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How long did it take you to become fluent?


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Some people can naturally catch on to another language completely within months, and then there are those gimmicks that you can find online that offer to teach you a new language in 10 days completely which I don't believe is real. 

I wonder how long it took you to become fluent in a language that you learned, and what language was that?

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I learn a new language every year and I spend the rest of the time perfecting my accent. This is an ongoing thing for the six languages that I've learned so far. I never stop trying to improve my accent, but learning the language itself only takes me about three to six months. Of course this is just the basics of the language. It takes me about that amount of time to grasp the basics. 

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I wish I was already fluent in the language that I'm trying to learn, but due to lack of time, I still am not fluent in my target language. Although I noticed that I am now better in constructing simple sentences after 2 years in the language of my choice.

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7 hours ago, Norm A said:

I learn a new language every year and I spend the rest of the time perfecting my accent. This is an ongoing thing for the six languages that I've learned so far. I never stop trying to improve my accent, but learning the language itself only takes me about three to six months. Of course this is just the basics of the language. It takes me about that amount of time to grasp the basics. 

May I ask how you learn specifically?  Do you spend an hour everyday or more to master a language in a year?  Any advice, I'm trying to learn Korean and want to get a good start on it so I can travel to South Korea?  Thanks.

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Learning a language within 3 months is possible, but it's not going to make you fluent unless you cut out the languages you already know entirely.
However, 10 days is indeed way too short to even understand the basics.

But how long it took for me differs from language to language:
English (school edition): 1 year, but my grammar was shit.
English (online edition): 1 year, now with good grammar.
Japanese (rote edition): 7 years, didn't get anywhere.
Japanese (speak edition): 7 months, learnt a lot from native speakers.
Japanese (Kanji edition): 6 months and ongoing.
German (school edition): 2 years, never got anywhere.
German (speak edition): 1 month, I became fluent at this point, but due to the lack of usage, my German skills have dropped back to beginner level.

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I studied Chinese when I was younger but all of it was just academic as it was not the same dialect we spoke at home so I never got fluent enough using that language even after ten years of schooling although I did learn a fair amount and I'd say it was enough for me to understand majority of what is being said to me in that particular dialect excluding having to deal with actual local accents which can make it quite difficult. This is why I am a believer that no amount of schooling can replace actual daily experience and getting to use the language at home and around you everyday. 

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The key to learn a new language is by using it, everyday. I learnt Chinese when I was at high school for about 3 years and another year in college but only once a week in the class and it brings me nowhere. Then I decide to go to China and take course there, and it took me about a month to grab all the basic because like it or not when I was there people there don't really speak English so you are "forced" to speak it. Even the teacher (other than the admission office officer) don't speak English.

TO become fluent in speaking give it 3 months then you can start to understand what people say around you, maybe not completely understand but the important part to carry a conversation. However, if you would like to be 100% fluent like your native language it will take about a year. I think the length is also depend on what language that you learn. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It is completely impossible to learn foreign language for 10 days or three months. This is just an illusion or desire, so I would not trust anyone who could say that he did it during that period. One may learn some basic things for a few months, but to learn one foreign language well, he will need to invest a few years, not months. I know, it would be much better, if we would have capabilities to learn it quickly, but I am realistic and aware that it is impossible. I do not want to lie myself and others, because I do not have anything of that. But there are some quick schemes, similar to those "Get rich in a three day," but you will only lose your money with them. In return you will get nothing.  

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About 5 years, and I think it's worth mentioning that school didn't get me anywhere. I started learning and improving my English solely by using the internet. It started with YouTube comments, LISTENING to YouTube videos obviously, then it got to joining communities and using my microphone in games.

My English had always been mediocre (still better than those who rely on school) until I started ''living'' the language more. Every YouTube video I ever watch is in English. Movies, TV shows, and games always have subtitles off (I find that when you are trying to pick up grammar, there's no point in leaving subtitles on). I Skype with American friends I met on the internet. I find that my thoughts are actually in English as well more often than not.

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My Native tongue is spanish, I'm half mexican half white so my first language was Spanish but I learned English in 1st grade and I learned it pretty quick I'm pretty sure that's because I was  a little kid. But it's kind of funny because now I'm fluent in English and I don't talk Spanish that well, well I guess i never did, i mean when you 5 or 6 years old you don't know any language really well even if it's you first language. 

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I studied a foreign language for 8 years and today cannot speak much of it.  I think one of the key aspects to becoming fluent is being surrounded by people speaking the language.  It's hard to become fluent when you are speaking your native tongue more then the language you are trying to learn.

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I've learned the basics of French and Spanish in 6 months and I've been studying both for more than a year but I really can't say that I'm fluent in either language. Each language has its nuances and until I'm fully immersed in a language, I can't claim to be fluent. I took up Spanish in college more than a decade ago and though I've won conversational Spanish contests in school, I lost a lot of my vocabulary because I have no one to talk to in Spanish for years. Thankfully, the internet has been such a vast and great resource for language learners. I don't have to go to Spain or France to hear native speakers of both languages because I can use the internet for that purpose.

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It took me three months just to become a beginner level speaker of French which I had never studied before until a few months ago.  Spanish is coming back to me very quickly even though I've only been studying it for a few days but I'm picking it up and can speak it casually already.  I studied Spanish for four years in school so that's probably why.  I'm also studying Yiddish and I've become an intermediate speaker of it in just a few days, it's the fastest language I've ever learned even though I have never studied Germanic languages before. 

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I have been learning Mandarin for 4 months now, and I'm pretty good with greetings, and lots of other stuff. It's just that many words are really hard to pronounce, I have been told that I said something that are disrespectful, made no sense, and just were not the standard way of saying something. I don't think I will be fluent in the language anytime soon.

But I need to pick up the pace because I want myself and my family to move to China before the end of 2017.

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I don't know, because being "fluent" is not a discrete state, I would say that it is more of a continuum, slowly but surely you develop your skills. Something the fluency of your language has to do with the subject matter, for example, maybe you are comfortable enough approaching an Hotel front desk and renting a room without issues but once you try to speak about a certain topic where you lack much of the vocabulary then you realize that you are struggling to find the correct terms and words.

 

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Well, I have been practicing my English skills for around five years so far and it has been kind of a rough process for me. Everything was harder than I ever though, I had to practice over and over again every single day of my life, until I finally found shortcuts to make that process something easier and more enjoyable to pass through, I used to talk to myself, yes, that's what I've been doing for quite a while now, it's the best way to practice your abilities so you can judge yourself and fix your own mistakes by listening to yourself, that's my opinion though.

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I have been learning Spanish for the past ten years and I would not say that I am "fluent." I am studying every day and whenever I have a conversation with people then I start to choke up and forget everything that I learned the past ten years. I am pretty good at reading and writing Spanish, but I still have problems conversing in the language. 

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