I am an unemployed engineer currently, and I have 0 knowledge of French and German (I am Spanish) so I have a lot of time this summer (virtually 100% availability).

I can enroll in one or two intensive courses.

Each course consists in 2 hours a day / 4 days a week during 1 or 2 months, and you get A1 level.

Would it be positive to enroll in German and French? (it would be 4 hours a day in total. 4 days a week) Or would I end up burnt out from so many languages and it would be better to focus only in one?

Would I have problems learning these 2 languages at the same time? I think they are not too similar between themselves so I would not mix them.

I also know Spanish (similar somehow to French) and a bit of Norwegian (similar to German) so that could help perhaps.

  • 1
    Choose one, and choose French. You could make substantial progress in French with all that time, because you already know a closely related language. You would be better off spending the extra two hours (instead of the German class) with French speaking partners. By the end of the summer, your French level would be quite high. On the other hand, spending that same amount of time only in classes for two languages won't get you very far in either one by the end of the summer.
    – AML
    Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 17:21
  • I think it's doable, but A1 is a pretty low level, so you have to figure out whether you would be doing these courses as a first step in a longer process of study (which would be a huge commitment of time) or as taster courses to help you decide which one to pursue, or just out of interest / to avoid boredom etc. If it was me I think I'd pick one - if that leaves you with too much time on your hands you can always do some extra study on your own. I agree that French is likely to be easier for you, but then German may be more useful...
    – user7085
    Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 9:45
  • What is your goal? (1) If your goal is to learn L2 to the level you can get a job in different country, go for French, and try doing "full immersion". (2) If your goal is to "taste" both languages to decide in which one you will invest more time, of course you can do both, but your learning will be less efficient, and level attained at the end will be less. Commented Jun 20, 2019 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


Your knowledge of Spanish will help you understanding French vocabulary in a great deal. It won't help you with French pronunciation nor grammar.

Even a thorough knowledge of Norwegian would help you understanding German grammar only at a very basic level. It won't help you at all with German pronunciation, and the Norwegian basic vocabulary is actually further away from German basic vocabulary than English basic vocabulary.

About learning two foreign languages at the same time: it's certainly doable. Schoolkids do that all the time. But not because it's better to do it this way, only because they have a curriculum to follow.

My personal opinion is, it's two A1 courses. They give you an insight into the languages.

Take both and make an informed decision which A2 course you take. It doesn't only depend on the language but also on the teacher. If you found both A1 courses okay, postpone your decision for French or German until the B1 level. And so on.

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