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  5. 5 years to learn Spanish


5 years to learn Spanish

If I counted correctly there are 159 subjects in Spanish from English. Most of them have 48 lessons. (some have 36) That means there are approximately 7500 lesson in total. Going "insane" (50xp a day) means I do about 4 lessons a day. Then the whole Spanish course will take about 1875 days. Which is about 5 years.

That's a lot.

June 8, 2019


Sorted by top post


Sounds about right! You don't have to take skills to the top straight away in fact is is much better not to. Keep moving through the course at lower levels only going back to review by doing further after time passes. After completing the course at lower levels use other materials as well particularly for listening practice while still returning to duo to do further levels. Each time you revisit a skill it will bed deeper into your head. I have been learning for five years and it is well embedded now. I need more speaking practice to be truely fluent but the knowledge is there. I can read and understand easily and can speak albeit not perfectly. Time is an important component of language learning.

June 8, 2019


My respect brother.

June 9, 2019


Duome says that there are 678 lessons in the first levels only. 159 skills divided from the 678 lessons, means that they have, on average 4 to 5 lessons (first crown level). They get repeated (same amount of lessons, for crown level 1) which makes 1356 lessons. Crown level 2 usually has three times the original amount, so now we have 3390 lessons. Crown level 3 has four times amount, now we have 6102 lessons. Crown level 4 (the final one, which goes to golden 5) usually then has five times the original amount, bringing the final answer to around 9492 lessons in the Spanish course.

If you do 5 lessons a day, it will take 1898 days, which is about 5 years.

If you do 10 lessons a day, it will take 949 days, which is about 2.5 years.

If you do 20 lessons a day, it will take 474 days, which is about 1.3 years.

30 lessons = 316 days = less than a year.

40 lessons = 237 days = 0.6 years.

50 lessons = 189 days = just over half a year.

100 lessons = 95 days = 0.25 years, or 3 months.

How interesting, learning can be, when math is involved.

June 9, 2019


Very interesting! I wonder what the stats are for French as well.

June 10, 2019


That is a lot. It doesn't bother me, though. I like the idea of it lasting a long time. I enjoy doing a bit every day, and I want it to last, because what will I do when I'm done? I guess I will find another way to continue learning, as there's lots of apps out there, or perhaps there will be more course material by then.

Some days I do just one lesson, sometimes a couple, every once in while I do a whole bunch. Just whatever I feel like. I enjoy doing the Stories, and am glad they have them in the Spanish course. I do the Stories, and the Practice sessions, too.

I know that the repetition drives some people a bit crazy, and I can understand that, but it's a good way to learn. It's a natural way to learn. I never test out, because I believe that the repetitiveness is such a good way to learn. (Just a personal choice - not putting down people who do test out). I'm happy to take my time. It's not a race. I want to slowly absorb it all.

June 9, 2019


My thoughts exactly, I could have written what you wrote myself.

June 10, 2019


Me too! You just wrote my thoughts.. I would add that I have found 2 persons in Spain and one in Latin America I try to send a message or 3 to every day, or speak with online weekly. I learn a lot by talking to them. I agree with your testing out point 100%. Every time I talk to my friends, I say ¿Hola (name), que tal? or Hi (name) how are you? or hei (name), hvordan går det? and oi, (name) kumusta ka? Language is an endless repetition...

June 11, 2019


5 years is a long time. My goal was to complete the tree in 6 months. I do the first two lessons and test out of 3, 4 and 5. I started my Spanish streak in February and I am nearing the end. I am really grateful to Duolingo. It is really working. I journal every day in Spanish and I've gotten to the point where I can write a page or more of my thoughts without using any aids such as dictionaries. I have been recommending this program to everyone.

June 8, 2019

  • 1382

Sounds right to me. I've been at it for 3½ years now. A couple of more years and I should be ready for the world!

Time is relative. To a 20 year old, five years is an eternity. Not so much for someone getting ready to retire to Mexico.

June 9, 2019


1263 days; my respect.

June 9, 2019



Studying and learning a new language implies dedication. A daily study is very important to not lose any learning, also studying a lot can be tedious, the most recommended is 1 hour a day ... It is clear that memorization depends on each person, in addition a student manages to learn 100% of an average language with a 7 year study. Finishing all the lessons of Duloingo does not assure you that you learn the language, it is only a small guide, it is best to use extra media, such as audio and reading from other sources to enrich the learning ...

Do not give up, I know you can do it ...

June 8, 2019


And five years well spent. In 30 minutes a day you can learn another language on Duo rather than argue with strangers about stuff on FB or look at cat pictures on reddit.

One thing I’ve learned is that you don’t really finish a tree, you just keep doing it forever. It’s like perpetual review that keeps adding to that long term memory. And even if you do finish a tree, they’ll reset it with new content, at a minimum every two years or so, sometimes much less. So just enjoy the tree - keep on going, and do some stories in between.

June 9, 2019


A while ago I entered the data (available on duome.eu) in a spreadsheet. There are 8136 lessons to get all the skills to level 5. Late in the course there are skills with more than 48 lessons. But 7/12 of that or 4746 lessons get all the skills to level 4 which for some people gets most skills pretty well locked into memory. Also some skills are mostly review with a few new words thrown in. You will discover that more than 4 lessons a day is easy. It will vary.

June 8, 2019


That assumes you only do four lessons a day, that you don’t test out of some skills, and that you need to level every skill to level five.

June 8, 2019


I would probably not bother going beyond level 3. I've only finished level 1 and I already feel I have basically enough grammar and vocab to start using other sources (books, TV etc.)

June 8, 2019


Try not to get bogged down in a timeline. As you progress and get a handle on the language you'll find you pick up some parts faster and you'll get a feel for language. Also, as you progress you be able to supplement with films, songs and books that will also help you solidify your lessons and progress. Some lessons you will fly through in minutes and some will take you much longer to complete. Just take it one lesson at a time and see where you end up in a year :) Instead of measuring by lessons try measuring by understanding. Listen to a song or watch a film. Return to it in a few months and see how much more you pick up. It may really surprise you in a good way!

June 8, 2019


my head hurts whenever I try to get to level 5 on French lessons, but I do it so that I can know that I have practiced it fairly well and have a good grasp on it before moving on.

June 8, 2019


As you get further down the tree, the newer lessons tend to reinforce what you have learned earlier in the tree. I've found getting down the tree much more important than perfecting (level 5) a skill. I would recommend going down the tree at a level one, two or three (as fits your comfort). If you do that I think you'll find the stuff at the top of the tree pretty easy, and will confidently test out of it.

June 8, 2019


The learning process got so much better when I realised that I could skip lessons and just do the first and second level. it is faster and more fun and it is always possible to go back an revise.

June 9, 2019


oH nO wHaT hAvE i GoT mYsElF iNtO

June 9, 2019



June 9, 2019


What I would say is this. Spanish is for life, not just for Christmas. I will never stop learning Spanish. In fact I am still learning parts my native language English. Just not nearly as much as when I was a 2 year old! IMO You only really learn a language when you make it a part of your life in that you conduct some of your life, every day, in that language. Reading a book, watching the news, listening to music, talking to friends etc...

June 11, 2019


I usually do 7 lessons a day, earning 100 XP or more. So for me it would be less than 3 years (let's take 1000 days). Who says you can't work harder than me?

Currently it spend about half an hour a day. In total it's 500 hours or 60 something shifts (8 hours a shift). Or 3 months of full-time work with weekends.

June 8, 2019


Consolation: when you go back to continue a chapter at level 3 and 4 etc. it gets very easy, it"s all rehearsal. You can fly through ten lessons in same time as three new ones :)

June 8, 2019


In the first 25 subjects I was able to test out from level 5, but I don't feel I know the newer subjects well enough any more. So I go to level 5 step-by step. I also have about 15 subjects "in progress" (between level 1 and 4 somewhere) and I go back and forth.

June 8, 2019


I can't imagine many people get to level 5 on every skill without testing out. The amount of lessons to get there is ridiculous. Personally, I aim to get each skill to level 3. I did test to level 5 on the first 2 sections of the tree, because they were easy and I didn't feel I needed any extra practice. But now I leave the skills on level 3 and every once and awhile I go back and practice the old skills that are on level 3 for a refresher. It still feels really slow which is frustrating. And I do about 100-150 xp a day and it will probably still take me a year to finish the tree this way. But if I only got the skills to level 1 or 2, I wouldn't have gotten enough practice creating Spanish sentences, which is what I really need. There is too much fill in the blank and multiple choice and translating into English in levels 0-1.

June 8, 2019


I do! I have never tested out! Yes its a lot of lessons, but its a lot to learn too. I want to eventually be C2 level Spanish, and that is going ro take a lot more than Duolingo to achieve.. And being impatient to get to the bottom of the tree is not part of my strategy to achieve that goal.. Patience and hard work long term is.. Rome was not built in a day..

June 19, 2019


I try to test out in "vocabulary" lessons (as opposite to "grammar" lessons) and if I fail, I take them. No further than level 2 or 3, depending on my progress. Each person should be find a different way to maximize learning over time.

June 8, 2019


Hehehe y yo aprendo ingles. Preseverando lograras. Si te puedo ayudar me avisas. Con gusto te ayudare bay

June 9, 2019


Well, congratulations man! keep improve the language of Cervantes

June 9, 2019


I am in it for the long haul of fives. I'm doing the same 5 year plan.

June 9, 2019


I've studied Spanish for at least a year now. I'm fluent just a few grammar mistakes. And I'm still learning. However, I had an advantage. I always understood Spanish. I'm a Spanish Native who forgot his language when he moved to the United States. For Non-Natives I say they can learn Spanish conversationally around 6 months, 1 year, or two. It depends how hard you try.

June 9, 2019



June 9, 2019



June 9, 2019


I've been here since 2013 and still haven't finished, keep at it!

June 9, 2019


I usually do 150-200 XP every day. But sometimes I am not that motivated and take a break. I saw in the league and the club before there are quite some people who do this or even better.

So I guess if you wanted to learn the language in a year, you would need to spend 2-3 hours a day, which is not much. Think about it - 2 or 3 hours a day and you will be able to speak the language in a year! If you do 50 XP a year, it's basically less than 30 minutes a day. If we just spend 30 minutes a day and can learn a language in a year, that just sounds too easy...

June 10, 2019


not necessary to complete all 48 lessons. i do first two levels, from the third i do 3 lessons and then exams for level 3,4,5. much faster.

June 10, 2019


After you have finished a skill to level 3, you will more than likely want to test out of 4 and 5. That will speed things up greatly.

June 10, 2019


Don't want to burst your bubble but they reckon at one hour a day 10 months to be able to speak Spanish conversationally but 10 years to be fluent.

June 10, 2019


Well, like a spanish native speaker, I can tell you that Spanish is everything, except easy. So many adjectives that mean the same thing, or all the verb conjugations that neither we, the native speakers, know how to use correctly sometimes... and also think that Duolingo does not contain everything you might need to know about the language... So, all I can say is FIGHTING!!!

June 10, 2019


I have finished the tree in 2 years 8 months and I think I still have 2 years to go

June 12, 2019


i average 350 xp a day. It'll take me 80 days to get level 5 to everything.

I plan to pursue alternate methods of learning that might be more effective.

June 18, 2019



I found it notable that on Duome, only ~12% of those who finish a tree at Level 1 (blue) actually complete it at Level 5 (golden). And that's among the small subset of users rocking 100 day+ streaks.

I'm seven months in and have 347 out of 797 total crown (or 43.5% of the total). Section 1's Golden (level 5), Section 2's Orange (level 4) and it quickly diminishes from there. I've got 22 more lessons left in Section 7 to get to Level 1 (blue) and finish the tree at Level 1.

It'll be interesting to see where I am in a year. Will I have the tree complete at Level 2 (green)? Absolutely. Could I complete it at Level 3 (red)? Possible, but ambitious.

June 22, 2019
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