For example, consider Tamil and Malayalam. They are two very similar languages with many similar words.

The point is I get confused by the minor differences as I cannot remember them. I usually confuse Malayalam words with their Tamil counterparts.

How can I learn two similar languages without confusing them with one another?


3 Answers 3


If your mind is having trouble with the differences between similar terms, differentiate them by learning them in a separate context.

If you race cars, you might not have trouble driving normally, unless your brain can't differentiate the two similar environments.

I always found good ways to differentiate two similar things was to learn them in a different way:

  • Flash cards vs Memory match (Associating mental reflection of events with terms)
  • Red cards vs Green Cards (Associating colours with words)
  • Study room vs Backyard (Associate locations and location-based stigma with terms)

I think that you have to first master one of the two and then it will be easier to learn the other.

  • 2
    Hi John, and welcome to Language Learning! Your answer seems to be a little too short to be helpful. Please try to expand your answer and add more details.
    – fi12
    Aug 7, 2016 at 15:06

I started learning French before I have started learning Spanish. When learning Spanish, I usually could see the similarities between the French word and its Spanish counterpart. I basically used this to learn both faster. I have learnt how to do something in French and then memorised the differences to Spanish. When I forgot something in French, I usually had the Spanish word memorised and could "backtrack" the way it would have been in French.

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