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How long it takes to reach each CEFR level of Finnish learning?

I would like to know from current experience of those who know (or are aware) about teaching of Finnish for foreigners -

How long it roughly takes for reaching "Survival skills" i.e somewhere around A1 / A2

How long it takes reach Integration skills - A2+ or B1

-- I have seen 3 levels of online one month courses by one or two Finnish university for reaching A1 level. How many hours they may be teaching per week ? And in a whole month ?

And how long is it taking for higher skills levls like B2 and upwards.

June 26, 2020



For Hungarian at the Summer School A1 or A2 is a month ie 120 hours in class plus at least as much again in self study. I imagine Finnish would be similar. A month for each A1 and A2 if you work on it for 10 hours a day Monday-Friday.

You won't get there with DL though.

As Finnish shares nothing with English it is in category III - ie 1100 professional class hours plus over 2200 hours self study for "working proficiency" - B2/C1.

[deactivated user]

    Considering the differences in english and finnish, i would say maybe 4-6 months to achieve b1, assuming you devote 3-5 or more hours a day. This is just a guess based off what i read online. To achieve fluency, maybe 2-3 years? It depends on how you learn the language. Only using Duo and another service will not work. You have to diversify, and probably take some classes irl or online.



    So you are saying that roughly 400 to 600 hours of study or more will be enough to reach B1 in Finnish?


    roughly 400 to 600 hours of study or more will be enough to reach B1 in Finnish?

    I very much doubt it. To reach B1 you don't just have to be able to read Finnish but work in it - ie you do not translate to English but complete exercises in Finnish with Finnish. You also need to be able to have simple conversations and complete oral comprehension exercises. So you need access to a native speaker who will simplify things for you.


    I may tell you my experience with learning Finnish (on my own - without a teacher/course): I started learning in December 2017, having a very good german and english grammar base, learning eveything fast except mathematics, anyway. I bought the first book for german learners (dunno if I am allowed to say the name, mainly it is described with 1, 2, 3 named in Finnish ;-)). I got through the first book in March 2019, which should get me the A2-level. Vocabulary were easy, but I stuck with grammar after lesson/unit 4 of 16 (!!!). Since March 2019 I am learning vocab from the second book (B1), now I have recently finished lesson 2 vocabulary.

    Every day I spend 4-5-6 hours of learning with my vocabulary box, sometimes I don't learn at all. I am repeating the old stuff regularly, having developed a well working schedule (at least for me it is working well).

    If you visit a course offline, I think it is possible to reach A2-Level within two years, as it is told in the preamble of my teaching book***. If you learn alone it takes much longer...

    400-600 hours of studying for B1 is a very ambitioned goal... imo you need much more hours, because of the very difficult grammar stuff - vocabulary are ok, if you understand the rules they follow while declinating. And you also should know, that they have six different types of verbs (!!!), besides the 15 cases (3 of them aren't much used I heard).

    My textbook says, that you learn 1200 vocabulary (which means A2). *** it is said in this book, that for this A2-Level you need to 3-4 semesters (= 1,5 to 2 years) with 28 lessons each semester (= a half year).

    4*28 = 112 lessons within a course, additional learning not included. If you learn vocab and grammar 4 hours per lesson, you'll have to add 448 hours.

    112 + 448 = 560 hours for A2-Level at least...

    That's just what my crazy mind has calculated, and which is an actually realistic term, which matches my personal experiences with learning Finnish....


    If you are still stuck with grammar, I recommend the "Grammatikübungsbuch Finnisch" by Harald Molan (it goes up to about A2). It has less practice than you might expect from the title, but is a good overview of the grammar.

    I'd also say that B1 in a few months would be a very ambitious goal. When I self-studied Finnish consistantly for about a year (about 1-2 hours a day on average; I had also taken three courses a few years earlier so I had some previous knowledge), I probably reached something around A2 (probably less on speaking skills). Granted, I probably didn't have the most efficient mix of methods (lots of vocabulary study, some reading, listening and writing) and having a teacher to correct me would have helped a lot, but still, getting to B1 in few months would be really tough.


    I actually do have that book from H. Molan... And the big, red one from Fred Karlsson... It also could be that I don't invest much time into grammar at the moment, maybe that's the point... (grammar is soooo boring and heavy and so on and so on... :D).

    Yes, and that's what I miss - someone who is correcting me, giving useful hints and pushing my nose right into my mistakes, that it hurts myself and I'll never do them again... That's why I proposed a group learning here... It maybe is much funnier than learning alone on the desk... And we could improve our speaking skills, at least we can TRY to speak, without being in fear of disgrace.


    So, each level can take somewhere around 300 hours for non Finno-Ugric language speakers and almost 200+ hours for speakers of Ugric languages like Hungarian?


    Almost, maybe - it depends on the amount of time the learner wants to invest and how "talented" he/she is in understanding and working with it (as Judit said before), I think. For Hungarian speakers (same language family) it could be easier, because they know the structure.

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