Learning French And German At The Same Time
Learning any two languages together can cause some troubles but learning French and German at the same time is definitely doable even if it is a challenge. The closer two languages are to each other the harder it is to learn them both without getting them mixed up. So if you learn two languages from the same family like Italian and Spanish you’ll have a much more difficult time.
French and German come from different languages families, French being romantic and German being Germanic. While they’re both Indo-European, they’re different enough that anyone learning wanting to learn them both could probably do so without any major mishaps.
If you are going to learn French and German at the same time then there are some steps you can take to make the process easier for you overall.
Learn One Language To An Intermediate Level First
Even though learning French and German at the same time is very possible, it’s always easier if you already have a base in one of your languages. Learning one of the languages to an intermediate level before you embark on the second can make it easier for you. For a start you’re less likely to forget the first language you started learning or getting them mixed up.
Secondly it will help you in terms of actual language learning. If you’re a native English speaker who’s never thought much about grammar then verb conjugation can be extremely tricky to get your head around, same with the concepts of masculine and feminine nouns. Once you’ve encountered these once and started to understand them it’ll be a lot easier the second time round.
Also having learnt one language, you’ll know what techniques work for you. Are you someone who likes input to the point of understanding before you start trying to speak or do you want to be using your language from day one? Are textbooks useful for you or do you prefer apps? These are things all language learners must figure out when they first set out on learning a new language which can be time consuming. If you’ve already studied one language you’ll know how to approach your second language and will be able to learn more effectively.
Study Each Language Every Day
If you want to progress in both languages then it’s important you study them both every day. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes it’s better than studying German one week then French the next. This would be true even if you were only studying one language at a time. A little bit every day goes a long way.
Studying both French and German each day will get you more used to switching between the two languages which will make mix ups less likely to happen. If you can speak both languages each day this will also make a huge difference to your learning. Output helps you to start thinking in the language and will get you used to swapping between using the two.
Make A Note Of Mix Ups And Work On Them
Even though these two languages are very different and are from two distinct language families, mix ups can happen. When you learn two languages at once it’s easy to mix up grammar rules or use a French word when you want to use a German one. If these mix ups occur that’s ok, just try to make a note of them so you can work on them. If you notice the same mistakes keep occurring then work deliberate practise into your studying schedule and really go over those points. Don’t just ignore mistakes and allow them to continue as they can become stuck by a process called fossilisation.
Try To Find A French Language Partner And A German One
As we’ve mentioned earlier, speaking both languages each day will make a huge difference to your progress. Now you can do this yourself by narrating what you’re doing or recording yourself like a video diary but a language partner will make the world of difference. They’ll be able to provide you with instant feedback and you’ll be able to practise your listening skills at the same time. They’ll also be able to let you know if any of your French is affecting your German and vice versa.
Learning French and German at the same time can be difficult but not impossible, follow these tips to help you have the best chance for success:
- Learn one language to an intermediate level first
- Study Each Language Every Day
- Make A Note Of Mistakes
- Try to find a French language partner and a German one
Article: Learning French And German At The Same Time
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