The short answer is… when you want to! Because you want to!
Here’s my long answer about why/when to add new languages:
In general, once you’ve learned 1 or 2 languages, you probably know how you like to learn. What your daily schedule is like, how long it takes you, what your learning style is, and what resources work best. So when you want to add another language, look at your schedule- can you fit one more in? Consider why you’d like to learn it and what your goals are. If it’s for work or travel, you can learn the basics of a language in a few weeks to a few months (depending on your schedule and how comfortable you want to be with the language). If you’re looking to learn a language long-term, do you have enough days in the week?
Prior to this year, I’ve been learning 7 languages a week (give or take some weeks). I generally have a loose schedule and it might change every few months, as life things come up or my interests change. I get French practice daily, Spanish practice every other day, and then Italian and Chinese practice weekly. I try to get in Icelandic and Polish practice weekly, but it doesn’t always happen. I try to make sure I do a few ASL lessons a month, but again it doesn’t always happen. There are 7 days in the week, and I’ll practice in the morning or in the evening, and I often add extra practice time in on the weekends when my weekdays have been too busy for language learning.
I have a big birthday coming up this year (I’m turning 30! Woohoo!), and I decided to finally let myself learn German and Japanese! They’ve both been on my languages-to-learn wishlist for a while, and life waits for no one. I’ve been learning 7 languages for the past 3 years I think. I know I started learning Icelandic in summer 2016, and I think I added in Polish and ASL in fall 2017.
I’ll explain why those two languages in upcoming posts…and I encourage anyone to check out new languages if you want to!
There’s always more to learn about the world and other cultures, and being able to understand another language opens so many doors.