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How much time do I need to become fluent in Japanese?


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How quickly do you think I can become fluent in Japanese? I am going to Japan In 3 years for a college and I need to learn at least most of the Japanese language until then. Is this possible?

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It's possible to get a good grasp of the language, but it'll take longer than 3 years to be completely fluent.

... which is okay since you learn faster when you're forced to speak it in Japan.

(Off-topic, but where in Japan are you going?)

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It's possible to learn most of the necessary phrases in that time, but I don't think you would completely be fluent in Japanese with that time alone. However, if you take initiative and hasten up your learning then I'd say it's definitely possible to become fluent in that time.

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I edited your post with some grammar/spelling corrections. You can of course edit it again if you think that I edited it so much that it doesn't mean the same thing, but yeah...

I definitely think that it's possible. Three years is a lot of time if you put a lot of time and effort into this, but if you do want to become fluent in only three years: be prepared to spend hours and hours each day on studying alone.

You should also consider getting a microphone, and someone to talk with on the internet (over skype, or such). You don't need to pay some teacher for this, just find some native japanese speaker that wants to help you out, or someone else which already knows a bit of japanese, that you can speak to in japanese.

You will probably not be able to become "completely" fluent in only three years, but you will probably be able to become somewhat fluent in three years time. After all, it is possible to learn all the kanji in less than two months if you put enough time into it (using Heisigs method. That is, you do not learn any of the readings, and you only learn one/the most common meaning - but the rest can easily be covered simply by practise/experience with the language) and if you can learn over 2000 kanji in less than two months... I definitely think that you can become fluent in three full years. But as I said, this will require a lot of time. And I honestly don't think anyone can keep up that amount of motivation for three full years, no matter what.

Study hard, but don't study "too" hard. As in, don't burn yourself out. Burning yourself out will only make yourself hit a wall, and you'll have a harder time studying overall.

Good luck with your studies, and remember to ask us if you need any help!  :smile:

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As many forum members have pointed out already, it could actually take you years to be fluent, but the results highly depends on your interest in the language and how good you are at languages.  I've met people who are natural learning languages, they are so good they can get a basic knowledge of  a language in just a few months! 

So it really varies from person to person, some people are good at languages while others not so much, they can still learn.  Some people have certain advantages when they start learning a language. Others don't, for example dutch people trying to learn German and visceversa!  So it really depends!

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