Learning multiple languages at the same time

I wanted to share about my multiple language journey and schedule and I would like to hear about your experiences for added motivation and for me to gain additional insights:
Since May 2016, I have been studying Macedonian, Spanish, French and Arabic. I started French and Arabic from scratch and continued to improved my Spanish & Macedonian. I dabbled with a couple of other languages like German, Russian, Portuguese & Italian prior to deciding on French & Arabic. I then tackled the which Arabic dialect or MSA question which was difficult to say the least.
Here is why I chose these 4 languages:
Spanish: Family reasons, studied it in college and always looking to improve, been speaking it for a long time and I should be a solid B2/C1.
Macedonian: Family reasons, like the culture, almost no resources available, been speaking it on and off for a long time I should be at a B2 and always looking to improve
French: I have 3 French neighbors…how cool right:), B1 after 9 months
Arabic (Egyptian): The most popular dialect and amazing culture. A2 after 9 months
Daily schedule:
7-8 speak with a tutor (1 hour session per language per week)
30 minute drive: French
Lunch: 30 minutes reading Spanish
30 minutes drive: Arabic
1 hour evening: Macedonian
Some observations:
1-I mixed the languages at first but over time they separated in my head
2-consistency is more important than quantity
3-If I was traveling to the country, I would exclusively focus on that language…but I’m not so no rush
4-I didn’t try to memorize anything, the languages just improve naturally through exposure but I would repeat content multiple times at the beginning
List of resources:
Spanish: Lingq and newscast on YouTube
Macedonian: Lingq, SBS Podcast and YouTube shows, movies and music, Macedonian a course beginner to intermediate (Kramer)
French: Assimil, Pimsleur levels 1-5, Rosetta Stone level 1-2, Rocket Language Level 1, italki and some Lingq recently
Arabic: Pimsleur, Rocket Language, Glossika, YouTube Easy Arabic & italki

My ultimate goal is to maintain 6 languages simultaneously but I won’t start another language for another 3-4 years. That next language will most likely be German but I will find time to get familiar with the other Arabic Dialects.

Long post but hopefully it provides insights based on my experience for those interested in tackling multiple languages at the same time:)

How do you learn Macedonian on Lingq?


I for one can’t add another language until I feel like I have a strong core in the one I’m currently learning. I’ll add another one in something like 4-6 months, when I feel like my Ukrainian is solid and forever saved in my mind.

I selected Russian on Lingq and imported a lot of Macedonian content from radio slobodna with transcripts along with free audio books with transcripts/city books Skopje. Also, my tutor would send me corrections after my speaking lesson and I would import that to my Russian Lingq. I use the goggle translate feature on Lingq when I encounter words I don’t know and like Steve said, the same words just keep reappearing :slight_smile:

OK, it’s possible to learn several languages at the same time. And I myself learn step by step 6 languages hear.
But if you would like to have some kind of throughout in the language, you have to choose one or two languages as ‘main languages’ and devote them 80% of all your time.
Otherwise you can learn all your languages for years without achieving a real success.

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100% agree, French and Macedonian are my main languages. And between those 2, when I have free time at the mall or waiting on something, I listen to Macedonian which would be my main language. But, I will point out that I can now after 9 consistent months of studying everyday on the schedule listed above, have meaningful conversations in all the languages because I speak all of them so much consistently. And to your point, I traveled to Central America and 2 months prior, I gave the language roughly 80% of my time and my Spanish was on point. Did the same before traveling to Macedonia. I think daily exposure is key and focus when there is a need to surge. Too bad I let my Russian go:(…couldn’t save them all.

My issue is that I get bored hence, I rotate languages throughout the day. But you seem to be a more focused person. I have those moments of greatness and focus before traveling to the country but otherwise…I get bored rather quickly :slight_smile:

I’d say it can also be helpful to cycle between different target languages. For example, one might spend 2 or 3 weeks mostly focusing on a new ‘language A’, then spend most of the available time in the next week refreshing a previously learned ‘language B’.

This can keep things fresh and help to avoid monotony, IMO.

I have been learning multiple languages at the same time too. For a while I’ve been focusing on English and Spanish. Due to my classes I have no enough time to study 5-6 hours per day, so, I decided to listen to the American radio channels on the road and that makes 1,5-2 hours listening practice every day. (Yeah I spend 2 hours on the road every day!) I don’t like to talk a lot, thus, I mostly spend the coffee breaks alone with my smart phone and LingQ. I try to read some articles or a chapter of The Killer Angels etc. At home I read and listen to the podcasts in Spanish. This weekend I want to read at least 20.000 words in Spanish and listen a lot. I want to read 35.000 words (more or less) in the English language.

I have a question. You say that you are A2 in Arabic. Do you think that the speaking lessons in that level are useful?

Q2: From your experiences which one is the best for French? Assimil, Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur?

At present I learn Italian every day, apart from lingq I also watch and listen to Italian tv Rai 24 news. And I have an Italian book to read. As I want to improve my English I also listen and read at least for half an hour here at lingq, sometimes it is up to 1 hour depending on time and feeling. As for other languages some days I import interesting articles from Greek newspapers and read them here on lingq. Quite regularly I use lingq for Spanish and I also listen to the podcasts on ivoox (those are without transcripts but on very interesting current topics)

Q1: Depends on your language goals. I want to have casual conversations in Arabic, nothing too technical therefore, I say speak early. But if you crave more intellectual conversations, wait until you have more words (6 month mark). I started speaking after 3 months since I felt I had enough words. I would never start speaking from day 1.

Q2: My politically correct answer is that it doesn’t matter but truthfully, some people I met have horrible French accents therefore, if available, I start with Pimsleur especially since I can get all 5 levels from the library for free in several languages in the US. It gets boring at time so I switch in between them all. I would go a week or so with assimil and then Rosetta Stones and don’t forget Rocket Languages. Variety is a good thing.