How Many Languages Can You Learn At Once?

How Many Languages Can You Learn At Once?

There are millions of people out there who can speak more than one language. There are also hundreds of people who speak three languages or even more.

Whether the reason is career improvement, love for languages, or something else, today there are more and more people who tend to speak as many languages as possible.

We cannot help but wonder how many languages a person can learn at once.

Is there a limit to the number of foreign languages that a person can learn and speak fluently? Will they get confused at some point by so many different languages drifting through their mind?

Before we give answers to these questions, let's take a look at some basic definitions.

Multilingualism 101

Monolingual - a person who speaks one language fluently. Approximately 40% of the worldwide population is monolingual, mainly in English speaking countries.

Bilingual - a person who speaks two languages with equal fluency, where about 40% of the population in the world is bilingual. This is common among the Hispanic population in the USA and French-speaking countries. The first language is usually a mother tongue, and the second language is learned later in life.

Trilingual - a person who speaks three languages with equal fluency. It is common in countries where there is more than one foreign influence such as the Philippines, statistically about 13% of the worldwide population.

Multilingual - a person who speaks more languages, often four languages, but sometimes even more. Approximately 3% of the population can speak four different languages, and less than 1% of the world population can speak five or more different languages. Countries such as Morroco or Switzerland mainly have multilingual speakers.

Polyglot - a person who speaks several languages fluently, which makes them multilingual as well.

How many languages can a person learn at once?

The answer is simple. There is no limit to how many languages you can learn at once. You should also have in mind that there is no universal answer to how many languages can a person learn at once.

We are all unique, with our own learning methods and capacities.

However, the main factor in language learning is your desire, productivity and motivation to learn.

So, you can have a hard time learning three languages at once, or you will learn five languages with no problem at all.

According to many polyglots, it is better to learn two to three languages at once and to take your time.

You shouldn’t rush the language learning process. Some languages require more studying than others.

Of course, it doesn't mean that it isn't possible, but it is a much better option, in the long run, to be patient and thorough.

Is there a limit?

Some experts would say that a person shouldn't learn more than five languages at once. Others that it's best to learn them one at a time. On another hand, some believe that if you wish to learn several languages at once, you should start with similar ones first.

Check out our tips to find the easiest language to learn for YOU.

So, who has a point here? Who is right?

First of all, there is definitely no limit to how many languages you can speak.

Second of all, you know your limits, you know your capacity and learning skills, so if you feel you can learn even eight languages, then you should go for it.

Lastly, when and if you decide to take on more than one language, always give your best!

Will you get confused by so many languages?

Again, it really depends on you and your capacities, motives, organization skills, time, etc. If you, for example, start learning similar languages such as French, Spanish, and Italian, you will indeed get confused in the beginning.

Don't let that discourage you.

With time, you will learn to make a difference between them.

What is important is that you commit to studying for at least an hour a day. If possible, take a course for each language. Learn grammar, vocabulary, and work on your ability to express thoughts.

You can learn as many languages as you want (if you really want it)

As you can see, there is no limit per se for learning more languages at once.

There is also no 100% guarantee that every single person who starts learning several languages at once, will succeed.

If, after a while, you can't keep track anymore and are not able to organize yourself, then take a small break.

Try some other learning methods. Maybe try learning one language at a time.

After you get some proficiency, add another language.

Keep in mind that you should practice every language as much as possible.

If you really want to learn, then start today. Don't waste your time! Make a plan for the first month, organize your time, and separate it from your other responsibilities. Learning a language takes time, quality work, and a lot of patience.

Check out these top online learning resources:
Kick off your learning with Babbel, where interactive, enjoyable lessons are designed to blend smoothly into your routine, fostering fast and effective language learning. For those aiming for an in-depth understanding, Udemy provides a broad spectrum of courses from basic to advanced levels.
To enhance your speaking skills, Preply connects you with native speakers for personalized coaching, ensuring significant improvement. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first lesson at Preply with this link.

Good luck!

Will have the same results of learnigng three different languages?

It depends on your capacities and the time you devote to learning each foreign language.

Why will get confused if I start learning French and Spanish together?

French and Spanish have a common origin, that's why some rules may see alike, but they have their own peculiarities that may confuse you.

Is it better to start learning many languages when you are young?

It depends on your motivation and desire to learn, however, it is easier for children to learn something new.

Can I forget one language while learning another?

You are unlikely to completely forget one language while learning another one, but some rules of grammar and words may need revision.

Releated Articles

April 26, 2024
What are the Basic Tenses in English?
April 26, 2024
What is the Longest Word in English?
April 25, 2024
Learn Basic Japanese Grammar

Daily learning tips directly in your inbox