Learning French and Spanish at the same time
Learning French and Spanish at the same time can be a bit of a daunting task. Learning any two languages at the same time can be difficult let alone two that are so similar. When you learn languages that are in the same family it becomes easier to confuse them, to mix up the grammar and to use the odd French word when speaking Spanish and vice versa.
Ideally you would learn one language until you were at a strong intermediate level like B2 or above before moving onto the second language. This would help prevent you from mixing the languages up as much or ‘losing’ the first language.
However, whether or not you decide to learn both languages at the same time is completely up to you. It’s no easy goal but if you’re determined to do so then there are some things you can do to make this a little easier for yourself.
Learning French And Spanish At The Same Time
So how can you learn French and Spanish at the same time? Let’s look at some tips that could help you out.
Study Both Language Every Day
Study both languages every day. Set a time for your French and a time for your Spanish, ideally spaced apart and make sure you do each language for a bit every day. This will help you get used to getting into your Spanish brain and getting into your French brain.
If you study one week and then switch the next week you’re more likely to make mistakes and take a while getting into the language you’re currently working on. By studying every day you’ll be more used to the switch which will allow you move between them more easily.
Get One Up To Intermediate First
As we mentioned earlier, if possible try to get one of the languages up to an intermediate level before you start learning the second language. If you have a strong basis in French then you shouldn’t start forgetting words or getting mixed up when you introduce Spanish.
It’s a lot trickier to learn two similar languages if you’re learning them both from scratch. Having a solid basis in one will make it much easier to learn the second one.
Make A Note Of Mix Ups
If there are things you get mixed up with or words that you keep using in Spanish that are French words then make a note of them, don’t just ignore them. You can then use deliberate practice to try and keep them in the correct language. Try to actively use them and if you’re using grammar where you normally get mixed up then slow down and make a conscious effort to get it in the right language. The more you do this the easier it should get.
Speak every day
Try to speak each language every day. Language output is a great way to help you start formulating ideas in that language and get used to expressing yourself. If you make the effort to speak both languages every day and not just one then it’ll become easier switching between speaking each of them.
You can either practice speaking to yourself or look for real partners. Websites such as italki are great ways to get started as you can find people who want to learn your language and spend half the time speaking your language then half the time speaking theirs.
Immersion Is Important
We would say this regardless of which language you were learning or how many you were learning at the same time. Immersion will help you improve much more quickly in each language. Now if you’re luckily enough to spend time in one of those countries this should be relatively easy for you but if not music, youtube videos, language partners on italki can all help you immerse yourself in the two languages. Just make sure your immersion is at your current level or just above. If you’re a beginner and you’re listening to advanced material then you probably won’t take much of it in at all.
Learning French and Spanish at the same time can be difficult but there’s no reason you shouldn’t do so if you really want to, some helpful tips are:
- Try getting one to intermediate before you introduce the second
- Study both languages every single day
- Make a note of mix ups and work on them
- Speak every day
- Immerse yourself in both languages as much as possible
Article: Learning French and Spanish at the same time
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