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Learn italian after french

Hi all,

I'm looking to learn italian after french. I can see that there are 7 levels in the french course and I'm currently half way through level 1 (feeling good).

Anyone can suggest when I should start learning both together? Didn't want to start learning both together from scratch so started with french first initially. But would like to know whether I should/will be in a good position to learn another soon.


May 21, 2020



It depends how much time you have - and your own abilities.

As a rule of thumb if you cannot double how long you learn languages - don't add a second one. If your total maximum time is under an hour - stick to one language. If you get confused - stick to one language.

If you want to try, do the first language in a solid block (with breaks as needed). Take at least an hour off. Do your second language.

For many people, getting the first language to a solid beginner level - eg most of the tree complete - works better than starting two languages together. And use the hover method - https://blog.duolingo.com/whats-the-best-way-to-learn-with-duolingo/

Search for more info.


Thanks a lot. By getting most of the tree complete, did you mean all 7 levels on the site?


Yes - all seven checkpoints to a mix of levels 1-5 (by then most of your skills will be 3-5).


learning languages is a big challange - not everybody can do two together - go on and you will see what you can afford


Salut, de mon point de vue, moi j'aurai déjà appris les bases du français, et j'aurai commencé l'italien après les avoir apprises. Après cela dépend du temps que tu disposes devant toi et du niveau que tu as pour l'instant !

Hi, from my point of view, I will have already learned the basics of French, and I will have started Italian after having learned them. After that it depends on how much time you have ahead of you and what level you have at the moment!


I've had 8 years of french so, I'm "refreshing" it on here. I was taking Italian with a tutor until this covid deal came along. So, I'm just waiting for my teacher to let me know when we can resume. I had a little Italian prior to taking it with this teacher so, that helps. :) Make sure you get the basics down before moving on in any language ie: Days of the week, numbers to ( at least 10), months, etc. Also, the alphabet can help in many ways as I started french in High School with it and never forgot it. It helps with pronunciation and how to form words. In the "beginning" everything is important so, make sure you take your time and get that down and then after you have the language to about intermediate, then try learning another language. Just don't overwhelm yourself as that can happen and then you could get confused and sometimes find yourself wanting to quit. Most importantly, make sure you're enjoying learning the language, otherwise you could feel like you've wasted your time. Give it a try and see if it's what "resonates" with you, and if it does, see where the journey takes you. You may be surprised! :) Bonne Chance!



why don't you first complete your quite long EN->FR CEFR French tree with 158 skills and all sections (or at least 80-85%+)?

Then you might have a real chance to complete it on a L1 (+regular practice) or L1-L3 crown pyramid system within the next ~1,8-2,3 years (not on L5 crowns).

In the end it depends how many hours you can spend per day and each week to make some L0->L1 lesson + L1 practice progress.


You will be in a good position:

  • if you have already learned all the Romance/French grammar basics (including multiple tenses, Subjunctive, etc.)

  • you can understand the French language from audios, videos and TV (this needs some further practice beyond Duolingo)

  • you have already jumped into speaking French (e.g. in your 2nd year) and you feel accustomized to the pronuncation

  • you have spent learning French for a longer time like 1,5-2,3 / 3,0+ years

I strictly focused on Portuguese (BR) for one year.
Now it has been 3,5 years. Wow, time is just flying by!

6 months after receiving my "golden owl" I reserved some time to practice the skills on Duolingo (+Memrise) and then I run into the Duolingo Portuguese tree update in Summer 2018 which took me several weeks.

2,5 years ago I started a Spanish learning on a different learning portal and I was not (totally) confused even I had to start from scratch.
But the Romance benefit (knowing several PT words and verb tense/stem stuff) was not such big as I had initially expected.

There are several differences in the basics between Portuguese and Spanish...
.......and all this preposition, contraction grammar stuff is real pain...Italian probably won't be any different?!

If you can not already freely express your thoughts in French (conversational level, at least on an upper-beginner level) adding the Italian language right now will to your learning process as a 2nd language would feel to me like wasting time which you will be missing in French.

Honestly, I hardly can keep up with the SR intervals with my multiple running Portuguese courses on Memrise.
It is more tough to clear the course backlog queues on a daily (best) or at least regular basis.

Running into "Overdueness" SR classic reviews (100% typing, no hints, no multiple-choice, 100% L1 EN -> L2 target language translations = RECALLING tests) is no fun at all.

I have no idea how you want to learn two languages every day for 2-3+ hours if you start quite soon.

But as everyone is different: Try it!

Make your own experiences if you can handle it or not or under what conditions.

See what you can optimize in your learning process in the next 4-6+ months.

Personally I would just add 1-2 more French resources to your collection.
Using Duolingo exclusively alone won't make you win the race!

Good luck.

PS: The Italian from English tree is a classic (Non-CEFR) course.
Once you have completed your French tree (at least on ~85-90% L1 crowns progress but almost ALL sections) you may benefit from the French -> Italian laddering tree, which is quite different than your English -> French course and you also have to type/write in French to some extend.


You might be fine by now - especially assuming you didn't start french recently and even more so if you had studied french previously outside of Duolingo. (I am in the latter situation). So far I find Italian very close to french in its general grammatical structure and vocab, but they sound extremely different. That might help you separate them I actually have more issues with separating Spanish and Italian (and I studied Spanish for about 10 years in school/college and have started Italian much more recently).

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