1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Italian
  4. >
  5. Learning Italian


Learning Italian


I will finish my Portuguese tree in few days. My next wish is to learn Italian. :) But, I am still a beginner in Portuguese (I can communicate) so I am afraid that everything will mix inside my head. So, can I start learning Italian or should I keep practicing Portuguese?

And which language do you think is harder - Portuguese or Italian?

February 21, 2015



Personally, I find Portuguese harder. So far the two aren't mixing for me, but I have heard of people getting confused since they are somewhat similar.


It depends on what your goals are. Why did you decide on Portuguese in the first place?

I have only done a tiny bit of Portuguese, but Italian is friendly in a couple of ways: 1) It's phonetic, so you can usually write down what you hear quite accurately, even if you have no idea what it means 2) It's relatively regular ("the rules" can be used to guess the correct way to say something, quite a lot of the time).


I'm just wondering, what's the point of learning a new language if you haven't mastered the last one? I'm only doing Italian on Duolingo, so I can learn it to a point that I can speak it in a real conversation. I just think trying to take on so much will only make you weaker in every language but your first.


I don't know, in my experience, being intermediate + in one language and trying to take on a related target language is very frustrating because you can understand but cannot respond. It often actually hinders me with French - I can understand, but I can't respond, and in my frustration, I begin talking in Spanish.

Basically, knowing what I know now, I kinda wish I had learned both in high school. Other people often wish they'd focused on one-at-a-time. That's part of why language learning is not a one-size-fits-all experience.


That's pretty much what I just said.


I'm just wondering, what's the point of learning a new language if you haven't mastered the last one? I'm only doing Italian on Duolingo, so I can learn it to a point that I can speak it in a real conversation. I just think trying to take on so much will only make you weaker in every language but your first.

Is actually a pretty stark opposite to what I said above. Which was that learning Spanish has actually made it harder for me to learn other romance languages. I wish I had learned both French and Spanish in middle/high school so I'd at least had two under my belt. In frustration because I can understand but not respond to French and Italian speakers in French and Italian, I have often ended up trying to communicate in Spanish instead. If I'd had to learn them at the same time, none of them could act as a mental cheat sheet for the other :P


"Make you weaker in every language but your first" "Has made it harder to learn other romance languages" Like... what.


Wait, are you thinking I learned Spanish on DuoLingo recently?

That's about the only way I can understand how you'd think our two statements are similar. I mean, I explained I've been speaking Spanish since middle school and it makes French/Italian too easy to understand without pushing things into long-term memory, but... Since I explained that I learned Spanish first instead of alongside French and/or Italian, I really don't understand how you can construe these statements as similar, unless somehow in spite of saying otherwise you're thinking I tried learning more than one at once...


Dom_is_cool I think that is a smart conclusion!


I'm an italian mothertongue speaker and personally speaking I think that italian is harder because there are a ❤❤❤❤ load of irregular tenses and the subjunctives are the worst. I've finished a while ago my spanish tree and I'm currently learning portuguese from spanish, so far it's very easy because the two languages are very similar beside the portuguese pronunciation which is in my opinion harder. If I were you I would start doing spanish, it's way more similar to portuguese than italian.


I am having the same problem as you but reversed (I am acquiring a decent level of Italian and want to learn Portuguese). I think that it depends on your preferences, I personally prefer to get a high level in one. Concerning the similarities, never tried with Portuguese, but I tried with French while I was doing italian and gave up in a couple lessons as I was getting really confused because of the similarities, maybe just try and see what happens :) .


I think is harder Portuguese


I personnaly want to learn Portuguese after Italian, but I think I will wait to have mastered the Italian language more before trying to tacke the Portuguese!


I think both are very similar. so i would like to recomend you to practice more portuguese and then after one year start to learn italian. otherwise you will confuse both languages


I find Italian easier because the more years you do Italian in school the easier it becomes, besides after you learn the basics it is easy translate sentences


i didnt ask you to reply back did i?


I can speak some basic spanish and have just started to learn Italian. Mostly it has helped but sometimes I confuse words.


I did Italian in university and got straight A's, having never spoken it really before. Pronunciation is so easy, there are very few rules, and not too many accent marks. Also, I had never been a good student of foreign languages before. Italian is easy, and beautiful, you'll love it! (Also, it's the sexiest language in the world. ;) )

I would say focus on the Portuguese until you finish, because the two are too similar.


I am intermediate level Italian and wish to improve my language skills


I am intermediate level Italia please can I learn with you?

Learn Italian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.