Chinese were the other main languages. (at that time, subject to changes...) Even though I am a native English speaker, I think English can be an "easy" language to learn because it is very accessible through film, music, television series etc free on the internet...ok mostly with an American accent and spelling mistakes...but it is still English :P


Didn't know it was called this way! I can say about the 75% of my research on the internet are in English and I'm glad to see I can use this language to watch films and videos that aren't in italian or I would have missed things such as "Draw with Jazza" XD. I started learning it in 5th grade, but at that time I didn't realize how useful it would have be!

[deactivated user]

    Yes, I can totally relate. My native language is Portuguese and I've learned German via-English only. As you said, there are a ton of resources in English on the internet and so basically we're practising and perfecting one language while learning another.


    Well,my native language is Serbo-Croatian so i obviously do not learn here any language from it.


    Actually yes, English comes quite handy (to me it does) in understanding better how certain aspects of German or Hungarian work. South Slavic languages for example don't have in/definite cases. While English, German and even Hungarian do.


    Yes, my native language is Finnish and I mainly use English on the internet. I think learning German using English is easier than it would be with Finnish, not only due to lack of resources but also because German is so much more similar to English than it is to Finnish. I also know a little bit of Swedish as I had to learn it in school. I think it also helps me a bit, although I've already forgotten quite a lot of it.

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