Lizzy B.
Learning two languages at once?

I have heard a lot of people say that you should not try to learn multiple languages at once, that you should just focus on one at a time. I sort of agree with this, because I think it's too difficult to start learning two languages from scratch at the same time, but I think that as soon as you get over the first hump where you are not a beginner anymore you could add a second language. Does this method work for other people?

Also I learned Spanish to an advanced level a few years ago, and I recently started learning French. I practiced French a lot and stopped working on Spanish because I thought I knew enough to not forget it, but now I feel like my Spanish has gotten worse! Are there any tips to learn a new language and keep up the other languages you learned earlier?

Apr 25, 2018 8:51 PM
Comments · 8
I like to devote the first 6 months in just one language (when I'm on a beginner level) and that's because I still have others to keep on.

6 months for me is essential to build the language core I need, then I do the improvements by watching videos and movies, reading and writing...

Now that my french is ok, I'm building my german vocabulary.

April 26, 2018

Sorry, I will contradict myself a little. I just gave a look to your profile Lizzy. I saw that you are learning French and Portuguese, well those two languages can be a little bit hard to distinguish at the beginning! Why don’t you focus on one of them, go on with Arabic for a while and resume learning the second Romance language,once you got at B2 level in the first one?

Anyway with Arabic you will have enough work :-)

P.S if you have a smartphone do not forget to download the spelling correctors in all of your target languages if it is possible 

April 26, 2018
 It is good to compare them . 
April 26, 2018

Hi Lizzy, I think that the more languages you know the more you have to work to maintain them. But like others said, try to incorporate “language maintenance” in your daily life. Read in all languages, listen to podcasts in all of them, if you haven’t the chance to speak them, imagine some dialogue in that language while you go to the gym or go to work.

I definitely think that is possible to learn several languages at the same time. Where I live, kids start learning up to three languages since the age of 11. As an adult, one never stops learning languages. Even one’s native language needs to be refreshed and adapted to change.

In order to avoid confusion I would dedicate separate days to every language. When you will reach C1 level then you will be able to switch codes almost instantly. It’s purely a matter of routine. 

April 26, 2018
I think I would recommend just one language at a time. It’s a bit like having kids. Do you want one child at a time or twins? If you think you can handle twins, fine. But I think most people would just like to take it a bit easier and do one at a time. When you are very strong in the first language, then I‘d transition to the second language. And David‘s idea is great and one I use myself. Isolate yourself from English (if that‘s your native language) as much as possible. Turn all your electronic devices to the mode of your target language and only listen to movies, and news in the target language. You want to reproduce that total immersion experience as much as possible if you‘re not in the country where the language is native. 
April 26, 2018
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Lizzy B.
Language Skills
Arabic (Levantine), Arabic (Modern Standard), English, French, German, Spanish
Learning Language
Arabic (Levantine), Arabic (Modern Standard), French, German, Spanish