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Learning German and Dutch at the same time?

I know that German and Dutch are very similar, and I intend to take German at some point. I am just unsure if taking both at the same time will help or hurt my progress. On one hand, they have similar roots and grammatical structures, so those things will correspond and be easy to identify. On the other hand, their similarity might get the words mixed up in my head. I don't intend to take German for a while because I am rather inconsistent on Duolingo, but I would love to know some thoughts for in the future.

August 9, 2014



Learning more than one language at a time is often taxing unless this sort of thing comes naturally.

I have heard most often (and I try and follow this as well) "Try to stick with one language at a time, or at most two, if you feel comfortable with your own aptitude."


I think that advice depends on how similar the languages are though. In high school I took German and Japanese at the same time and never had any problem confusing them. :P I can see how people would easily confuse words in Dutch and German though. The ones I'm often tripping up on are (English/German/Dutch) Bear/Bär/Beer and Beer/Bier/Bier.


I think especially if you're a beginner in the languages concerned, mixing up similar languages can be bothering you (meanings and spelling aren't hard-wired in your brain yet). Best thing is simply try if you can handle it or not. If you mess up too much, continue your favourite/most important one and take a break in the other one. Then whenever you think you're ready start learning the other one again.

BTW one I find more annoying than the beer example: (English/German/Dutch) how/wie/hoe, who/wer/wie


Agreed. I'm not upto who/how yet in Dutch. Something to look forward to. :P


I'm taking both Dutch and German (putting it on hold for a while, just not that interested in German) and I find it helpful knowing Dutch. It helps me with my German slightly (though they do have their differences).

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