Tips/Recommendations for studying and maintaining 10+ languages on Duolingo
IMPORTANT: If you do not agree with learning 10+ languages on Duolingo at the same time, please refrain from posting on this discussion. I genuinely respect your opinion, but I'm really only looking for advice/tips that will help me in my language learning efforts. Negative comments about it being impossible or "quality over quantity" don't really help. Please don't yuck my yum.
DISCUSSION: I am seeking tips/advice about working on more than one tree at the same time (5 in my case), while maintaining others. Would it be better to study each language for 10 to 15 minutes a day, 6 times a week, or dedicate one hour a week for each language?
Any advice/recommendations/insight directly related to the discussion would be highly appreciated :). Thank you!
Happy language learning :)
So right now I'm maintaining 2 languages (one of those being the reverse tree and strengthening my main course, another just by strengthening alone) and actively learning 3 while I learn the basics of a dozen more. The most important thing to remember is that learning everything all at once at the same pace is.... unrealistic. You can learn them all, but the first thing you need is priorities. For example right now I'm focusing on finding outside resources to learn Swedish (children's books and TV are about my level as of now) and I'm maintaining a good understanding in Spanish through online exposure and the occasional reading. Most of my other languages are almost purely being studied on Duolingo and similar sites (Memrise, Clozemaster) for the time being, the idea is that once I can have a confident conversation in Swedish, I can focus on yet another language to apply those skills to more advanced things. It might be different for you depending on what your goals are; some people want to only read or speak a language (not both), which I personally find to be an odd and somewhat counterproductive goal but it's legit in certain contexts.
So both outside of Duolingo and on it; Priorities are the best thing. If you want to do more than one language somewhat simultaneously, spend more time with a certain language each week or purposely learn different languages at different paces. What I have decided to do is to make a list of how much XP I want in each tree a day, so it might look something like ES-50, SV-40, IT-30 ect. (Or you could divide it like ES-80, SV-40, IT-20 for example). There's no wrong way to do it as long as you have a goal in mind and you know how you want to prioritize; don't be afraid to experiment.
I have been learning 4 languages on my own until I found duolingo and all I can say is keep them seperate! If you try to compare and contrast languages especially chinese and english all you are going to do is hurt your head. Each people have a completely different way of thinking not just talking and their language reflects that. At school, I see kids try to find an english equivelent to words but there is none because the concepts are not the same at all. Learn them a bit of each at a time. Also, immersion does work! watch movies you love in the new language and you will be suprised to find what you learn. And I love how you are learning so many languages! My mother is an iterpreter and so I get to see how knowing multiple languages can be really benificial. Keep up the goodwork
Basically, I would say do what you feel like. The below is based on adapting my preferred learning pattern to your desire to learn a number of languages in a more orderly manner:
If it's correct that the trees you're maintaining are by and large (or precisely) the five you have highest levels in, then the languages that are new to you are largely a very good deal harder than the ones you've tackled so far. It'll take a while to get anything to stick for them. If your goal is to learn them all well, then I'd advise you to spend the time skill by skill for each of them as you see fit. Rack up the hundreds of XP it'll probably take to get a skill 70-80ish% mastered. Then move on to the next skill in another language. And so on and so on. Consider doing a handful of skills for a language in this concentrated manner as there are costs to switching one's concentration. Sprinkle in reviews for your stronger languages.
The main tip I have for you is to prioritize your trees/languages.
Consider what goals you want to achieve in your languages. If you are just curious about a language you can stick with duolingo and finish the tree slowly or just storm through it if that's your style, and then keep it gold if you still want to continue with the language. Or do you want to eventually get to intermediate/advanced levels across reading, writing, speaking and listening, because then you need to add some extra learning sources outside of duolingó and need more than one hour a day. Some languages are naturally more difficult, and only you know which one you need to spend more time on to get the basics down before finding extra learning sources. Currently I work on 8 trees daily, I have finished 6 trees and try to keep them mostly golden. Like a lot of people using duolingo, I have trees that are for maintenance of languages that I already know from prior learning, so really they are not too much hard work. Perhaps you have similar experience to that. There are also languages that are my priority so I spend more time on them.
But this is what I do:
Set a minimum daily XP: for me it is 200 but often I do more, and I divide that according to the languages that I want to prioritize and the free time I have.
Use extra material for the top 2 or 3 languages: When I want to focus on a particular language I add things like textbooks, youtube, other apps, radio, podcasts etc.
Set a minimum time everyday that you should spend on languages daily: I usually do 2-3 hours and again I divide that according to the prioritized languages and using different material. Remember to take into account your other life priorities like work, family, school etc. But if one can only do 15 minutes a day then so be it, as sometimes you just don't have time.
Join a club on the duolingo app: A club may set a weekly XP target that you have to achieve to stay in the club. This helps me accountable to keep a streak, and keep going with a tree if I am lacking motivation.
Good luck and enjoy your learning.
Even though I am learning 4, I think you should do one week off in Russian, where you do a ton more levels and strengthening, while keeping Port, Span, French, and German at a pace. The next week you blast through Chinese, and keep the normal 5 at a pace, the following week Korean, then Japanese, then Hebrew, and then back to Russian to restart the cycle. That is somewhat what I do.
The key here, at least for me, is patience. Not only with the languages, but with yourself. If you can, the bare minimum I recommend is doing at least 10 points for each language a day, but if you cannot, pick at least two and do those two. And if you cannot even those two, either have a streak freeze prepared (like I have in the last few days where I have had either no time or been feeling rather awful in the health department). Do not get excessively indulgent with yourself, but do not get too strict either. You are human, after all, and you shall get to your goals sooner or later.
(In my case, I'm maintaining English, French, Italian, German and Danish, while actively learning to various effects Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Irish and Korean, and the basics of the rest)