i think languages logo

How long does it take to learn a language?

how long does it take to learn a language

How long does it take to learn a language if your pacing is a bit slow?

Is there a faster way to learn languages?

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much time you’re taking.

What matters is how many of these words and sentences you can remember after a few weeks or months.

Let’s look at how many hours per week will you need to improve your language skills.

Expectations before learning a language

Many languages might seem difficult for you to learn at first. That’s a fact.

According to the Foreign Language Institute, there are 5 language categories ranking from easiest to hardest language.

  • Languages closely similar to English, such as Dutch, French, Italian, Swedish, and Spanish, fall under Category 1. It will take 600 hours or 6 months to achieve a level of General Professional Proficiency.
  • A Category 2 language, such as German, Bulgarian, Burmese, Greek, Hindi, Persian, and Urdu, is significantly more difficult and requires an additional two months — for a total of 750 hours – to achieve the same level of competency.
  • Category 3 languages, such as Indonesian, Amharic, Cambodian, Czech, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian and Swahili, have a moderate level of complexity and take 900 hours, or 9 months, to master.
  • Languages spoken in the majority of Asian countries fall into Category 4, with each language requiring 1100 hours (almost a whole year) to master.
  • Finally, Category 5 includes the world’s most difficult languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. This requires English speakers to devote 2200 hours or about two years.

Any of these languages might even feel longer. However, your expectation of how fast you’ll go up from your levels of fluency might affect your study methods too.

We aren’t saying to set your expectations really low, but try to be realistic and test yourself first.

Learning a language after a week

As mentioned earlier, even category 1 will take 600 hours or 6 months to fully have the same level of fluency and proficiency as that of native speakers.

You’ll get the basic conversation sentences and phrases.

However, this only works if you dedicate at least 3-4 hours of study per week.

Language learners even make it an 8-hour habit considering it’s the only thing they do as language students.

What you’ll achieve learning after a month

We’ve mentioned the different learning methods that you can do to make your language learning journey easier, faster, and more fun.

After a month, you’ll find yourself enjoying music and actually understanding the lyrics without looking it up.

For a challenge, try listening to the local radio station. Speak a few sentences about what you’ve enjoyed or learned from it.

To become proficient, many language learners even repeat what they hear from audio courses, podcasts, and radio stations.

So try to repeat the vocabulary you hear in your target language and determine the context of the sentences.

Our basic tip is this: Don’t focus too much on the grammar rules.

Of course, grammar is important to learn as early as possible. But if you keep on recalling the noun genders and verb endings, you’ll get stuck trying to memorize conjugation tables.

You definitely won’t be moving forward to the other important parts of learning.

Why you’re taking a longer time to study a language than usual

It comes to this point when you’ve been learning basic vocabulary and implementing a decent amount of study time.

After a week or two, you’ll notice that you’re improving a lot on knowing the sentence pattern of a language you’re studying.

You might even notice the differences between your native language and your target language regarding how verb tenses are formed.

However, if you are not paying attention to how to slowly become familiar with how they are spoken and you don’t supplement your studies with listening.

Moreover, the lack of daily practice and motivation can slow down your language learning method.

We have all the language courses that we need online. On the other hand, you might have doubts and may say “I want to learn languages..but”

Without a mindset of finishing your language lessons and only going through them, you’ll never become fluent in your target language.

How long does it actually take to speak to the locals?

After spending or immersing yourself in that country, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re already a fluent speaker.

Achieving bilingual proficiency is easy if that is your goal. You can choose easier languages in Category 1 or 2 like English, Greek, German or Spanish.

If you’ve followed the total hours of studying per day as mentioned earlier, anyone can achieve a level of basic fluency for at least 600 hours.

Although, realistically, the amount of time you’ll have to dedicate maybe longer if you are only able to

At least you’re giving it a go and starting to learn a language already. Explore other methods of learning languages, it might help you

Related Posts

Is learning a new language easy?

It is probably no news to you that the world is becoming more connected by the second. As a result, there has been an explosion

The best way to think in another language

You may think that bilinguals are the only people with the innate skill of memorizing two languages simultaneously. But with enough practice and familiarity with

Best ways to learn languages online

There are many types of language learners. Visual learners, audio learners, interactive learners, you name them. Quick lessons are one of the best ways to

Top 5 easy to learn languages

Learning a language has its pros and cons. It can be overwhelming to start without any prior knowledge of language learning. From romance languages to

Learn languages with native speakers

Have you tried making friends with someone from your target language? If you haven’t thought of using a language exchange app to find language experts,

Can animals learn human language?

We’ve been talking about how to learn languages and the process of natural language acquisition. But can animals do the same? Can animals learn human

Tips to learn languages at home

So you’ve started working on yourself and eventually enrolled in an online language class. We’ve given language learning tips on which apps to use or

Learn languages by listening

An introduction to language learning is often heard. Some of you may have noticed that teachers often let their class listen to music, watch a

4 best places to learn languages

Language exchange programs have been one of the earliest ways to interact with native speakers. Nowadays, you’ll find a language learner stuck at home twiddling

What languages does Babbel teach?

 In this short but concise Babbel semi-review, we’ll take a look at what languages does Babbel teaches. You’ll be able to check if your target

New methods to learn languages

So you’ve read a lot of blogs that talk about different methods to learn languages. Perhaps you got inspired by a foreign film and wanted

How do we learn languages as an adult?

Language acquisition during childhood is easy since our focus is to develop basic skills. Children acquire language skills in different stages. A child may even

How to learn languages by yourself

There is no “one technique that rules it all” when it comes to learning languages. Especially, if you have been learning it alone. What makes

Learn languages with music

Language learning is a fun and educational way to develop your skills. Watching music videos, reading original lyrics, and guessing the languages in context are

5 Useful Language Learning Websites

Technology has made language learning very easy nowadays. There are hundreds of language learning websites that offer lessons for all types of learners from beginner

Is it difficult to learn languages?

Is it difficult to learn languages? Have you ever wondered why babies learn how to say “dada” or “mama” just a few days after being

5 Easy Ways to Learn Languages Fast

What is the fastest way to learn a language?? How does one achieve fluency?? It truly is easy to learn languages faster if some steps

Best Places to Learn Languages

If you’re looking for the best place to learn languages it’s probably because you want to go live an experience abroad. That’s fantastic news! There

How Do People Learn Languages?

People learn languages in many different ways. Some learn languages online, others with a teacher. Some people go abroad and some take lessons. Some learn

Can You Learn 2 Languages at Once?

Human beings are not very good at multitasking. Try reading a book while cooking or see if you can study while working. It’s virtually impossible.

Why should you learn languages

We are living in a world where people aspire to be polyglots and now want to add foreign language skills to their resume. The ability

Can You Learn Languages While You Sleep

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could learn languages while you were in sleep?? In this fast paced world of technology and social media, learning