How long will it take me to become fluent in Spanish?
Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t ask me “How long will it take me to become fluent in Spanish?” or “How long will it take me to move into the next level?”
This is such a difficult question to answer, as there are numerous factors to consider. For example:
- What is your experience & current level of Spanish?
- Is Spanish a 2nd language for you or 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to learning Spanish?
- Will you be able to be consistent with your language learning or will you be taking breaks often?
- How motivated are you to learn to speak Spanish?
- What do you consider to be a fluent Spanish speaker?
- What is your natural ability for languages?
I have a lot to say on this subject, so this will be a 2 part series.
Let’s consider the above:
- If you’re starting from scratch, it will obviously take you a bit longer than someone who has a foundation in Spanish. I think that’s pretty obvious.
- If you have already learned more than one language, picking up a 3rd or 4th will be easier than learning a 2nd language. Why? For one, you have more to pull from. Most languages have cognates in common with several other languages, making it easier to recognize words. For example, everyone thinks that Spanish & Italian have a lot in common, but may be surprised to hear that Italian & English also share many cognates (such as concert/concerto; fork/forchetta; democrazia/democracy). Another factor is if you learned a previous language as an adult (or older child/teenager), you already know what is involved with language learning, and what exactly works best for you.
- Motivation plays a key role in learning a language. If you’re doing this because you feel like you should, your lack of enthusiasm will be present more often that you may think. If you’re excited about learning the language, every time you see a street sign in Spanish or an audio version of something in Spanish, you will be tempted to look up the word or listen to the audio, thus spending more time on the language which will ultimately help you reach your goal much faster.
- Whether we like to admit it or not, natural ability plays a part in language learning. Some of us are better at sports, some of us are better at building things. Some of us are better at math, some of us are better at languages. This however does NOT mean that you can’t learn to play sports or to build things; it simply means that for some of us it will be naturally easier to learn a language than for others. It is what it is…just like with everything else in life.
Ok chicos, that concludes part 1. This will give you a bit to think about, and next week we will move on to part 2.