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Linguaholic

How long does it take to learn a new language?


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Hi, I have been struggling to speak Spanish fluently over the years even though I take classes and have family members who speak Spanish fluently. I will soon be taking a trip to Mexico soon so I want to know how long I would have by then to learn how to speak Spanish more better. Thanks!

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It really depends on so many things, so many factors to take into account actually!  One of the most important factors is what language we are talking about and how good is the person in question to learn a language.  As well as the method to learn the language and so on. 

Some people can take years to truly master a language, but there are others who take much less. So I'd say it really varies from person to person.  There isn't a very clear answer to this, this is a very subjective question after all!

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I been learning Spanish for about 3 years or so now, there have been times where I been on and off, but I have managed to recognise Spanish news articles, understand and make conversations in Spanish compared to before, but I am not fluent,  or even advance. So personally I think it takes time, I always thought it was easy, people say it is, but it's tough!

To be able to reach advance or fluent level, unless you can live in a Spanish speaking country it's going to take years to get yourself into a level where it becomes as easy as English, or just about.

Don't feel discourage though, carry on, immerese yourself more, you won't understand everything at first but eventually you will. Read the news in Spanish, read articles like travel ones in Spanish, talk to natives and join forums like this one and language learning sites to keep practicing and ask questions.

I like to immerse myself through visual learning, do your method that suits you, learn vocabulary words and phrases and understand grammar. Keep doing it, you might feel you forgot a lot but you will be surprised how much you'll recognise or remember within time.

I spent a lot of time learning and immersing myself for 3 to 5 months before my trip to Costa Rica, I was in my first year of self learning but manage to get by at a good level where I could make small talk, ask for help or directions or make an order.

I use a podcast called CofeeBreakSpanish which I found very useful and effective too.

Everyone is different in the end, but with dedication and choosing and combining methods you can do it. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I believe it depends on the individual and how much time you actually spend learning. A trip to Mexico or any place where a majority of the population (example: El Paso, TX) speak Spanish will definitely speed up the process. My mom doesn't know English so I had someone speaking to me in Spanish my entire life. I speak Spanish better than most people in the area. I understand almost everything in Spanish and can read almost everything. I struggle a bit with the long words and sometimes translating. I learned a lot just by trying to read picture books in Spanish. This is how I learned to write in Spanish. Our trips to grandma's in Mexico helped because the music is all in Spanish, the signs, all the TV channels. I had no choice but to learn fast. You might want to try reading some Spanish magazines or watching Novellas. I hope this helps. :smile:

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This question has been asked endless amounts of times on these forums, and I suggest searching before creating a new thread.

It takes all between a year to ten years, depending on how much time you spend on it, if you live in the country where they speak the language you are learning, how simlar it is to languages you already know, and so on.

To reach complete fluency, count with atleast 5-7 years. If it takes less time, awesome, but don't expect that to happen unless you spend a LOT of time on it.

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I have been learning English since my childhood and now I can say that I am good enough to talk and write English. I will be as good as I am in Hindi, my native language. It's an ongoing process.

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I think if a person focuses completely on learning a certain language, then he or she can be able to learn it in a very short period, but I'd say that generally, it will probably take about 2 years for most regular folks who just casually learn a language in their spare time. It will also probably take a few more years to get completely fluent at it, though I imagine that living in the country that speaks the language can help speed up the process significantly.

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Your question is really a case to case basis. It all depends on the time and level of commitment a person has to learn the language. I think to be really fluent in one it usually takes no less than a year of studying.

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It takes as long is it takes, everyone learns at a different level and speed.  The more that you are able to immerse yourself in it and surround yourself with it the faster the process will go.

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The rate at which you learn a language is based on the difficult of that language and how much time you put in to actually learn that language. There are plenty of languages out there and some are harder then others to learn.

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Consider learning a new language, an ongoing process. In my experience the more you put it, the more you'll get in return. Give yourself 15 minutes everyday for a couple of months and see how much you've learned. After you evaluate your progress, you can determine if you need more time each day for practice. Be patient with yourself and have fun!

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I think that it depends on what level you want to be. If you want to reach the intermediate level, it will probably take about a year to reach, but if you want to get to advanced level it might take years to get there. Be consistent and persistent and you will reach your goal.

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