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Mastering a language

How long does it generally take for someone to master a language? Just a random question;)

September 29, 2017



Totally agree with DreamOfFlying...It depends on the person's capacity, time, approach, resources, opportunities and mindset, among other factors...
But if you're looking for an answer along the lines of 10.000 hours of dedicated practice...I could partially agree, too...


a lifetime ;-) - or a couple of months. It's up to you

It is a matter of need and usage. If you have an objective to achieve (e.g. studying at a German university in six months from now) and if you are surrounded by the language it will be much faster than if you just have the idea of learning something new. Some people pick up a language like a sponge, others have to build it the hard way like a mason building a cathedral. If you don't stick with learning (and never use it) you will forget is pretty fast and have to start again from scratch.


Yep that is exactly what happened to me


don't worry, our brain is like a muscle. If you don't use it it will loose strength, but it will recover pdq. Like riding a bike, a bit shaky in the beginning but getting better every day.


The best thing to do is immerse yourself as much as possible given your circumstances. I've changed my TV language to French, my video game console languages to French, I listen to the French news, music, and talk programs as much as possible. I'm subscribed to French subreddits, try to read French newspapers, and of course, I take the Duolingo.

Like other people have said, if you lived in a country that only used the language you're trying to learn, you would pick it up much faster. If you're really committed to learning, try to bring the country and the language to you as often as possible.


Mighty fine question. It depends. I know there are some people that master a language in a year and then go learn a new one. I think they do this by going from one language to the one most similar to it and then to the one most similar to that and so forth. But for me. I think the German will be a life long learning process, especially if I want to learn all the different dialects of German (which I do) but to be able to start talking it I would say EGLEAST a year.


That would be a hard question to answer. It all depend...


German is kind of tricky, I forgot it all and had to restart. I read that someone almost mastered it in 2 months, but that sounds crazy. I can't even get the basics down in 2 months XD


It would take a long time for anyone, it just depends on what kind of dedicated you are.


Thanks for the wonderful answers everyone, they are all great!


I lived in Bavaria for 25 years (after having two years of German at the university level) and have had German people tell me my German is very good - but I still make mistakes especially in speaking! So I wouldn't actually say I've mastered German, but then I took the advice to 'just speak, don't worry about the grammar' in everyday life.

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