by Emily Anderson
Being able to communicate in more than one language is only ever going to give someone an advantage. Whether it’s for communicating in your community, for business, or travel, being bi-lingual is an achievement.
There are many people who grow up bi-lingual naturally. Many others – particularly in Europe where learning a second language is compulsory until a certain age – become and stay bi-lingual, although more lose their acquired second language skills after leaving school.
But how about being multi-lingual? How easy is it to become a polyglot? Can you learn two languages at the same time? This is an interesting question. There are some major considerations:
Like so many things in life, if you have a goal you need to have a cohesive plan to achieve it. If you are going to make the decision to learn different languages, you need to have the right mindset. Learning a language is not something you can do half-heartedly and dip into every now and then. It needs constant application to the task.
Think back to your school days when you might have studied 10+ subjects at the same time. You had to work on each of them regularly – coursework, assignments, homework, revision, and tests. In essence, the same applies to learning more than one language at a time. You will need to give equal attention to both the languages you want to learn.
You should consider the level to which you want to learn each of the languages. There is often quite a different approach needed if you want to be able to simple converse in a language compared to learning it for business use or writing it to a high standard. For example, if you want to learn a language to be a translator, you will need a greater breadth of knowledge and understanding than if you just want to be able to make yourself easily understood when on vacation.
The best polyglots have to train their brain into thinking in the languages they speak. This makes you a better user of it. To be a good speaker of a language you need to build up a wide vocabulary as well as become familiar with syntax, tenses, construction, and grammar. You will need to commit to intensively studying and reading a lot to gain the words you need. You will need to practice speaking the language aloud, and also writing full sentences.
When in school (less so in college) you pretty much have to go with the teaching methods used by your teachers and tutors. As an adult and learning on your own, you can choose you own learning methods. If you understand your learning style, you can immerse yourself in your desired languages in the ways that best suit this style. This should accelerate your learning.
Online resources have really opened up the world of learning. You can find online courses, translators and apps to help you along your journey into the world of new languages.
So at the beginning it was asked if it is possible to learn two new languages at the same time, and the answer is yes: if you plan properly, are committed, and use your/the resources as best you can.
Emily Anderson is a blogging fan and a super creative writer. She is a writing expert at resumeble.com. Searching for news on technology, education, and journalism is one of Emily’s favorite hobbies, as well as learning foreign languages.
Writing systems | Language and languages | Language learning | Pronunciation | Learning vocabulary | Language acquisition | Motivation and reasons to learn languages | Arabic | Basque | Celtic languages | Chinese | English | Esperanto | French | German | Greek | Hebrew | Indonesian | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Latin | Portuguese | Russian | Sign Languages | Spanish | Swedish | Other languages | Minority and endangered languages | Constructed languages (conlangs) | Reviews of language courses and books | Language learning apps | Teaching languages | Languages and careers | Being and becoming bilingual | Language and culture | Language development and disorders | Translation and interpreting | Multilingual websites, databases and coding | History | Travel | Food | Other topics | Spoof articles | How to submit an article
Why not share this page:
Learn languages for free on Duolingo
If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.