With so many resources online, you may want to learn more than one language at once. Learning several languages simultaneously has become quite common among students. In this post, we will give our answer to the question: Can you learn two languages at the same time?
There are so many good courses, and many of them free, that you may want to try them all.
Sometimes we get excited about a language and want to start learning it. And then we get exposed to another language and we want to learn it too. And the list can continue growing to three or four languages.
But one of the determining factors about learning a new language is consistency. If you continually practice, you will become fluent in that language. Being able to sustain this for some time is key.
Jumping from one language to another, just learning a few words in each one of them, will not help you. Proficiency is out of reach for a person that follows that path. And chances are that a couple of years later, you’ll just have a blurred notion of the language. Or even worse, you may have completely forgotten the few expressions you learned.
Our recommendation is to pick up one language and stick to it until you have mastered the basics. This could take you about 6 months to a year, depending on which language it is and how often you practice.
After this, you could move to another language. And please don’t neglect the first one you have started to learn.
Immerse yourself in the language
Once you have selected a language, immerse yourself in it. This includes its culture, history, and common beliefs. If you could even visit places where natives speak the language, it would be even better.
The more focused you are, the better.
So, what if I’m on track learning a language and all of a sudden I have the vehement desire to start learning a second one? What should I do?
Can I learn more than one language at the same time?
Even though we don’t recommend it, we know that you could. Learning two languages simultaneously is not for everybody. We must warn you that.
So before you start learning more than one language at the same time, please consider:
1. The languages you’re trying to learn should have different origins.
For example, if you start to learn Italian and Spanish at the same time, you’ll get all mixed up. The origin of Italian and Spanish are well known. And they are both traced back to Latin. It would be better for you to learn Italian and Hebrew. Hebrew is a Semitic language. This means it has a completely different origin.
You will not have this problem if you’re learning one language at a time. If you want to only learn Spanish, that’s fine! If you want to learn only Italian following italianlg.com, that’s even better. Considering these three languages we have mentioned, the hardest would be Hebrew. That is if your first language is English. But if you’re only learning Hebrew, that’s ok.
However, if you insist on learning two languages at the same time we won’t say “no”. Even though Hebrew is the most difficult (among these three), it would be better to include it in the pair. Italian and Hebrew, or Spanish and Hebrew would be better than Italian and Spanish. For those wanting to learn two languages, please don’t combine a pair with the same origin.
You may ask why? Let’s keep on with the Italian and Spanish example. You will notice that Italian and Spanish are very similar. So, while learning both, it would be hard to separate them in your brain. And the last thing you want to do is produce your unique language mixing up these two.
2. How familiar are the languages you want to learn?
Let’s imagine you made up your mind to learn Italian and Hebrew. One language will always be harder to learn than the other. In this case, which is the hardest? The answer is Hebrew. Why is it harder? Because Italian is closer to English than Hebrew. Italian and English share many things together (starting with the alphabet). On the other hand, while learning Hebrew, there are many things you’ll learn from scratch.
Now familiarity is not only determined by how close a language is to your native tongue. There may be occasions where other factors play a big part. Your family ancestry can make a language easier because you’re “familiar” with it. No matter how distant from your first language it is. Your cultural background could also have to do with this familiarity factor. And an important point is the availability of resources. A language can be difficult but if there are plenty of tools to aid you, it can bend what’s considered hard.
When deciding to learn two languages at once, please take “familiarity” into account.
A quick note here on organizing your schedule. Practice more the language that is harder. When practicing both on the same day, practice first the hardest. And when you struggle to learn, move to the one you enjoy most.
It would be good to determine which language will be harder for you. Setting this clear from the start will help you organize your study.
3. If you only speak one language, do not attempt to learn more than three languages at once.
Polyglots have not only become fluent in several languages. They have also learned how to learn them. Does this make sense to you? A polyglot could attempt to learn three languages at once. But somebody that only speaks one language, should not try it. If you only speak one language and try to learn three, the most probable result would be you won’t learn any of them.
Interesting facts about Italian
Have you have made up your mind to learn two languages at the same time? Are you considering Italian as one of them? Then you’ll find these facts about Italian interesting:
a.) Italian is a Romance language; this means it developed from Latin. This makes it fairly easy for English speakers. This is reasonable because it shares a lot of vocabulary with English.
b.) Italian descends from Latin. So it will open the door to easily learn other Romance languages. A person that speaks Italian won’t understand Spanish, French, Portuguese, or Rumanian. But you’ll cover the learning curve pretty fast.
c.) You have plenty of resources available online to become proficient in Italian. You could click here to check out one we would recommend.
Learning two languages at the same time is possible. We don’t recommend it, especially if you only speak one language right now. But we know it’s possible!
Remember you’ll need a lot of determination and be well organized to succeed with both. I wish you all the best!
Please share with us your experience. You don’t necessarily have to agree with what we have said in this post. Have you been learning two languages at the same time? Are you making up your mind concerning pursuing two languages? Feel free to leave your comments below.