How long does it take to learn a language, you wonder…

You’d like to start learning a new language, but you just don’t know what to expect?
You are excited about this new adventure, but also can’t wait to speak the language?

Well, it’s not that easy to answer this question.
There is no magical number, to be honest…

But let’s try to analyze it and get to some conclusion.

How long does it take to learn a language

How long does it take to learn a language?

It depends on many factors:


What language you are trying to learn

It’s not only a question of how difficult the language is.

There are many sources trying to estimate the number of hours that it takes to learn a language. Maybe you’ve already seen these graphics dividing languages into three groups: easy, medium, and difficult.

They determine the time needed to learn a language based on its level of difficulty.


However, there is one big issue.

How can you actually tell which languages are easy and which are difficult? What aspects are taken into account? Is it really possible to find one right way to divide all the languages according to their difficulty?


I don’t really think so.


Sure, the complexity of grammar, pronunciation, etc. matters. Some languages’ structures might be more simple, others are more complicated.


But an important question here is – who is the potential learner that we relate to?


I believe that the most influential factor in deciding if the given language will be easy to learn for you is… your native language! And other languages that you already know well.


The more similar those languages are – the easier it gets.


For example, if you speak English and German, it might be really easy for you to learn Dutch. However, learning Italian might be much more difficult. Unless you speak Spanish – then it should be a piece of cake for you!

What languages you already speak


As I mentioned before, your native language and the languages that you already know have a great influence on your learning process.

I think that the more languages you know already, the easier it gets.


Once you’ve learned one language from a given language family, it will get much easier to learn another one. Even if you’ll want to learn a completely different language this time, it will help you as well.


With every language that you learn, your brain is actually changing. It’s called neuroplasticity, and it’s freakin’ amazing!


The more languages you learn, the more different patterns and structures you will become familiar with. And that can help you understand better the next language you attempt to learn.


But don’t get discouraged if it is the first foreign language that you want to learn. Sure, it may feel intimidating, when you compare yourself to polyglots speaking 5 or 10 languages.


But remember one thing – everyone was once a beginner. Even the multi-polyglots were once learning their first foreign language.


Don’t let it make you feel bad. Let it inspire you! If someone else did it – so can you!


HOW you are going to learn it


To be honest, it can take you as little time as 6 months to speak the language well. Or it can take you forever to even learn the basics.


It all depends on the methods that you apply and the effective habits that you develop.


Are you going to learn on your own whenever you have free time? Or will you attend an intense language course, where you will study the language for 6 hours every day? That makes a difference.


But it doesn’t mean that you can only learn a language fast if you pay someone to teach you.


The key to your success is consistency and your attitude.


If you are not feeling motivated and don’t believe that you can actually succeed – no money in the world will change that!


You also need to remember the importance of reviews.


Without it, sure, you will probably learn fast, but… you’ll forget even faster. And that’s not what you want, is it?


It’s crucial to review the material that you’ve previously learned every day.

That’s the only way to make sure that your newly attained knowledge will be transferred to your long-term memory.


Another important thing is practicing the language. It’s not enough to passively learn a language. You need to put more effort into attending the course or reading your coursebook.
You need to actually use your new skills in practice.


Remember – practice makes perfect.


WHY you want to learn it


This may be the most important component on your journey to achieving your goal.


Having a strong, personal reason to learn a language can have a massive impact on your success.


Ask yourself – why is it important for you to learn this language?
Do you need it for your work opportunities? Are you planning to move abroad?
Or maybe your motive is…love?


There are various reasons for learning a language. It’s obviously always worth it, but take a moment to find at least one reason that really motivates you.

How long does it take to learn a language


Conclusion


There isn’t one answer to how long it will take to learn a new language for you. It depends on your personal situation, the effort that you are ready to put into learning, and your motivation.


No matter how long it will take – just try to enjoy the process. Learning a language can be a lot of fun!


And it’s an amazing investment in your self-development.

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