Are you finding yourself constantly asking how long does it take to learn a new language from scratch? Well, achieving mastery in a foreign language actually depends on a number of critical factors such as your native language, the mode of study (self-study or a guided course), the number of hours you are willing to dedicate, your motivation, and how much authentic practice you have every single day.
There is no denying that certain languages are definitely easy or difficult for beginners, but it does not necessarily mean that you cannot achieve full proficiency in them. Want to know more about this? Continue reading below.
Language study has always been one of the top ventures that most of us aspire to accomplish in our lifetime. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to speak with precise grammatical correctness and confidence in a language that is far different from what is used in our country? Now that companies are after globalization, it is actually expected out of employees to learn another language in order to stay relevant in their field.
There is also a need to learn foreign languages for students since knowing how to speak with other nationalities will make them a more attractive candidate in the eyes of recruiters.
One of the barriers why most of us do not chase this dream is because of the belief that it is difficult and expensive to learn a foreign language. Add to that is the fact that it can take busy professionals months to even years to reach a working proficiency on their target language (more so if you are targeting to learn FSI category 4 languages like Russian, French, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Korean).
There are also reports saying that those aspiring to learn just do not have enough exposure to different languages and cannot find native speakers teaching foreign languages.
It is indeed true that it might be challenging to study the language they want with all those considered. But what if I tell you that there are actually easy and practical ways to reach fluency in different foreign languages? Yep, it’s possible to expand your vocabulary, say new phrases and slang, and become totally fluent in speaking any language of your choice. In today’s post, we will walk you through exactly how long it takes to master a language and how to learn it in a short amount of time.
How Much Time Does It Take To Learn A New Language?
The U.S Foreign Service Institute has issued a categorical view with different levels in the languages that are difficult to learn for native English speakers.
If your target language is a category one, then that would take 23-24 weeks or 575 – 600 hours of learning until your speak the language. It may take you 30 weeks or 750 hours to reach a good proficiency level for category two.
For category three, you need 36 weeks or 900 hours of practice to become fluent.
If your target language is in category four, then you will need over 44 weeks or 1,100 hours to learn the language. And lastly, category five languages will require you about 88 weeks or 2200 hours of practice.
Learning a language really is a process, and no one pill can make you become a native speaker instantly. Furthermore, despite all the FSI reports, no one really knows how much time it takes to learn a new language. With this being said, many people actually set aside at least a few minutes per week to many hours a day in order to reach their desired proficiency standard. For some, this type of strategy works, while others may have no problem learning on their own right away.
How To Learn A Language Like A Pro
Another question that a language learner may ask is whether there is a standard in the number of learning hours that one should take to at least be able to converse casually. According to the Common European Framework or CEFR, it takes approximately 200 hours or so of guided learning hours for someone to progress in their chosen languages.
Research findings in the field of language learning are also congruent to the said findings. However, the CEFR also noted that learners could speed up the process of learning if they show the right motivation.
Want to jumpstart your learning? Here are a few tips that we got from the experts:
- If you are a working adult with not much time to practice, set aside at least 10 minutes a day to learn about everyday vocabulary words that you can use. Practice it and find chances to use it in real life.
- Join a study group so that you will be even motivated not to lag behind your fellow learners.
- Enroll in a language class (online or classroom setting) taught by a real native speaker of your target language. Not only can this instructor help you out in learning a new language but also help you in having confidence when speaking it in front of a native speaker. The online language school Lingoda recently conducted a survey about speaking confidence after taking online classes. Of students who reported feeling more confident, around half said they felt comfortable speaking after fewer than 20 classes.
- You can also try learning the language through exposure to media. Watch films, music, videos, or read books that use your target language.
- Follow a study plan and set aside at least 2 hours per day consistently.
- Want to master the language even if it has a confusing script? Start your language journey by focusing on the writing system first.
- Find a buddy online who can help you practice every day /week until you become fluent in the language.
- Use a language learning app that is fun and easy to use so that you can be motivated to learn anytime and anywhere.
Ready To Start Your Language Learning Journey?
Learning a language does not have to be complicated, expensive, or boring. By using the Ling App, developed by Simya Solutions, you can take your language class anywhere through your mobile device.
Millions have downloaded this language learning tool, and the reason behind that is that it offers revolutionary features that will make the whole journey a breeze. From AI-based chatbots to updated language courses developed by real native speakers, we bet that you can become a true master in your chosen language in no time.
So, what are you waiting for? Challenge yourself today and download the Ling App!