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Learning Multiple Languages

I am only learning French right now. But I see a lot of people learning multiple languages simultaneously. I see people who are level 10+ in French, German,Spanish etc and are learning all of them together.

My question is how effective is learning one language at a time as opposed to many of them at the same time?

Also doesn't it get confusing at time? For example using a french word in a German lesson.

Is it possible to learn many languages at the same time EFFECTIVELY?

August 30, 2013



This is a good question with many varying answers. I believe though that focusing on one language at a time no matter how you learn is more affective. You only have so much time in one day. Say if you spent a week on one language for 2 hours a day vs 3 languages for 2 hours. The quality of the one language will be far greater that the quality of the 3 after that one week.


It will vary from person to person. Some people find it most effective to focus on one at a time while others can juggle several languages comfortably.

I finished the French tree and reviewed it for a month to solidify my knowledge before I started German. I use four languages every day, but have never had any trouble keeping them apart in my head, and it's surprisingly easy to flip between them.

I'd be more concerned if I had multiple romance languages to mix up with each other, though, because they're so similar.


It depends on the person, there is no correct answer to your question.


I agree with ziggKogg, but if you're thinking of taking another language, German would be the least confusing of those on this page, all the others are far more similar.


Well sometimes learning multiple languages is more fun.But it sometimes gets hard I'm learning Spanish and Italian at the same time .It's hard because they are simaler. It also depends on the person I agree with ziggkogg.Like ziggkogg said there is no correct answer to your question.


In my case, I already had French and a little Spanish many years ago, so I've got some foundation, if a bit crumbly. It must be incredibly hard to start even just one language from zero on Duolingo, given the lack of explanations.


I think learning three new languages can get confusing but if a person has some previous knowledge of a few languages, they could study these languages together, depending on the level. I am using Duolingo to refresh my previous knowledge of German and French which I did at school and college. I live in Italy and speak Italian fluently and so I'm using the Italian course for fun or to perfect little bits of knowledge that I may not have learned yet, so this is why I study three languages simultaneously. :-)


My brain needs time to absorb information and knowledge. The more time it has, the better the result. One language (Spanish) is the first priority and I practice it every single day. In case I have time, I study another language the same day. Even though my progress is extremely poor, some years later I'll have adequate exposure to those additional languages, which will make it much easier for me to learn each language when they'll be in the first place of my priority in languages.


Similar languages help me a lot, because my brain likes to match things, to make connections between things and to spot similarities.

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