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Learning more than one language at a time?

Hi everyone,

I was just wondering whether I should try to learn more than one language at a time. Just to give you some background - I was born and raised in a more or less bilingual environment. My mother tongue is Tatar, but I switched exclusively to Russian at a very young age. I still understand Tatar quite well and know its grammar structure, but I can't can't speak it fluently . I have been learning English since I was eight and I am now totally fluent (I've been living in the UK for six years). Back in Russia I started learning French at school, but it didn't go too well. I picked it up again last year and did a very lightweight course. I am doing a reading course atm, I go to classes once a week. Turns out I need to learn Dutch for my work, so I picked it up. I spend about an hour to an hour and a half a day on it, and I all but gave up French. However, I really want to defeat the wretched thing someday, and preferably sooner rather than later. So, first question: do you think it is ok for me to go back to French at some point soon or should I concentrate just on Dutch for now? (for reference, I started doing Dutch half heartedly a couple of months ago but began putting the effort into it about a week ago). Thanks.

January 12, 2015



My situation is similar to yours. I have been focusing on Dutch for some months, but last week I've also decided to refresh my French and study it with more discipline - I took a pause in my French classes almost two years ago and in Duolingo I just flew through my French tree with little attention. Balancing learning two languages could be quite tricky sometimes, but I think that it always comes down to discipline. If you try to share your efforts between them in a regular basis in order to keep both fresh in your mind, I would say it's totally possible. At the moment it's working for me and I hope I can see good progress with both. Good luck with your learning!


French and Dutch aren't similar at all so you won't mix them. It's all based on the amount of time you can put into it.


I tried to do a French exercise yesterday and just kept wanting to translate English into Dutch or making mistakes on the level of 'tu mange'... This is hopeless.

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