https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

is it better to learn one language at a time or learning multiple languages at once?

i was thinking of learning french, German and Turkish together but i thought that if i concentrate on one language at a time i will be able to learn it better, am i wrong? or it dose not make a difference ? and which is better to do?

June 1, 2015

42 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/sheldolina

That's different for everyone. :) Personally, I prefer to reach a decent level in one language (finishing my tree and feeling comfortable with most of the stuff that's in there) before starting another one. But some people can juggle three languages at once like you're describing. Try to find out what works best for you personally!

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Briskrisk

Three, or eleven. But then some of us are just masochists.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Cephlin

Points to you good sir!

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Briskrisk

Oh wow, thanks.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/XD29
  • 1413

It depends on the person and on the languages.

I have finished the trees for French, Spanish, and Italian, and am keeping these trees golden. I wanted to start Portuguese, but I would get it confused with Spanish / Italian (it's difficult enough to keep those two apart!).

Instead, I started with Irish, and this is not confusing at all, since the language is so very different from my other languages. However I soon realised that I have to take it VERY slowly with Irish, and so I also started Dutch, where I see much more progress because it has so much in common with my native language (German).

This works well for me!

As French, German, and Turkish are all from different language families and bear little similarity to one another, I would give it a try.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Clarqex

Finishing a tree and learning to speak fluent with natives are two different things!

June 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

great tip ! thank you!

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Kudoriku

!

July 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/elytian

100% depends on your learning style. I like learning languages; French and Italian are my main focus, but sometimes I'll want to learn something that feels fresh or isn't too complex/advanced, so I'll do another language. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't. I definitely put more focus into one at a time, but I also find that learning what's different or the same in others can help me learn more effectively in my mains. I like the feeling of having all those different things going so it works for me. But if you're a focused/ dedicated person, you'll probably thrive more with a central goal. In short my suggestion is to try and see how it fits for you :)

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

merci!!

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick_Irish

I reckon concentrate on the one language a majority of the time, but if one is familiar with other ones then set aside some time to keep those refreshed. What is not practiced does decline.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/chriscoats89

What do you want to GET OUT of the language? I.e how far do you want to go in each?

For me, learning French sparked the language geek inside me and i started learning a bit of german, italian, anything i could get my hands on.

But, realistically, i had to take a step back and focus JUST on french, for these reasons:

My goal is to be FULLY FLUENT in French, My girlfriend is french canadian I want to study in france next year I wasn't happy with my level of french, particularly listening comprehension and speaking.

Sort of a jack of all trades, master of none type thing.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

i'm willing to become fluent in french too, french is the most important language for me to learn right now.. so i will focus more on french! merci et bonne chance! (correct me if im wrong!)

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/InsaneCule

You are correct. :)

(I speak more French than my Duo level would indicate...)

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Don_Cristian

definitely many languages ! I don't think it matters if you just have time for all of them

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Cephlin

I think you're onto something there Don. If you have lots of time to focus on many then you can tackle many. If you're only doing 10-30 mins a day, maybe focus on one or two languages.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Richardkang88

I study multiple languages at a time, and it truthfully depends on your experience with languages. Being that French, German and Turkish are from different language families, I don't see a problem with learning them at the same time. However, I would recommend continuing with your favorite language FIRST and only dedicating a little bit of time with both languages. If you are NEW to language learning, I'd really wait until you have spent 90 days on your main language. For example, if FRENCH is your target language, then really focus on that at first. Learning French is going to be a challenge for you if its your first language you're learning... you'll learn so much about studying and building a core with French. Believe it or not, your 3rd, 4th, and 5th language will be easier to learn than French. This doesn't mean you wont become a French speaker, it'll just be easier to learn other languages because you'll know what you're doing because of French.

Good luck either way.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

wow , thank you ! i will focus more on french ! x

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Fordaemdur

So true...

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Viking...

Learn one language at the time.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HakeemEvrenoglu

I am here more to talk about my experience than to suggest you "do this or that..."

I am studying French and Turkish... besides I don't confuse them, I struggle to find time to study both (usually I spend 80% of it on Turkish, since it is more difficult, and 20% on French, where i learn and review faster because of my Portuguese background)...

Indeed, when I finished my third three two months ago I got stuck between the three languages you mentioned and I dropped out German by now... hahahaha and I didn't drop Turkish just because of my "mental masochism"... hahaha

Good luck =]

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

thank you!! very helpful x

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis

It depends. If this is your first language learning experience, you might want to stick with a single language until you have some experience in how to learn a language under your belt. However, it doesn't hurt to try, just depends on the time you have. If you have limited time, and a goal for using French, then stick to French, but if your time is flexible, give it a try.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilari

I tried learning French and German at the same time twice - first when I didn't have a choice because it was school and I had to, and more recently when I started Duolingo. I've found for me, it's a bad idea. I don't think I'm a natural when it comes to language learning and when I try two at once, even though they're different linguistic families, I find it all to easy to get confused over vocabulary and which belongs to which language. So for now at least I'm just learning French. I may well pick up German again once I've finished my tree and feel comfortable with French, and only need to refresh it rather than learn new things.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

thats what im thinking of doing too ! bonne chance! (good luck)

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AddyNecalli

Personally, I am currently learning French, Portuguese, German, and Latin (not purely through Duolingo) and I don't have a problem with it. In my experience, it helps a LOT if you have a friend who is fluent in your target language(s) and willing to speak with you. The practice helps so much, especially with compartmentalizing the languages. Although, I do recommend devoting extra time to your favorite language and putting the others on the back burner, only occasionally reviewing them to keep them fresh in your mind, and just jump around that way.

June 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

awesome !! merci!

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AddyNecalli

de rien! et bonne chance :)

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I finished the Spanish tree first, and then was going to focus on only the French tree. However, I've found it works better to continue to review the Spanish tree lessons while doing the French tree. After finishing the french tree, I'm going to start on Dutch but continue to maintain the other trees.

As you have heard, everyone has a different approach. You can try one at a time for a week, then try two the next week, three the week after that, and see which you like best. None of the approaches are better than the others, it just depends on what works for you.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

great tip! merci beaucoup!

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/hanga22

I think if you study two (or more) languages which are not similar then it's not a problem. But you need to decide what you want to do with each language, what level you want to reach. If you have one target language which you want to learn well and the others are just for fun, maybe it's better to concentrate on that one and then if you are good at it or just got tired, you can practice the others. For me the only problem is when the languages are similar like Swedish and Norwegian, I never practice them on the same day. But beware, once you start several languages, it will make you addictive and you can't stop:) (I did the same with series, I always decide that I will watch only one, maximum two at the same time...aaand now I'm struggling with 5 at the same time :D )

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

great !! thank you!

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/NiloofarFL

I'm Persian and my second language is English it is near three years I've started learning French at the same time I decided to learn Spanish but this two languages was so near in vocabulary and so different in pronunciation ! so I have had lots of troubles So I have chosen French as a third language and after that I will start learning Spanish. So I think if this three languages are not similar to each other in different aspects you can learn them together.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

thank you ! very helpful.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Cypress-Station

I'm quite new to language learning- I'm really only focusing on Spanish, which is to be my second language. I think that learning French, German, and Turkish altogether is alright, definitely. Now, on the other hand, if you were learning, say, two Romance languages at the same time, that would not be good. I decided to try the beginnings of the French course and over the next few days I sometimes got French words mixed with Spanish ones. :/ But I don't know, that's just me.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/xaghtaersis

You can do multiple languages at once. I am doing it myself xD. However doing multiple languages at once also means spending time on them everyday. I like to make a little little progress in my languages every day. Yeah if you can pull that off then go ahead. Learning multiple languages at once is pretty great because you can just switch to the next language if you got a little bit bored with the first one. There is one thing though: I did have a build up. I started with solely portuguese and then started doing Spanish from Portuguese when I was done with Portuguese. I started doing Swedish and Spanish at the same time in November. That just went well because my motivation for learning Swedish was and still is very high. I got used to switching by learning two languages at once. And now I do three at once......although it feels more like 2 because I am mostly learning ukrainian because I want to get more used to reading and writing in cyrillic.

I would say: stick to french unless you feel like you can do multiple languages at once. Although you could also do like: 80% French and 10% Turkish and 10% German. Yeah, just try it out and see how it goes. Yeah, in the long run only you can know what works best for you. I can only speak out of my own experience.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Garrett2015

Hi there!

Echoing what everyone else is saying, I'd say...

  • It depends on how you learn best, so experiment, and make sure you're having fun.

  • It helps a lot when the languages are from different language families (like French, German, and Turkish).

  • It helps to have a primary target language to devote the most time to.

  • It helps to language-stack (example: English to Turkish, Turkish to German, German to French).

My primary new language is French and I've explored German, and I found it very easy to learn side-by-side since they were so distinct. However, I tried learning Portuguese (which is in the same family as French) but I simply could not pursue it since it was too similar to French.

While I've greatly enjoyed German, I plan to wait until the "German for French speakers" is released from the Incubator (which, hopefully, will be soon!). From what I hear, learning from your target languages helps you think in your target language and solidify it in your head.

Bon courage! Good luck! :-)

June 3, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Mia.24

amazing !!!!! very helpful, merci beaucoup!

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Garrett2015

De rien - you're welcome! ^_^

If you're interested in the Incubator at all, too, you can find it here: incubator.duolingo.com

Happy studies!

June 5, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KristenDQ

As someone who is bilingual (in English and American Sign Language), I find it easier to focus on just one language at a time. You'll notice next to my name, I have three flags. Yes I'm practicing French and Spanish, but I already finished those trees (not at the same time), so any time I go into those languages, it's just pure review. The language I'm learning now is Italian, so until I finish that tree, I won't be starting other trees for fear of mixing up new vocab words.

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/History_GeekGirl

I have been learning French for a while, and started learning Italian pretty recently. The two are very similar in terms of vocabulary and especially their written forms-- I sometimes do mix them up a little, especially the verb conjugations! I agree with everyone else who says it's better, ideally, to learn languages from different families at the same time than two Romantic languages or two Germanic ones. With French, German, and Turkish, I would think you would be fine!

Another thing is: when I practice both languages one after the other, I like to listen to a video or the news in the language before switching. That helps my brain to switch over between French and Italian, since they sound very distinct. Bonne chance avec votre fran├žais!

June 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/N4DJI3

ssssss

December 31, 2017
Learn French in just 5 minutes a day. For free.