Time use when learning more than three languages

I’m a native english speaker and fluent in French. I joined lingQ three weeks ago and I’ve been learning Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German.
I’m about to start a new job so time will be limited.
Anyone have any thoughts on an efficient way to keep all the languages progressing?
Currently I’m following Steve’s method of creating a 100 LingQ a day, then reading, then vocab review and finally listening in dead time.
So far I have kept the streak going but maybe there is another possibility to just do a couple of languages a day and alternate.
I’d appreciate your thoughts and any ideas you have found helpful.

I would recommend that you focus on Because it will be faster to learn that language. And there will be times when it gets hard so two languages will make it easier.

I think everyone needs to find a method that works best specifically for him. Personally I used to learn all my languages every single day, but with limited time and five foreign languages I only spent around 15-30 minutes on each daily and even that felt like a struggle. This gave me satisfaction that I was working on maintaining them but not much progress.
My attitude changed when I spent two full days with my colleague from Honduras, speaking all the time Spanish. After these two days I found it hard to formulate my thoughts in Polish even after a couple of days. I realized it was a huge stimulus for my brain. Now I try to concentrate on one-two languages intensively and after a week or two I move to another. For example I may read a whole book on Lingq in one language and after that read another book in another language. Or I may have a two-hour conversation, then watch a movie in the same language and read some articles here. If a dream in that language occurs at night I know I had a good day :slightly_smiling_face: With my former schedule I really didn’t feel emotionally connected with the languages.
Of course this applies only to languages being maintained. Learning a new language requires regular, preferably daily studies.

Voy a contestar en Español, ya que lo estás aprendiendo ahora. Si ya tienes un buen nivel en todos tus idiomas, puedes balancearlos intentando hacer actividades pasivas mientras haces algo más (ejemplo: escuchar un podcast mientras cocinas). Esto te ayudará a practicar tus idiomas en los que ya tienes mejor comprensión sin dedicarle mucho tiempo de tu día. También te recomendaría tener un poco de tiempo entre que estudias un idioma y otro, debido a que el cerebro necesita adaptarse. En caso de que seas principiante en todos tus idiomas, te recomendaría que escojas solo uno de la familia Romance (Español o Italiano) y sólo uno de la familia Germánica (Alemán o Neerlandés).

Hi! The struggle is real! Learning lots of languages at the same time is a challenge. I myself am learning English, French and Italian. In order not to go crazy, I did some research on this subject, and found a YouTube video of Luca Lampariello (a famous polyglot, like Steve) talking about how he organizes his time during the week, so he covers all the languages. The name of the video is “How to Learn 3 Languages at Once (My Personal Routine)”. It solved the problem for me. I hope it helps. =)

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Thanks Alice that is really helpful

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Much as gracias . Voy a Hacer

Thank you

I agree thank you

I was learning Hebrew, French, and German at the same time. But it was just way too difficult for me. I had the time to do it, but I was making progress just way too slow. I was doing multiple languages at the same time for years. And ended not being that good in any of them. If I could go back I would have just focused on 1 language, but I was impatient. I dropped Hebrew and French. At the moment I feel like there is just so much more progress to be made in German. I don’t see myself coming back to these languages anytime soon. There is soooo much to discover in just one language. So many people you can meet and great content to consume. I would say choose just one language for now and stick with it! You’ll make progress so much quicker. Languages are so complex and take serious amounts of time and energy to reach true fluency. I think this is something I didn’t realize in the beginning was just how long it takes. Of course though it all depends on your goals. If you want to be efficient with your time and achieve a high level in your languages, then I would only focus on one for at least a year. That way you have some kind of return on your investment. You don’t want to run the risk of spreading yourself too thin. Either way, good luck on your language learning!

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Even if you had a lot of time, it would be impossible to study three or more languages at the same speed.
At least, it’s not very effective.
In order to be really successful, it’s better to chose one language as a main language for a while and to have other languages in the background. And after 1-2 months you can change your main language.
As a rule, it’s the best way to study some languages at the same time.
Good luck!


As others said already, you should focus on 1 language only and this is my opinion as well. You might find on Youtube people that do this but don’t get caught always on what they say for the thumbs up. You also find on Youtube people that tried this and failed wasting a lot of time for 2 or more years.

You would be more effective doing just 1 language until you reach an advanced level so to just have to maintain it while starting the second language and so on. Seeing that you did French already, you could go for Italian or Spanish and then doing the other one. There are a lot of false friends and if you don’t know one language well enough you’ll make lot of mistakes. Then you could do the same for Dutch and German.

Btw, it also depends on what kind of level you want to reach, because if it’s just for traveling and tourism then you can do everything you want to. But if you want to have a meaningful conversation with those native people, that’s another story. Do just 1 at a time.

Funny thing, 3 days ago in the last seminar Steve, with all the experience he has, said that he had to abandon 2 languages he wanted to do at the same time for focusing only on Arabic. Because he was just wasting time and not progressing. Another user here posted a Youtube video of a guy that wanted to do just 2 languages at the same time and after 2 years realizing how few he had progress and deciding to drop 1.

My 2 cents.


funny you should comment on some thoughts that came to me today. Spanish would be my main language to learn and Italian I really love. I do have passable Dutch but find German tough. All this started once I read last month The Loom of Language which talks about how similar the languages are. I’d still like to dip into the other languages but I’m thinking along your thoughts and keeping it flexible.

Its looking like the consensus is to go with a main language which is Spanish for me; although I prefer and have more fun with Italian. I used to live in Belgium so know some Dutch. I find German tough but it is useful for work but I guess I need to be realistic. I like LingQ because I can keep expanding my French even though I’m fluent best to keep reading in the language. So I’m going to prioritize and at the moment I’m putting the priority on Spanish, with Italian as a similar language. Thanks for the post. I’m really grateful to everyone.

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I thought about adding a second language to studying Russian. Got some books and fooled around with picking up French which I had in high school and college many years ago. After a month of doing both, I realized I was not doing either language well. I tried alternating languages as you reference but found that my vocabulary and comprehension decayed. So I am back to Russian, which is my first love. Just my opinion.

I think it’s a good choice, once your Spanish has a good and solid level you can go with Italian and basically do the same process. But at least you won’t risk to mix them together when you speak. This is a very common thing but it all depends on the level you want to have.

Once those languages are solid (for your taste) you can start doing the same with Dutch and German. Imho.

I’m a native Portuguese speaker, fluent in Spanish and B2 or C1 in English, and I just started learning french. I tried to study multiple languages at the same time, but I realized I couldn’t learn that way, then I decided to focus on 1 language at a time until reach somewhere between B1 ~B2 level, and after that, I pick up another language if I have time.

I am a native German speaker, fluent in English and Italian, just started to learn french. I didn’t learned the languages at the same time, and still sometimes get confused when I’m confronted with several languages. So I would definitely focus on one language at the time. To start focusing on one language that you haven’t spoken in a while, it might be helpful to spend some time only with that language, eg. by staying in the country for a bit. I found this German article about language trips in Spain: Sprachreise nach Spanien: Empfehlungen & Vergleich (06/23)

Thank you. The link is very helpful as is your advice. Funnily, although I’m a native English speaker my English is improving while learning Spanish.