Here are some tips on how to learn many languages at the same time! There are a number of ways to go about it and the progress looks different however you do it, but it’s definitely possible. The important thing is to pace yourself and find what works best for your schedule.
Learn one language to intermediate before moving on / Language stacking
It’s tricky to learn two similar languages from beginner at once. Learning one language to intermediate and then using that language to learn a similar language through it, is easier to manage.
Try the 80/20 approach (Pareto Principle)
Spend 80% of your time on one (main) language, and the other 20% of your time on the other language. This method works well if you are studying languages that are very different to each other, or if you are intermediate+ in both.
Immerse yourself online
YouTube and Twitter are great places to browse content in your target language. There are also Google Chrome extensions you can use for practicing and learning new words on static websites like Twitter or blogs, such as Toucan.
Create a flexible schedule...
Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to study a certain language you’d planned to study that day – I’ve been there! Rather make a list of activities you can do in different languages throughout the day, and do those in the languages you feel like.
...or try a strict one
If you love and work well with strict rules and guidelines, schedule in time to study one or two main languages alongside others.
Different apps or resources per language
You can choose to use different resources, apps or systems for your target languages. Associating different apps for different languages can help you make a mental connection with that app and “its language”.
As some examples, you can try Preply for Japanese (get 50% off a trial lesson for any language) , iTalki for Korean (get $10 credits after your first $20 spend on any language), Clozemaster (use code LINDIEBOTES) for French or any other language, Skritter (10% off applied) for Chinese and Lingopie for Spanish, for example! Ling is an app that has a ton of languages and you can get 7 days free when you get a year subscription.
Get rid of the perfectionism mindset
Making lots of mistakes is part of the language learning process. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t let trying to be perfect stop you from working towards your language goals!
Try NEW methods and learn from others
Everyone has a different way of doing things when it comes to language learning, and you might just learn a helpful trick or two by listening to others and experimenting with new methods.
Having a positive mindset
Negativity won’t encourage progress in any way. Rather cultivate a mindset that makes room for mistakes, and acknowledges every bit of unique progress you make!
Prioritize breaks and getting rest
Learning consistently without taking time to let what you’ve learnt sit in your mind, can be really exhausting. Don’t underestimate the importance of rest – schedule it in if you need to.
I openly talk about mental health and language learning. Benny Lewis and I recently spoke about this topic here:
Set language-specific goals
Your goals should differ from language to language. Having language-specific goals helps you prioritize the amount of time you spend on each, so that you’re able to work towards your goals more efficiently. Here’s a related post that will help with goalsetting.
Do what makes you comfortable
There’s no right or wrong way to go about learning multiple languages at a time. If you prefer learning one at a time, go for it. If you’d rather put your time and energy into learning all your target languages at once, just as long as you know your progress will be slower, that’s fine too. Here’s a blog post that summarizes everything on making time for languages in a busy day/life.
And here’s a helpful video on fitting languages in a busy day!