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How long does it take to master German on average?

Hi, I'm Indonesian and I'm good at written and spoken English. Since, I'm already good at English which is close to German (structurally and grammatically), how long does it take for me to master German?

I want to be inspired and motivated by other German learners who have already mastered it. How long does it take for you to master German? How intense is your practice?

Thank you, fellas :)

August 9, 2017



How long is a piece of string?

A lot of people will give you estimates in hours or years, or anecdotal evidence of how long it took them, but there's no real way to accurately gauge it.

The simple answer is that, like anything, the more work you put into something the more results you will see. It's not just about the amount of work- it's about quality of learning, too. Hundreds of hours of classes won't do much good if you don't pay attention, but if you do, then they'll do more good than thousands of hours of half-hearted book learning at home.

On the other hand, even if you're the world's best student, then hundreds of hours of classes will acheive nothing with a poor teacher or poor materials, so you'd be better off with the book learning or an online course.

There is no single answer to a question like this- the factors which affect what someone learns and how they learn it are far too numerous. Work hard, keep motivated and use the language as often as you can and you'll see progress. The harder you work and the more motivated you are, the faster you'll learn.

Learning a language is like any other long, difficult journey- if you constantly focus on the end rather than each step, then you won't get anywhere.

  • 1611

A piece of string is twice as long as half its length, if you just know it's length then you know the answer. Have a Lingot, I had a good laugh.


Great answer!

I couldn't agree more with your last remark. Of course it makes sense to plan a trip, but when it comes to actually learning the stuff you must never focus on the end. Enjoy every step!


your comment is gold! there is no single word I can deny. Thanks, it is really motivating. Never once I think that learning language is one-step process, it demands full dedication and attention , I realize it. Danke!


Generally speaking, about 750 hours.


Those figures get you to the FSI's own levels of S3 and R3 (speaking and reading respectively), which are roughly equivalent to B2 on the CEFR scale. I'd say B2s still have some way to go before attaining mastery. :)


bis zum Ende der Welt.


well english actually isn't actually nearly similar to german grammatically when things get more complex. But viel Glück


According to Colin Farrell's character in The Lobster it's two years.

Realistically, it's as long as it takes you.

  • 1611

It is that time of year to bring up Mark Twain's essay The Awful German Language. I found a very good PDF version; enjoy:


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