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Is it wise to learn two or more language at the same time?

Hello all!

I am learning German and I also want to learn Italian. Actually, I was learning Italian 8 years ago, but I don't remember much of this language any more. Is it wise to learn two or more languages at the same time? I have notice that many Duolingo users are learning more than one language. Is this OK or it may be confusing?

Thank you

July 31, 2013



It depends on what your goals are. Are you just trying to dabble in each language to learn casually or are you actually trying to seriously move towards proficiency in a language and supplementing your studies with conversation classes, movies, etc? Duolingo is not enough to actually "acquire" a language. I'd personally just focus on one language at a time if I were you. :-)


It's up to you, but I personally don't find it confusing. I'm practicing my Spanish and starting Italian from scratch. Both are different enough. You should give both German and Italian a try and see how it goes for you- but I think you'll find it easy to separate. Learning a language, as you know, does take lots of time and commitment on the part of the learner.


I don't think that anybody can answer this question for you, simply because learning a language, or learning two languages, depends on so many factors that it is impossible to come up with a general response.

The best answer that I can give is to try it and if your progress is as fast as you would like on both, then keep practicing in the same pace. If you are not happy with the progress, then switch to a single language, and when you are at the desired level, then you can continue with the second.

Just remember, duolingo is a very nice tool, but you are the student and the teacher, so it is up to you to set the pace, make sure that you understand the material, and find additional supplements to improve your language learning experience.


I'm doing the same thing right now! I don't find it confusing to learn, but have unfortunately mixed up vocabulary when speaking. Written and audio works in Italian and German are so different though, you'll have no problem distinguishing between the two if you use such supplements to study. One huge pro for me - besides learning my two favorite languages - is that when I inevitably grow bored of one I can focus on the other without dropping my studies altogether. Bouncing back and forth between the "favorite of the moment" holds my interest for much longer than a single subject would. The con of course is that you'll undoubtedly progress slower through each language than if one had your undivided attention. Since Duolingo isn't a class or paid program, that's not an issue unless someone's impatient. Try it out, it could be fun!


Thank you all for your answers! :)


I find it less confusing to learn two languages simultaneously than to learn them sequentially. When I learn sequentially (spending a month on language A, and then a month on language B, for example), I end up trying to "import" vocabulary from one language to the other a lot more. When I learn them simultaneously, I do this less.

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