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is it a good idea to learn more than one language simultaneous?

I have always wanted to learn French, but lately I have developed interest in Mandarin as well. But I don't know if it is a goof idea to learn both the languages together. Please share your opinion on this.

June 8, 2018



Human brain has no limit ... You can practice any languages that you want to learn at the same time


It is always dependent on where you stand.
For my response, I say it is a great idea to seek to learn multiple languages.

To learn one other language - that is VERY significant, and also shows you great insights back also on your mother/first language. It lets you see things through different ways of thinking.

To then learn yet another language, offers you even more insights, both on your first language, and you second language. It has the potential of increasing your understanding and learning potential, beyond the learning of the concepts of a language. Also allowing you ways to think differently about ... ways of viewing and thinking about the world.

Much less the ability to fun of watching movies, and travel, and even job opportunities and exposure to amazing new cultures and hobbies.

I commend learning multiple languages.


"It lets you see things through different ways of thinking." = yes, it is exactly what I'm looking for. Thoughts, colors, perfume, etc and also a little history...


When thinking about learning multiple languages, I've found you want to consider three things. 1) Time management, 2) Your learning style, 3) Degree of language similarity.

1) Time Management - Learning two languages at once will obviously mean you're moving slower on each of them than if you'd focused on only one. But some people, myself included, are okay with that. Especially if you know you want to learn the other language eventually.

2) Learning Style - Will adding another language distract you from the first, or will it give your brain a chance to rest when you're feeling burned out on the first? Learning two at once works very well for me, but it might not for everyone.

3) Language Similarity - Languages as different Chinese and French won't cause much interference with each other, whereas attempting Spanish and Portuguese at the same time would be setting yourself up for failure. I've found it's even better if one of the languages is similar to your native language and the other is different, since they'll occupy different parts of your brain.

I previously paired French with Esperanto and it worked well for me. I'm currently studying Chinese and Spanish and it's working even better.


This is an immensely helpful advice, specially because it's coming from you. I think I am going to take up Mandarin as well :) Thank you


Aw, thank you! It's a fun language so far; I think you'll enjoy it.


About these two languages, AditiKara : French and Chinese. They are so different that it is not at all a problem to learn both together. It is a bit different when languages are very near (as for example Italien, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian and French), if you start to learn them at the same time you could make some confusions and mixt a little these languages together. In that case it is better to have a good practice in one and after begin another. But for languages very different as French Chinese (but also Hindi, Russian, Swahili) there is no problem at all... just the time to practice them. Good luck.


I thought the same as you a while ago! I have been learning Hindi as I have planned to travel to India. Then I got an interest in speaking Chinese. Now I am learning both and enjoying learning them both together. Our brain can take it in with no bother at all. It is ourselves that stop us believing it we can.

[deactivated user]

    for someone like me, it's a very bad Idea, but if you're someone who can dedicate enough time and enthusiasm to each language, then it's a great idea. let me tell you something about myself. I'm trying to learn 5 languages simultaneously and honestly I'm not getting anywhere, but if you are that interested in learning mandarin, you could learn it easily. In my opinion the tones and memorizing words with the right tone is the challenging part in mandarin, and the rest is easy.


    Nothing is impossible


    I started French last October, Italian soon after, and Chinese as soon as it was available (December?)...and have been doing all 3 at the same time ever since. I spend most of my time on French, a some time on Italian, and a little time on Chinese. I like working the Chinese in gradually this way because it is SO different, and it takes the brain a bit to adapt to the new type of language structure (i.e. no alphabet...lots of different characters). I say, go ahead and try it and see how it works out for your specific situation.


    I also used Memrise to help practice the Mandarin vocabulary...if you dig through the Memrise website you can find a way to do it for free.

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