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