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https://www.duolingo.com/Quinny_Quincy

How Many Years to get Fluent

How many years does it take to become fluent in a language.

From what I read, Duolingo is a great starting point, but it must be supplemented by watching movies of that language, conversing with people.

Just curious, how many years did it take you to get fluent in a language?

5 months ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/gringo_pobre

It totally depends on how much you study/practice. If you moved to a country and immersed yourself in the language and spoke with native speakers every day you would probably be doing pretty good after a year. As far as studying with duolingo and stuff like that I agree probably 5 years of every day practice is needed.

"Fluent" is a tricky word. No matter how good someone is at another language you can usually tell if they are not a native speaker.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El_Gusano
El_Gusano
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For Spanish, I was speaking fluently at less than 18 months. But I was crazy obsessed with it since it is my family's second language and therefore super important to me. To give you an example, I flew through duolingo's Spanish course in 30 days! Afterwards I installed apps for speaking to natives and started attending groups in person. I got fluent with what I knew quickly this way and used conversation to study instead of study through repetitive reading. It's easier to chat with friends for hours than to read dry material for that time instead. While I can always improve and I constantly strive to do so, I'm also happy now. Good luck!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Quinny_Quincy

Wow, learning Spanish must have felt like a nourishing home-cooked meal. That's how I would feel learning my family's second language (i.e. Punjabi)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Queen_Mika_

is there a punjabi course?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KaptianKaos8
KaptianKaos8
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Wow, fluent in 18 months. I've been learning French for nearly 2 years, and I don't know where to go next, Duolingo I am finding too easy. I am commonly told to watch films in the target language and talk to natives of the language, but I am not really in to films and I am not very sociable, where should I go next?

(I am really confused what to do next, if you have any ideas please reply to this comment - I am desperate.)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tu_madre_vic

I'm learning Spanish right now, but this is applicable for many, many languages. Simply change language of your computer and browser to your target language, which in your case is French. Some sites will automatically change to the target language, so you don't have to switch it by yourself, while some may not. Either way, I've found that using your computer in your target language is a pretty neat way to increase vocabulary and understanding of grammar. Heck, I just did it today!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Quinny_Quincy

Call French embassies, act like you need information (just a guess)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BYU.Jordan

I downloaded HelloTalk to find native speakers to practice. You should give it a try.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BradR11

I like this estimate...

The US Foreign Service Language institute published some numbers about how many hours required to learn different languages. For Spanish the number was 480 hours, based on classroom instruction. But people don’t just learn languages in the classroom. Very often factors outside the classroom are more influential.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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I have a nice image (Voxy) "What are the hardest languages to learn?" saved locally here from FSI that estimates:

"To achieve language proficiency" for EASY languages (closely related to English) to reach ‘Speaking 3: General Professional Proficiency in Speaking (S3)’ and ‘Reading 3: General Professional Proficiency in Reading (R3)’.

  • 23-24 weeks
  • 575-600 class hours

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/20571270/FSI-Language-Difficulty-List


I find this ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) rating table listed on LTI even much more interesting, as the different intermediate-advanced language stages are shown: https://www.languagetesting.com/how-long-does-it-take

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel211619

Good question, I'm 76 years of age, born in the UK, and I think I was fluent in English when I was around 14 or 15!

I believe you MUST do a little every day, just as you did to learn whatever your native language is. Taking that into account, from learning a few tourist phrases for vacations till now has been maybe 15 years or so, but buckling down to a daily routine with DuoLingo over the past year has definitely helped both my comprehension and speaking ability!

Am I fluent? No! But I have the confidence to make a fool of myself with mistakes in Spanish and not worry about it. And my Spanish friends correct me now since I asked them to do so.

So maybe the answer is like - - How long is a piece of string :-)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/redneckray

I have spoke English for 80 years, I'm still becoming fluenter

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchCamille

Depends.

Generally 5 years of everyday practice to be "fluent".

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betarage
betarage
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It depends on what you mean by fluent i have been learning Spanish for almost 1 years and i'm far from fluent but if you want to be really picky about pronunciation i'm still not even fluent in english after learning for almost 20 years but i don't really care about that because i can talk about everything

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas.Heiss
Thomas.Heiss
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Thanks for pointing this out Betarage!
This exactly have been my thoughts :-)

How far have I come with Portuguese in 1,5 years learning it remotely on my own (without very good didactical online academic courses / books) and without listening to course audio CDs?

Well, more far than I have initially thought in 2016 I would come for my 1st Romance language, but still quite far away to be able to listen to TV shows, already speaking it, etc.
.
.
I grinned on your English example as I have been learning English as a 2nd language in Germany for more than 23 years (leaving out primary and secondary school) and using it in my EDV education and profession almost on a daily basis.

As I don't live in the UK/US and I am unfortunately also not involved in international IT projects, I do not have to speak it daily as I can not fully immerse in Germany which results in the fact, that I would not consider myself as being "fluent" - as of speaking - this language on a very high level (I surely could get by if I had to voice chat).


Personally I think at least (2) 3-5+ years are probably much more realistic to be able to listen and speak when you learn a (complete) new language from scratch (not the same language group) if somebody can not fully immerse into it.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShermanHar8

I think study helps a lot. However, I moved to Ibiza in the winter so that I would be emersed in the language with no way around it. Most natives of the island have a little different dialect than the mainland and Europian Spanish is slightly different from Latin American Spanish. I go out a lot and try to engage in conversation with people.

I have found that you most of the native love that you are trying to learn the language and help you with pronunciations, as well as the proper way to say things (ie. pronouns, verbs). When one should be formal and when it is not necessary. Very helpful tips. I also watch television with subtitles both English and Spanish depending on what show I'm watching.

For instance, watching a show or movie I have seen a million times with Spanish subtitles or switch the language to Spanish. My friends say I'm getting better every day and have been able to have small complete conversations and order food totally in Spanish only after a few months. I say dive in and see if you can swim.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ethan867091

3 months

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BradR11

That’s right. 90 days @ 6 hours per day! Done deal:)

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jdroege

"how many years did it take you to get fluent" How do you define "fluent"? If you want to order a beer in a bar in Barcelona, you are probably already there! If you want to be mistaken for a Columbian in Cartagena, you may never make it ... There is really no clear answer to your question ...

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel211619

Absolutamente! Correct JDR, when you can tell a joke is also some of the way there, but true fluency only comes with hard work, and most likely ONLY if you live the language.

On the other hand, I do know a few British ex-pats who have lived in Spain for as much as 32 years, and the total extent of their Spanish in a bar in Barcelona would be

San Miguel please?

Es La Vida!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/toddanthony2

uno ano, you must speak with others.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/elizadeux
elizadeux
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Please don't forget the accents, because this doesn't mean what you think it means. It's año.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel211619

ElizaD, don't be rude now :-) [joke] I'm not able to do accents on my laptop without a lot of bother, but on my android phone it's easy, just hold the letter key down and select the accent.

Maybe ToddAntony has the same problem?

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KaptianKaos8
KaptianKaos8
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Tip: writing like an~o does the trick. Works for all Latin alphabet based languages. Like this, words like pre/fe\re can be spelled with accents in languages like French (franc,ais), Spanish (espan~ol), and Latin alphabet alternative languages like Mandarin Pinyin (Ha\nyu\/).

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mel211619

I'll try that KK -- espan~ol

and post?

EDIT:- I see, you mean it allows folk to see you mean the tilde, I thought you meant it would show up as in Spanish!

5 months ago