Learning multiple languages at a time… is it a good idea, you wonder.

There are so many amazing languages, and you’d like to speak them all! I feel you.

The answer to your question is… it depends.

Learning multiple languages at a time

Dream big, but also… take it easy!

Of course, you can learn 10 different languages at the same time, but do you really think it can be effective? Unless you are some kind of genius, I would recommend you to take it easy.

That’s not a competition!

However, it is totally possible to learn multiple languages simultaneously. You just need to be a little more realistic with your goals. Maybe instead of 10 languages, you could start with a smaller number? How small, you may ask. Well, that also depends…

Level matters

If you are thinking seriously about learning multiple languages at once, there is one piece of advice I have for you. I would recommend you to first learn one language to at least an intermediate level.

If, for example, if you are already advanced in French and intermediate in German, there is no reason why you couldn’t start learning Japanese.

As long as you have solid bases in the other languages, you can learn a new language from the beginning.

In this case, you don’t need to fear that it may have a negative influence on your progress in the other languages.

However, if you’re thinking about learning two or more languages from the scratch, it is not a good idea. There is a high risk that you start mixing all of them and end up not learning any language properly.

The more different, the better!

Another factor that you should take into account, is the similarity between these languages. Learning Japanese and Spanish simultaneously should not cause you any trouble.

However, learning Spanish and Italian together definitely could.

The more similar the languages are, the bigger is the risk, that they will interfere with each other. In my opinion, the best time to start learning a similar language is once you are already more or less fluent in the previous one.

More languages – more time

The more languages you attempt to learn, the more time you will need.

Also – the slower will be your progress in each of these languages.

Anyway, it depends on each person individually. Each person’s life and the current situation can be totally different.

If you feel like you are able to do it, without any harm to other important aspects of your life – go for it! I believe in you!

What about me?

Well… I am actually learning 5 languages at the moment.

But no worries – I do practice what I preach. My level in each language is different, and they are not all similar.

I am currently learning English, French, Turkish, Spanish, and German. I am the most fluent in English. Then comes French, which I also speak fluently, but not with such ease as English (unfortunately).

And yes, Spanish is pretty close to French, but as I said, the levels matter.

Since my level in French is pretty advanced and Spanish rather basic, they do not disturb each other. Turkish is somewhere in the lower-intermediate spectrum. When it comes to German, I am a total beginner.

Learning so many languages works well for me because of their differences. I know each of them on a different level. There is plenty of free time in my life that I can dedicate just to language study.

I am also not learning all the languages every day, except for Turkish, which is my priority. The rest of them I am learning alternately, every other day (it means, one day I am learning French and German, the other English and Spanish, and so on).

This way, it is easier for me to organize my language study and not feel overwhelmed.

Before you decide to learn multiple languages at once, you need to take a moment to really think it through.

Learning multiple languages at a time

If you’re sure you want to do it – here are some tips to make it actually work:

Chose the languages that are different.

This will help you avoid confusion. It’s very important that you can easily distinguish the differences between these languages. This way you can switch between them without mixing them.

Chose a reasonable number of languages

Don’t get too crazy trying to learn a bunch of languages from scratch. Build that number step by step. Once you’ve achieved a decent level in one language, you can add another one.

Make one of the languages your priority

Chose a priority language and dedicate the most time and attention to that one. This will help you make visible progress and avoid frustration.

Make them stand out

Try to differentiate the learning process of these languages. Use different apps and different methods to do that. For example, use Duolingo for one and Babbel for the other.

Be creative

If you already know well another foreign language – try to learn a new one through it, instead of your native language. This way you will work on two languages at the same time!

Make a plan

Decide how often you will learn each of these languages. How much time will you dedicate to each of them? Which tools will you use?

Have a strong motivation

Learning a language is always a challenge. Trying to learn multiple languages requires having strong motivation. Think about the reason why you want to learn each of these languages.

Be consistent

To succeed in learning multiple languages, you need to be consistent and practice all of them regularly. It takes good organization skills, but it is necessary.

Take it easy

Remember to actually enjoy it. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage to do everything the way you planned. What matters the most is to keep on trying.

Persistence, not perfection.

What about you, how many languages are you learning now?
Is it difficult to learn multiple languages?

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