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.

Jul 31, 2014 2:00 PM
Comments · 26

In grammar school in the Netherlands every girl and boy between the age of 12 and 15 learns English, German and French (and about six other subjects). So I think in principle it should not be a problem. The fact is of course if you focus on only one language, you will be more advanced in that subject. But that is with any subject, not only languages. So what any Dutch adolescent can do, you can do too. 

August 3, 2014

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)

July 31, 2014

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.

July 31, 2014

I've decided to try Marcelle. I'm approaching 4 languages in radically different ways and at radically different intensities. 


I sure hope I can do it? It might be slower than learning one at a time in the long run, but more interesting and involving for me in the short run so I might stick with it longer. 

August 2, 2014

Grace, those are useful and encouraging tips. Thank you.

August 2, 2014
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