Choose Which Languages To Learn
Polyglots and language experts often recommend being very particular when choosing the two languages you practice at the same time. Here are some options for choosing which ones to learn:
Different languages: You might choose languages from different families, with different alphabets or different grammar structures when starting two languages at once, so you have less chance of mixing them together when you first start out. Try German and Chinese together, or Spanish and Finnish.
Easy vs. difficult: If English is your native language, Romance languages may be easier for you, while languages in Germanic or Sinitic families may be more difficult. Try pairing one of each, like Spanish and Mandarin or French and Czech.
One you know: Many people took a foreign language in school, so you can try working on that language again while also working on a new second language. If you took American Sign Language, start there and a new language.
Separate Your Study Areas
In your study plan, designate separate times and spaces for each language. Having separate spaces for each language helps your mind keep the languages separate by associating each language with its space. You might learn one language in the kitchen in the morning and the other in the living room in the evening. You can also give each language its own notebook or binder and colored pen.
Language Learning Never Has To Stop
Once you fall in love with one language, you’ll be itching to study more! When studying two or more languages at the same time, make sure to spend lots of time with each, to get that all-important language input. There’s no limit to how many you can learn with enough practice!
To check out the 100+ courses and forty languages offered on Duolingo, head to www.duolingo.com or download the Duolingo app for iOS and Android!
For more tips and ideas about learning a new language, check out all our learning posts, where you’ll find posts like this one on improving speaking skills and this one about setting smart proficiency goals.
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Live In A Multilingual City
Immersing yourself in multiple languages is much easier in a place where most of them are spoken. If you have a chance to move or regularly travel to such a place, maintaining your target languages will get easier. Think of countries with more than one official language or large metropolitan areas such as London where many foreigners arrive for work or pleasure.
Immerse Yourself In The Language
Many language experts recommend immersing yourself in your target languages as much as possible. Find others who speak your target languages and talk to them, read books, listen to music, watch movies or videos or post on social media in each of your languages. You might create social media accounts specifically for each language, which helps reading, writing and conversational skills. If you can, travel to places with native speakers of your target languages. Immersive experiences can give you practical experience, which helps the learning process.
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Stagger When You Start Each One
After choosing what languages you’re learning, you can start your process. One method is staggering the two languages. Pick one language you want to work on first and work toward an intermediate level, then add the second language. It can help you keep your progress steady with both languages if you already have basic knowledge of one of them.
Which Languages Should I Choose
Once youve made the commitment and said to yourself, I want to learn multiple languages, and youre ready to begin, the first thing to do is to decide on the two languages you want to learn.
As part of making your choice, you may wonder whats the easiest language to learn in order to pick this language as one of your pair.
Spanish and French are likely to be safe bets on this score – both are widely considered to be relatively easy languages to master. However, and this may seem to go against logic, if you decide to learn Spanish as the first of your two new languages, its not such a great idea to learn French at the same time.
So, suppose you decide to opt for Spanish as one of your languages.
In that case, youre best served by not choosing another Romance language as your second, as these all share a common heritage and, therefore, have more than a passing family resemblance when it comes to vocabulary and structure.
Instead, opt for a language with an entirely different form and ancestry: German, for example, or even Russian.
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Name The Objects Around You
This is a simple trick to improve your vocabulary. Imagine that you step into the kitchen. What do you see? The stove, the trash can, the sink, a knife, plates, pans, and many more things. Look at them and switch your language.
How do I say stove in Spanish? La estufa. How do I say trash can in Spanish? El bote de basura. How do I say sink in Spanish? El fregadero. How do I say knife, plates, and pans in Spanish? El cuchillo, los platos y los sartenes.
Next time you come into the kitchen, repeat the exercise. If youre learning multiple languages at once, be sure to do this in two phases. For example, apply Spanish to the kitchen and Italian to the living room, and then switch them up the next day.
Why Should You Learn Multiple Languages At The Same Time
You may be thinking that the prospect of learning a single new language is daunting enough without throwing a second one into the mix. And, its true, initially, it could well be extremely taxing as you switch back and forth between the different tongues.
However, with practice and within a short amount of time, the mental dexterity that this double learning engenders will result in you learning both faster and easier, as your brain makes new connections and flexes its growing language muscles!
Its not unusual for multiple language learners to find that their levels of memory, alertness, and concentration increase in all other areas too.
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Ready To Be A Polyglot
Though the definition of a polyglot can shift depending on who you consult, the usual answer is someone with basic proficiency in six languages. If youve decided to learn two languages at once , youre already on track to getting halfway there! If youre interested in the minds and habits of successful polyglots throughout history, check out the book Babel No More. If youre interested in jump-starting your journey to multiple languages, Lingvist is the fastest way to increase your vocabulary. With a subscription, you can learn different languages at once and keep track of your progress in the Insights tab, allowing you to stick to your language learning schedule. Congratulations on taking the first step to becoming multilingual and good luck!
Top 10 Tips For Learning Two Languages At Once
Learning a new language is challenging, and learning two languages at once poses an extra challenge. So, its essential to go in the right direction in the learning process. The following Top 10 Tips will help you to achieve your goal successfully. So, check out this post now and visit our Blog Pages regularly.
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Have Fun While You Learn
Besides using technical skills and consistent study habits, a very important aspect of learning new languages is having fun. By adding excitement, entertainment or rewards to your study system, you help yourself sustain interest and motivation in your studies. Converse with friends who speak your languages, order food, play games and watch movies as both educational tools and entertainment.
How To Maximise Chances Of Success When You Want To Learn Two Languages At Once
I get it.
You’ve fallen in love with two languages, and really can’t bear the thought of abandoning either of them. Maybe you even want to learn three languages at once!
Or maybe life happened and you suddenly have the need to learn a new language, through choice or necessity.
In fact, it happened to me recently.
In August, despite my long-term project to learn Cantonese, I had a strong desire to travel and do something new.
Although I thought it would be a short diversion a bit of fun I ended up falling for the language more than I expected and wasn’t willing to let it go when I returned to London.
So, as I speak, I’m actively learning two languages at the same time: Thai and Cantonese, and thinking deeply about making the process as efficient as possible.
Based on this experience, and many other years of experimentation, here is my advice for overcoming all the drawbacks of learning two languages at the same time, and making the most of the experience:
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Use A Different Study Routine For Each Language
To avoid mixing up two languages, try using a different study routine for each of them. Study each language in a different part of your home or at a different time of a day. For example, you can studyPolish on your way to work or during your lunch break, andItalian only when youre at home. This will let you create a unique environment associated with each language.
Duolingo: How To Reset Your Course
This is an excellent online course that will assist you in improving your language skills. Some people, on the other hand, have had difficulty with their classes. There could be a problem because their chosen language isnt available on the course theyre currently on, or their device isnt compatible with the course. If you cant get to the course, you can reset it by clicking the Settings link. Under the Profile picture on the right, there is a link to the Learning language section. When viewing the flag of a language, look for a red sign. If you are certain that you want to delete it, press this button, which will result in the entire progress progress being erased.
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Is It Good To Learn Two Languages At Once
You probably remember a time in your life when you thought learning a foreign language was too hard.
But one day, things changed.
Things didn’t look as bleak anymore.
You had a breakthrough in your language learning and saw how it was possible to learn not only one language but many more, should you wish.
We’ve all caught the language bug at some point, and quickly started to entertain fantasies of learning multiple languages.
If I work hard, I can learn as many languages as I want!
Learning lots of languages is a noble aspiration, and can enhance your life beyond anything you thought possible.
So, what’s the secret?
Learning Two Languages At Once Here Are 9 Tips Youve Gotta Use
Do you like living life on the edge and doing everything at 200%?
Then I bet youre learning two languages at once, arent you?
Maybe your appetite for language learning is so voracious that one language at a time simply isnt enough to keep you satisfied, or maybe you are just looking to add some spice to your language learning.
Either way, here are nine tips to help you get started learning two languages at oncewithout having your brain explode.
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Connect Your Hobbies To Your Target Languages
Here is one more emotional bond you can create.
Connect your hobbies to the languages you are learning.
Hows that work?
It is pretty simple.
For example, if you are like to cook, and you learn Spanish, try making some Spanish national dishes. Spanish food tradition is worldwide-known, so why wouldnt you connect these two things? Dont forget to use the original recipes written in Spanish or watch cooking shows in Spanish.
You dont have to like to cook, of course. There are other ways you can use your hobby. Music and dance are also an excellent hobby that can be connected to languages. For example, if you are asamba fan, there is no better way to improve your Portuguese than with this amazing Brazilian dance.
Is French Worth Learning
The short answer is that unless you already know you need a specific language other than French for your career, French is absolutely worth its investment. It will open up opportunities in law, academia, international relations, and business across the world and set you up to learn of romance languages if necessary.
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Six: Follow The Advice Of Successful People
Success leaves clues.
Yet so many people follow the advice they see on corporate websites.
If you want to learn multiple languages at the same time, follow people who are actually doing this themselves.
Usually what youll find is that they actually arent learning more than one language at a time.
Instead, theyre maintaining languages theyve already learned while adding a new one.
This is a subtle, but key difference.
Make One Language Your Primary Focus
- Aim to spend 80% of your time on one language yes, this means you have to choose!
For all intents and purposes, this will be your primary language where you will spend most of your time, place your focus, and prioritise over the other.
Make the other language secondary
- Aim to spend 20% of your time on the other language.
You’ll be spending much less time on this language, in order to create focus and depth for your primary language.
Let me illustrate this with an example.
In my case, Cantonese is currently my primary language. It’s what I study every morning in my core study time, it’s what I listen to in my dead time, it’s what I practise reading and writing, the language I watch on TV and practise speaking whenever I can.
It’s a good 80% of my week and my main focus.
However, I also keep up my Thai, but in a very controlled way:
- I have a 1-hour lesson every Friday
- My teacher sets homework, which I complete once or twice a week
That’s basically it.
I don’t currently have many opportunities to speak Thai, but if I do, I might throw the odd language exchange into the mix.
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Plan How Much Time To Spend On Each Language
Learning two languages at once is an exercise in time management. Its a tightrope act that only works if you do some planning in advance.
The first step is to accept that if youre taking on two languages at once, youre in for a bigger learning curve than you would be if you were targeting a single language. Things will just take longer. Although learning a second language is definitely easier than learning a first language, learning two languages at a time really can be twice as hard as learning one.
If you have a need for speed, two languages may not be the way to go. But if your goal is to challenge yourself and expand your horizons, its best to preface your double shot of language learning with a healthy dose of patience so you can be prepared for and power through the times that seem like slow going.
Once youre ready for the different pace that two-in-one language learning entails, its also more than worth it to plan out exactly how youre going to divide your time between the two languages youre tackling. Tracking your hours and setting a regular study routine will help you stay organized! You can play around with different methods, such as using flashcards to remember vocabulary, listening to podcasts, or working through textbook exercises.
Study Both Languages Each Day
Studying both languages daily will make sure you maintain momentum in each one.
If you study one language for the first week, then another for the second week, youâll find that when you return to the first language, youâll have forgotten a lot of what you picked up. Youâll constantly be playing âcatch upâ in both your languages.
Itâs always better to study for a shorter period of time every day rather than do longer study sessions less often. You might not feel like youâre making such fast progress this way, because it will be less noticeable. But ultimately, youâll reach your end goal faster.
How should you divide your daily study time between the two languages? That part is your call. You donât have to study each one exactly half of the time if you donât want to. If you find one language harder than the other, devote more time to it than to the easier one.
On the other hand, if you simply enjoy studying one language more than the other, feel free to spend more time studying it. It doesnât matter, as long as you study them both, even for a short time, every day.
Focus On Language Acquisition Quality Over Quantity
If you develop bad habits early in your target language acquisition, they can be very difficult to shake later. Thats why its better to make sure you really understand what you are learning before moving on to a new subject. Just sort of learning a bunch of vocab words, for the sake of seeming like you are learning faster, will only hurt you in the long run. Mastery-based learning is in fact one of the more important breakthroughs in the science of learning overall.