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Learning two languages at the same time

Anyone else learning two languages at the same time? If so, which ones are they? Any tips? (Im doing French and German)

January 5, 2018



No, I'm learning five (Portuguese, Italian, German, Spanish, French) at the same time using a language (English) which isn't my mother tongue xD.

You should be fine with German and French, they're different enough. But it's better to first gain a decent basic understanding of either before you start with the second one. A tip is to keep up with the languages you're learning, having to relearn a lot is demotivational and very annoying, thus don't ignore a language for longer periods of time plus don't try to rush through the tree when you barely remember previous translations. (the timed repetition is a pretty decent measure I'd say, if you're able to complete timed practice - being able to respond to the 20 questions without running out of time - for about half of your attempts I'd say you're ready to move on to the next chapter).


What is your mother tongue?


Thanks for the tips! I'll make sure to keep revising as well as making sure I know everything before I move on to the next chapter, and good luck with all your languages as well!


I actually think implicit in elvper's recommendation is that you don't need to know everything before moving on. It's good to know a reasonable portion though. And the criterion provided will give you a good idea of when you're there.


(the timed repetition is a pretty decent measure I'd say, if you're able to complete timed practice - being able to respond to the 20 questions without running out of time - for about half of your attempts I'd say you're ready to move on to the next chapter)

I think that's probably an excellent benchmark. Presumably with some reasonable limitation on hint use, just to make it explicit.


I'm mainly learning two languages: Esperanto and Swedish, which are fairly similar, but not as similar as Swedish is to Norwegian or Danish. This might be the reason that I'm able to learn these two languages simultaneously. I also find that it's also helpful if you read the tips and notes section beforehand (if there is a tips and notes section for that particular skill), and returning every day to review makes a huge difference.

Good luck with learning French and German!


Thanks! Good luck with Esperanto and Swedish as well!. Do you know if there is a way to access the notes section on the Iphone app, I didn't even know it existed until you mentioned it.


I've only used Duolingo for a short time on the iOS version when I was alpha testing the Korean course, but it's my understanding that the tips and notes section hasn't been added to iOS yet.


Thats a shame, it would be good to have that information on the go. Anyway thanks for the tips, the notes section is really useful.


I've read that you can get to them through a mobile browser (you likely have to request full desktop mode). However, Safari doesn't do it. I think maybe Chrome? I've never had the motivation to try it for myself.


Yep. I am learning spanish and practicing my first language russian. You can never learn a langage fully. Its easy. Just pay attention and everything will be all right.


If you need any help with Spanish don't hesitate to ask, its my first language so anything you need just ask, and thanks, I will keep being consistent and paying attention.


I am learning Spanish and Japanese at the same time. In my opinion, I will suggest focus more on one language than the other. Better if you choose two language that don't share much in common. (Even for me, I once spoke isu(chair in Japanese) instead of silla(chair in Spanish) while talking in Spanish). Also, I'd like to mention that I learn Spanish base on English(my second language) and Japanese base on Chinese(mother tongue).


Any specific ratio of learning time of one language compared to the other that has worked for you?


I'm learning some languages at the same time, but I never started two languages from the bottom simultaneously. I prefer to learn the basics in one language before I engage in a new language I've never encountered before, so I don't get confused too much.

Some advice that might be useful for your studies is to try out the French-from-German and/or the German-from-French trees. Maybe not now, as you've only just started, but later on, this can be a fun and time effective way to learn your two target languages. Reverse/laddering trees are always a good idea in later stages of learning, as a more active use of the base language is required from you.


I'm learning way more than two.


How many at a time?


I'm doing French and Dutch. My tip is... take turns doing them


How often do you do each


I'm learning both French and (re-learning) Italian, and gave up on German for now haha. Since French and German aren't that similar (for example, not like Spanish and French) it shouldn't be too hard, but the problem that might surface is that you could learn one language to fluency much faster if you only focus on one language. However, to many of us it's not a problem.


Yeah, I think the fact that they are not that similar makes it easier for me as I don't really get confused with conjugation and stuff as often as I would with similar languages.


I'm learning Spanish and Russian, I have studied Spanish for 2 years in college so I'm already out of the beginner stage. I started Russian just 3 months ago and it's been going really well, especially that they're as far from each other as two languages can be (completely different alphabet, structure, vocabulary...)

For your case if you're a beginner in both languages I would recommend you to focus on one for a while (3 or 4 months) then start the second one, I'm not an expert, I'm just saying that learning the same level of vocabulary in two languages at the same time is difficult and confusing at least for me. The fact that I was past basic level in Spanish when I started Russian really helped me.

For other tips, I would say make two spots of the day to learn each language and keep it that way.

Good luck


Yeah, I think I have to designate learning times for each language, if not I'll just start mixing words and conjugation rules in my head, thanks so much for the advice and good luck to you as well!


I am not learning two languages but I have learned two languages fluently. German is very similar to English so you shouldn't have a problem with that (enless your native language isn't English then idk). But French is a little bit more difficult trying to make different sounds and rolling your tongue. I think you will do just find though! It is not that easy at first but once you get the hang of it. It will be alought easier!


Yeah, Im finding German conjugation rules much easier than french, although when listening some times I have trouble differentiating some words that kinda sound the same (der, die, das, for example (maybe its just me))


Russian and Latin mostly. Already having good levels in Spanish and English, I think learning French and German simultaneously should be relatively straightforward, and you'll find your progress rewarding. I think it's good to concentrate on a first foreign language for a while so as to let your brain simply learn how to speak a (i.e. any) foreign language, but you've already got two, so have at it and have fun!


I'm doing Hebrew and German. My German is advanced enough that I'm just picking up new words and practising. I wouldn't try learning two German variants at the same time. I've been thinking of learning Lower German but have stayed away from it because I don't need that confusion at this point.

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