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Can You Learn 2 Languages At Once?

Hey!! Have you caught the language-loving fever? Me too. So now you’re asking yourself if it’s possible/if it makes sense to learn two languages at the same time.

The short answer is yes, depending on the languages you want to learn, and if you’re willing to see less progression in each in order to see the long-term progression in both.

In this article, we’ll go over the “Do’s and Don’ts” of learning 2 languages at once. We’ll talk about the problems we may encounter, and how to combat them.

Are you ready to jump into this exciting article? ¡Vamos!

A hand putting up two fingers and a title that reads "Learn 2 Languages At Once?"

Table of Contents

Factors to Consider Before Learning Two Languages Simultaneously

Before you take on the challenge of learning two languages simultaneously, you should consider some factors that could make or break your attempt.

Always remember that most people start learning a language for some motivation that they have obtained, and most of them quit without reaching fluency because that motivation was broken.

I say this because this decision is very serious, and only certain people will stand the test of time while learning 2 languages at the same time.

Personal motivation and commitment

Write down on a piece of paper the “why” you want to learn these languages, and on a scale of 1-10 how motivated you are to learn each of them. Understanding this might help you see clearer whether one (or both) are truly important to you and if so, why that is.

As we all know, most people who “learn a language in school” never truly learn that language. The reason is probably because they didn’t truly want to learn it, rather, they needed to take that class - or that class was easier than another.

However, learning a language takes a lot of time, commitment, and motivation, so a weak reason like that just won't do. If your reasons are strong for learning both, I don’t doubt that you’ll be able to learn them simultaneously.

Language similarity and difficulty

Another factor that you should take into account is how similar the languages are, and their difficulty. If you want to learn Spanish and Portuguese at the same time, for example, you should definitely get to an intermediate stage in one of them before starting the other.

If you learn both of these languages at the same time, you will definitely get them mixed up, and you’ll think some Portuguese words are Spanish words and vice versa.

Also, if you want to learn Japanese and Arabic for example, take a look below and you’ll see how much time you’ll have to wait to see real results.

  • Japanese: Time to B2 1,200 Hours (6.6 Years / 30M per day)

  • Arabic: Time to B2 600 hours (3.3 Years / 30M per day)

So imagine this - if you’re learning both of these difficult languages for one hour a day (30 minutes each), you’ll have to grind for 6.6 years until you reach the first level of “fluency” in both.

Time management and resources

If you have already made up your mind, that you want to learn both languages - then you need to find the best materials to do so with.

Too often as language learners, we dilly-dally with different materials, however, with the limited time you probably have, you need to know exactly where to go to get your daily progression.

Just make a Google Doc and write all of the best materials you have found, and stick with 1-3 of them daily for best results.

Have You Previously Learned Another Language?

After learning a language as an adult, we understand language and how it works better. This is one of the reasons why polyglots can learn a language quicker than newbies.

If you have never learned a second language, and you want to take on two difficult languages at the same time, your chances of success are slim to none.

It has nothing to do with you, but trust me, one hard language is enough to make even an experienced polyglot’s head spin - so the chances are low that you’ll allow yourself to be confused for years without seeing any big progression, and that you'll continue grinding out daily studies.

consider these factors: How similar are the languages that you want to learn? | What motivates you? Is it strong enough to last 2 years without big results? | Do you have enough time to study each langauge 30min per day? | Is this the first time you have tried to learn a langauge?

Learning Strategies for Simultaneous Language Acquisition

In this section, we’ll go over the strategies that we want to keep in mind and use whenever we are learning more than one language at a time. These things include but are not limited to: Balanced language/time allocation, Consistency, Utilizing technology, and immersion.

Balanced language allocation

If one language is much harder than the other, then perhaps you could allocate more time to that language so that you are more or less progressing at the same rate. The important part is that we consciously allocate our time rather than just “doing whatever we want” at that moment.

Consistency and daily practice

Try your hardest to never let a day go by without seeing both languages. Your brain might fight with you and try and convince you that the information is not relevant.

However, if you keep showing your brain both languages daily, surely within some months you will begin to acquire both at a quicker rate.

The biggest reason for success and failure in language learning is consistency or lack thereof.

Utilizing technology and language learning apps

Try and enjoy your study time so that it doesn’t become a bother. While apps like Duolingo shouldn’t be used (once you pass the beginner stages), other apps like Busuu are extremely helpful and will assist you in progressing extremely quickly. Some other apps that I recommend are:

Immersion experiences and cultural exposure

Try and immerse yourself in both languages daily, for example, you could spend your morning commute immersing yourself in Japanese (for this example), and Arabic on your way home.

Listen to YouTube videos for learners, which should be slow, and overly pronounced dialogues that will help you acquire more at the beginning stages.

Remember that, the more you feed your brain words and sounds from the language, the more you are training it to recognize the language as an important part of your present and future.

How To be Successful in leanring 2 languages: Balance the amount of time you spend on each langauge | Stay consistent and try to never skip a day | Use apps like Clozemaster & Busuu to keep you going when your out and about | Keep yourself immersed in the langauge whenver possible

Challenges and Common Pitfalls

There are a ton of common challenges that may come up when learning two languages. Such as language mixing, time and energy constraints, maintaining motivation and focus, and what I call “The Language Junky Syndrome.” Let’s briefly go over these potential problems, and how to solve them.

The Language Junky Syndrome

If you have ever used an app like HelloTalk (it’s like Instagram for language learners), you’ve probably seen people who claim they are learning 8 languages, lol.

This is a perfect example of the language junky syndrome. I’m not making fun of them, but it is funny - I caught this bug too.

Due to my “half-thought-out motivation,” I ended up studying Japanese & Spanish, then Spanish & Chinese, then Chinese & Indonesian, then Indonesian & French, then Chinese & Vietnamese/etc…

So how do you not catch this sickness?

Don’t look too much into other languages, I mean, this is like going on dates with other girls while you’re already married, it’s just asking for a hard breakup, divorce, identity crisis, and lack of progression.

We just can’t divorce the language or languages we choose because Vietnamese comes near us swinging her 6 tones around.

Time and energy constraints

How much time do you really have on average that you’re willing to study a language with? Some people have 5 hours of free time daily, but that most certainly doesn’t mean that they’re even willing to spend 1 hour a day studying.

You should see how much time you can study without wanting to go do something more exciting, and then divide that by two, figure out how long it will take you to get intermediate results in your target languages, and then decide if learning two languages at once is right for you.

Maintaining motivation and focus

This one is tough my friend, after a long day at work or at school, there will be days you definitely don’t want to study.

Imagine if you’re super tired from work/school, you can’t say much in your target languages, and you need to spend 1 hour of focused learning time on them right now just to maintain your knowledge - if this doesn’t sound difficult, then I’m not describing the feeling precisely enough.

But truly, it will be tiresome.

A common suggestion that has helped me is writing our reasons for learning on paper, so that we can always remind ourselves why we are studying daily.

challenges & Pitfalls when learning 2 langauges | Learning/changing languages often  (Language Junky Sydrome) | Staying consistent and motivated to learn when “life hits” | Not putting enough time into your langauge learning to progress at a decent rate |

Tips For Learning 2 Languages At Once

If you want to learn two languages at once, that’s freaking awesome, let’s get it! But, allow me to tell you again the tips that you should try and follow to have the highest chance of success.

Learn 2 Very Different Languages

Don’t learn two similar languages such as Spanish and Portuguese at the same time, but also don’t learn two extremely difficult languages at the same time such as Japanese & Arabic. Both of these combinations will bring lots of headaches at best.

However, if you learn Arabic and French, this will be a sufficient difference in language and difficulty so as to give you a chance at learning both.

Get To A Decent Level In One Before Learning Another

The number one tip I would give to somebody so that they have the highest chance of success - is that they learn just one until they reach an intermediate stage.

This will help because you’ll get some results much quicker, which will motivate you to keep going whenever you start learning both and the progression slows down.

Study The Languages On Different Days

From my experience, and the experience of many Redditors’ that I have heard from, learning the languages on different days is the best way to stay excited about both, and focus on each one with the same intensity.

For example, if you’re learning Arabic and French, your schedule could look like this:















If you take a look you’ll see that Arabic gets a day more than French, I would recommend that you give an extra day to the harder language (if there is a clearly more difficult language).


How Many Languages Can Your Brian Handle?

The number of languages your brain can handle is based on how much time you're willing to spend learning and practicing. Therefore there's no fixed limit, as it depends on motivation, immersion, and personal aptitude.

What Is The Hardest Age To Learn A Second Language?

The hardest age to learn a second language is generally considered to be after 19. However, it's important to note that individuals can still become proficient language learners at any age with dedication and effective language learning strategies.

How Many Languages Can I Learn At Once?

The number of languages you can effectively learn at once varies from person to person, but most individuals can focus on learning one or two languages simultaneously while maintaining their focus. The key factors include personal motivation, time allocation, and language similarity.

What Are The Easiest Languages To Learn?

The ease of learning a language depends on your native language and personal preferences. However, some generally considered easier languages for English speakers include Spanish, French, and Italian due to shared vocabulary and grammatical structures.

Can You Learn Three Languages At Once?

Yes, it's possible to learn three languages simultaneously, but it can be challenging. Success depends on your dedication, time management, and individual aptitude for language learning. It's essential to set clear goals and maintain consistent practice to effectively acquire multiple languages.

Conclusion: Learning 2 Languages At Once

So in this article, we talked about the struggles of learning two languages at the same time. We also discussed how we can combat these struggles and make it out trilingual. To summarize my suggestions:

  • We should wait until we are intermediate in one of the languages before starting another

  • We should choose two very different languages (such as Arabic & French)

  • We should schedule our study days by language (Mon-Wed-Frid-Sat = Arabic | Tue-Thurs-Sun = French)

  • We should study for at least 1 hour a day

If we do all of these things, and remain disciplined, we will reach our goals at a steady pace. Are you interested in reading about how polyglots become fluent in tons of languages? Click here!

Also, if you’re learning more than one language at a time, write in the comments how you are going about doing it so that you can help the community out.

Have a wonderful day/evening/night my friend,

best regards,



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