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Problem when using 2+ native languages

Hi everyone,

It's not a major issue, but still kinda annoying.

By personal choice, I've started learning German using English as base language, and Spanish using French (I find it easier to make mental links between languages of a same language sub-family).

Now, when using Duolingo, it seems I can't have both courses listed at the same time. Either I switch for the English-version of the website to access my German lessons, or for the French-version to learn some Spanish. Switching between the versions doesn't reset my progress, but having to constantly do so back and forth, and search my courses in the lists , is a (relative) pain...

Anyone else with this problem?


January 19, 2015



You can use the Duolingo CourseSwitcher to quickly switch between base languages: https://github.com/arekolek/DuolingoCourseSwitcher

It is a user script made by a community member.


I just hope Duolingo officially makes it available soon...


Yea that would be nice. I do not really understand why that is not built in. People learning from multiple base languages seem to be very common here.


Actually, I believe it would be a small population of Duolingo users that actually complete courses in multiple languages. And it should be an even smaller population who try to learn new languages with different base languages.


It's common for people who speak native languages for which few courses are offered to use use the english courses for languages that aren't offered in their native language. For example I'm a german native . So far the only courses that are offered for german as base language are english and french, while courses which use engish as a base language have a far greater variety, which is why I use the English/Spanish course.


I am not faulting anyone for using two base languages. We are all here to learn languages and we should definitely make use of all resources at our disposal towards this end goal. I was just trying to present my take on why this request may not end up on Duolingo's high priority list.


Fair point. I guess you are correct in that most people stick to a single base language. I however would not see any problem if they would implement a solution like the one in the userscript - if you are only learning from a single base language the menu can stay the same, but once you add more base languages it should expand and allow for easier switching. Right now it is rather tedious to switch base languages and I do not really know why they keep it that way (same applies for the app - they could just list all active courses).


What I wanted to convey was that given the less number of people who will actually benefit from the feature, it may be a low priority item. The team may eventually get to it, but it will take time.


The population can't be that small. People who use duolingo often want to learn multiple languages. They are not the average language learner.


I'm with you on that!

I don't see why the website base language can't be separated from the course languages. In fact I've run in to it anyway

there is a bug that sometimes when I change the "Learning Language to something other than English" all of the base website items stay in English though the Lessons are in 2 other languages.

This happens when I switch from learn Spanish from English to Learn German from Spanish.

It would be best just to be able to select all the courses one is doing from a single drop down list having the 2 flag icons like is shown on the left of the discussions page (one flag with the smaller one on top)


Thanks a lot for the tip!


Do you know any workaround for Android users?


I read the comments and I agree with the OP, I'm a native Spanish speaker, I learned English, then I started French (from English), now that I understand some things in French, I started Italian (from French), and I'd like devs to integrate the interface across base languages, that'd be awesome!, as @XamFeverTS37 said, I hope they make it official, even though this isn't top priority as @remoonline said...


I am learning Italian from my native English and also the reverse tree (English from Italian) at the same time. I agree that it is a hassle to switch between the two. Nevertheless, I still love Duolingo (and the fact that it is free!). :D


I also am doing that for languages I am able to. It helps me to learn to "think" in the new language.

I think there are more people doing it than the developers think. There are several languages that only have a learn English from language X - So I'm using that to learn it in reverse. Also there are more selections to learn any language from "English".

Selecting to learn a new language from more than one I already know truly helps integrate the new language and gain fluency.

Also it helps learn constructions that are common to one language pair but not to others.

For example English word "you" is 2nd person singular plural formal and informal/familiar

Many other languages have distinct words for

2nd person singular formal 2nd person singular informal/familiar

2nd person plural formal 2nd person plural informal/familiar

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