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Linguaholic

How many hours of Chinese per week?


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This is not an easy question to answer. It always depends on what you need the language for. If you are studying Chinese and want to use it in your job, it is something different than just studying it for fun and maybe be able to speak a word or two when going to travel in China.

Still, if you are serious about studying Chinese and maintaining a good level of Chinese, I would say 5-10 hours studying /reviewing a week should at least be enough to maintain your level, considering your level is intermediate.

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  • 4 weeks later...

When I was learning Chinese very seriously I spent at least 2 hours a day studying. I was also living in Taiwan at the time so even when I wasn't actively studying I was still using the language.

Learning the characters are the most time consuming part. It really takes a long time to learn to read Chinese. Even Chinese children take many years of school just to learn to read. So if you want to learn to read Chinese you really have to put in the time - no shortcuts I'm afraid.

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It depends on why you're studying Chinese. If you're studying Chinese because of a job, then it's best to get a good grasp of it ASAP. This means you'll have to study 10+ hours a week.

If you're just studying for fun, then you can go at your own pace. 2-3 hours should be sufficient.

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Seeing that when studying for fun, about 2 hours is the most common answer.

Can anyone tell me how long it will take (in years I guess) to become pretty good in Chinese, when studing about 2 hours a week?

And say I would like to get a pretty solid foundation in a year, hwo many hours a week would that cost me?

Starting from scratch here as a European.

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Hey Hank

I can not tell you how long it will take you to learn Chinese if you study two hours a day, but I can tell you something else: If you are serious about studying Chinese, you will definitely need to take classes and go to China for some time. If you are thinking about self-study (only), I am pretty sure it will not work out. All the people I know who are fluent in Chinese have one thing in common: they love this language and they have passion for it. It's a lot of hard work, trust me. It's fascinating as well though  :grin:

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@Hank

If you're studying two hours a week (studying by yourself), it will take you A LONG time to get a good grasp of Chinese. If you want to get a good foundation I suggest at least 10 hours a week. Keep in mind that Chinese has a totally new set of characters. So not only do you have to learn how to speak, but you also have to learn how to read and write.

If you don't want to do 10+ hours a week and you're still interested in studying Chinese then I recommend taking a course. The workload might be heavier, but Chinese classes moves faster so you'll learn more in a shorter span of time.

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Learning Chinese from scratch can be hell at first. It's very hard to start up, however, once you get the hang of an organized schedule then learning it is much more smoother. As Miya said, however, it is strongly recommended that one should study for more than just two hours per week when learning Chinese. I regret not learning Chinese when I came to Canada and now my Chinese skills simply suck, aside from the fact that I know how to speak it properly. Learn from the experiences of others who've had the experience :).

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  • 3 weeks later...

It really depends on the your learning method and your level of the language. It doesn't have any set of time because it's totally up to you to study Chinese anytime you want. It also depends on how many years have you learned Chinese and how much of Chinese do you know. I remember when I started learning Chinese in Kindergarten, I spent at least 50 or more hours per week. Although I was young, my dad would push me to learn as much as Chinese as possible. 

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It really depends on the your learning method and your level of the language. It doesn't have any set of time because it's totally up to you to study Chinese anytime you want. It also depends on how many years have you learned Chinese and how much of Chinese do you know. I remember when I started learning Chinese in Kindergarten, I spent at least 50 or more hours per week. Although I was young, my dad would push me to learn as much as Chinese as possible. 

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