how easy is it to learn italian and french at the same time if you speak english and spanish fluently?

i speak spanish at home everyday and english at school and with friends. people say it’ll be difficult to learn two languages at the same time but with my background in spanish i think italian should be fairly simple to learn. french would probably be the greater challenge for me. am i in over my head or is this a conquerable feat?


  1. Correct…Spanish is very similar to Italian…. French is a bit more difficult. personally, I’d learn one at a time, that way you won’t get them mixed up ( as I did when trying to learn Portuguese and Spanish at the same time.. I gave Spanish up and concentrated on the Portuguese).

    Pidlan Fawr
  2. Im also that way, my mother lived in Italy before coming to the U.S, and yes Italian is different but much alike its all "latin"

    French to me tho is a whole nother world. Good Luck. God Bless.

  3. It’s true that italian can be easier if you know spanish..I’m italian and i’m learning 3 languages: english, french and spanish. Italian and spanish seem similar but they aren’t. I think you shouldn’t learn 2 languages at the same time, but if you really want to speak italian and french, do it.. BUONA FORTUNA (good luck in italian). 😀

    Elena Zen
  4. It is quite normal for people to learn both these languages at school and in your case you’re going to have a tremendous advantage, as you will probably find that you are able to understand a lot of what you read in Italian from your knowledge of Spanish and you will also find it easy to learn French vocabulary. What is more, if you have a good grasp of Spanish grammar, you will not struggle with the problems facing monoglot English learners of French and Italian. You must shake off any fear — that is not the way to approach a new language. Just take both of them head on — you can certainly learn them!

  5. I wouldn’t try it…I would stagger them a little. Do French first. It is more difficult and more useful. Italian, while beautiful, is a language used mostly for Opera/music, and art, and travel in Italy, while French is the international language of business.

    And doing them together is bound to leave you either confused, or overwhelmed. Start French, give yourself a couple of months to a year, then start Italian.

    They are bound to both be easy for you if you had to study Spanish, possibly a little less so if you acquired Spanish in the home…the study patterns are so similar.

  6. What’s your hurry? It makes more sense to learn them one at a time in a more organic, right-brain manner. When you talk about a "conquerable feat" it sound as though you might be more interested in bragging rights than in useful learning. Be patient, and you will advance further in each of your languages if you give them the benefit of your full attention in the early stages.

  7. What is going to give you trouble will be the differences between the two–words that are masculine in one language but feminine in the other, situations that call for the subjunctive in one language and the indicative in the other—you get the idea. At first, it’ll be easy and fun, but as you start to develop fluency and automaticity, there will naturally be interference between the two languages.

    I ran into this when I was trying to learn Esperanto at the same time as I was developing oral interpreting skills in Spanish. I simply had to lay Esperanto aside for a while. Now, I use both languages and enjoy both.

    Staggering your studies would probably be better. That way, you have them both "stored" in different areas of your brain, and you can devote yourself to each new language more thoroughly. You kind of have to give yourself over to the study of a new language and really embrace it in order to make it your own–and it’s hard to do that with two languages of the same language family at the same time.

    Troy F

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