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Is it possible to learn several languages at the same time?

This is a question for you who are currently -or have experiences in- learning more than one languages at the same time.


I'm wondering if it's possible to do? And if it does, how do you do it? Do you learn one language in a period of time, say, few months, and then start with another in the next period? Or do you share your schedule? Like, Monday, Wednesday, Friday for this language, and the rest for another? And do you think your method is effective?


I'm still learning French at the moment. It's not bad but I still need to improve it. In fact, I still immerse myself in French day to day. However, I'm thinking about starting to learn Italian soon. These two languages have similarities, especially in vocabularies (not sure yet about the grammar as I haven't learned it) and I wonder if this fact is going to help or set me back.


I'd highly appreciate it if you share your experiences. Thank you.



I have no experience learning two languages but have researched it myself.  I've read that the danger lies in similar language study, aka two romance languages, french and Italian or spanish etc. I could easily see how someone new to language study may have a hard time with this. It is much easier to keep straight in you head vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar if the two languages aren't similar at all supposedly.   Which makes logical sense to me.  For me it comes down to time.  Do I want to devote 100% of my study time to one language to become fluent as fast as possible?  Or do I spread myself thinner among two languages and learn them both slower?  I think it's up to the person but I am currently spending 100% of my time on spanish right now because I have a goal of fluency in 3 months.  I plan on after 3-6 months dedicated spanish study to tackle a language from a different family like Chinese. 

I was going to say after 3 months I will continue to improve on the Spanish everyday but dramatically reduce devoted time to it, rerouting more time to the next language.


Well currently I'm learning French and Russian. I think though they are far enough apart for me not to be confused. I used to study Spanish but I found it confusing with French. You could always try it but it might be confusing as there are many similar words but it can also be helpful if there are similar grammar points then you don't need to learn them so deeply as you'll already understand them. For me though I think I'm going to wait a while before studying Spanish again as it'll confuse my French. It's not that I don't know the words apart it's just when i speak I start accidently saying words from the other language.

Yes, it’s possible to learn several languages at the same time, as long as you don’t get your head filled with dictations from another source. Like you’ve mentioned and don’t know if you slightly intended that, look for similarities of the languages, the more relatively alienated from the targeted languages, the more difficult.

It’s quite easy when you’re young, because cognition just start it to develop in the brain and lots of information can be stored in the brain with ease, (the peak is approximately from 4-11 years of age), more later, more difficult, the observation is simply done by viewing the learning process of adults, especially elderly persons that try to learn a second language.



Yes it yes, but depend of person :) In Portugal we study 2 languages mandatory and in high school depend of course but usually we stay with more than 2 language :)That don't mean we will be goods in boths usually we are better in one than another.


But for study 2 languages same time depend a lot of person :) for me is more easy learn close languages because I don't have to much work but I need greater attention, currently I'm just learning American Sign language for focus just in it, I study every day 2h :) When I don't have willingness to study I don't study or I will lose my time because I don't will learn anything.

So my advice is 1st option you study 6 months one language and after you start the new without stop practice the 1st language you learned or you will forget if you don't practice or 2nd option you study Monday language A, Tuesday language B etc you do that in rest of days or half week one language and rest of week another.

Of course it is possible to learn few languages at the same time and.. it's nothing special. Not sure how it looks all around the world but in polish schools we learn 2 -3 foreign languages at the same time. Learning 2 languages is a must, 3rd one is optional. If children can learn 2 foreign lagnuages as well as 12 other subcjets at the same time then how hard can it be for adults?

Before the age of 7 years old, it is very easy to learn multiple langages as long as each when is practiced by a native speaker.  There are examples of children learning one language with a parent, one with a grandparent and another with a nannie all at the same time learning them well.  After age, the part of the brain that is used for a childs native language development closes and it becomes much harder to learn languages.  Becuase they languages are fro  the same family of language it may be easier for you becuase you can compare similarities in the langauges.  

It possible. but the best way ,if french is important for you , keep learn french and just listen to italian, don't study an italian , after be good in french , move to italian , and you will be able to learn italian quickly ,because your listening skills you already improved .

I think it depends on your skill and purposes. If you are used to learn languages you could try to study many languages at the same time. I agree that you could get some "externalities" if you study two similar languages like French and Italian (but in reality they are not so similar in particular in terms of pronunciation, more similar are Italian and Spanish). Conversely if you have a long-term plan of study without constraints, I suggest you to get at least an intermediate level in French and then pass to Italian.

How about learning 6 languages all together :)

This is what I am doing at the moment:

French 3 days a week (goal: be fluent)

Spanish 2 days a week (goal: conversational level)

German once a week (goal: basics)

Italian/Portuguese twice a month (goal: basics)

Japanese charceters 5 minutes a day (goal: long-term goal, I will know all the Kana charecters and some of the Kanji before I study the language 2 years from now)


But before doing this study plan, I had devoted time for a specifc language in the past (French for 1 year, Spanish 6 moths, Italian/Portuguese 2 monoths each)


So the answer to your question is yes you can learn several languages at the same time. All you need to know is your priorities and the goal of each language (fluency in French is a 1st priority, conversational Spanish is a 2nd priority since I want to travel to South America)

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