Learning Spanish opens up a whole new world to you. There are more than 400 million Spanish speakers in the world. If you speak Spanish, you might have more career opportunities too. There are many jobs that ask for bilingual candidates – that means Spanish and English in the USA. So, it’s no surprise that many people dream of learning Spanish.
How long does it take to learn Spanish?
Many people started learning Spanish at an early age. Some have continued or started learning Spanish in high-school. Spanish is a popular foreign language in American colleges. There is no shortage of people wanting to learn Spanish. You don’t have to look hard to find people claiming to have learned Spanish in a few short weeks. So, how can you estimate how long it will take you to learn Spanish?
How Long Does It Take to Be Fluent in Spanish?
Fluency in Spanish requires a lot of learning. That is one of the reasons many people give up language learning. You could spend years learning words and grammar and still not speak Spanish fluently. Fluency doesn’t mean that you speak Spanish perfectly. It means that you can put together sentences and engage in conversation with a Spanish speaker. According to some estimates, it takes about 600-hours for an English speaker to learn Spanish. Therefore, fluency will require at least 600-hours of studying.
How long does it take to learn Spanish for English speakers?
If you are a native English speaker, Spanish is the perfect starter language for you. As a native English speaker, Spanish is one of the easiest languages for multiple reasons:
- English, just like Spanish, has Latin roots. Thus, quite a lot of the words are the same or similar in both languages, like “chocolate” in English and “chocolate” in Spanish. To learn Spanish as a native English speaker is a great choice, right?
- Spanish is also easy to learn due to a similar sentence structure. The familiar sentence structure gives Spanish a more familiar feel when speaking and listening.
Spanish conjugations and tenses can be challenging for native English speakers. How long does it take to learn Spanish? According to the Foreign Service Institute, learning Spanish will take you about 24 weeks or six months (about 600 hours) if you are an English speaker. If you want to learn Spanish in six months, you have to study for three hours every day. If you only have an hour to study Spanish each day, it will take you about 20 weeks, close to two years.
Can you learn Spanish in 6 months?
If you make a real effort, you should be able to learn Spanish in six months. Learning Spanish in six months requires a serious time commitment. As a native English speaker or someone who speaks English, six months is a reasonable amount of time to learn Spanish. Roughly, you will need to study about 100 hours each month for six consecutive months to learn Spanish. That is more than three hours of learning each and every day. Can you commit to learning Spanish for more than three hours every day for the next 183-days? Very few people can, but it is doable.
Can you learn Spanish in 3 months?
It is possible to learn Spanish in three months, but it requires a huge time commitment. Learning Spanish can be an overwhelming experience. Trying to learn Spanish in three months will put extra pressure on you.
But can you learn Spanish in only three months?
The only way to answer this question is first to answer this question: “How many hours per day can you dedicate to studying Spanish?” This is critical because you will have to spend close to seven hours learning Spanish every day for about 90 days. Very few people are willing to make that kind of time commitment. But, if you spend seven hours every day for the next three months, you too can learn Spanish.
Can you learn Spanish in a year?
To learn Spanish in one year is very doable, even if you are starting from scratch. If you are an English speaker, you will need to spend about 600-hours to learn Spanish. Therefore, if you want to learn Spanish in one year, you will have to spend about 1.7 hours studying each day for one year. It is a significant time commitment, but virtually anyone should be able to do it.
How much Spanish do you know already?
Your current Spanish level has a lot to do with how long it will take you to learn the language. If you have never learned one Spanish word in your life, it will take longer to learn than if you have some experience with the language. Starting from zero is always harder.
Can I learn Spanish faster if I speak a similar language?
It’s easier to learn Spanish if you already speak a similar language. Spanish is one of the Romance languages. It means that Spanish and a group of other languages share a common origin, Vulgar Latin. If you speak one of the following romance languages, you should be able to learn Spanish faster:
What is the right mindset to learn Spanish?
To succeed with anything, you need to have the right mindset. If you start your Spanish learning journey with the wrong mindset, you will create a block in your mind. Get rid of the negative attitude to help you learn Spanish. The right mindset will allow you to absorb new information. Don’t allow any preconceived pessimism and believe that you can learn Spanish.
Learn Spanish by watching TV shows and videos
Watching TV shows and videos is a great way to immerse yourself in the Spanish language. Through TV shows, you can experience how native speakers speak the language. As you learn Spanish, you will also learn about the culture. There are countless Spanish language TV shows and Youtube videos for you to engage. Another approach is to watch a familiar movie in Spanish. If you have seen a movie in your native language already, you know what the movie is about. Therefore, it will be easier to watch it in Spanish. You could watch it in Spanish with English subtitles.
Set goals to learn Spanish
If you are serious about learning Spanish, you need to set goals. For example, it would help you to set a daily, weekly, and monthly goal. Having a goal is like having a plan. If you enter your Spanish learning journey with a plan, you are more likely to succeed.
You can learn Spanish faster if you set the following goals:
- Focus on measurable goals – Measurable goals are critical for learning Spanish fast. Instead of learning more next week, you should learn a specific number of words. Measure outcomes instead of effort. An example of a measurable goal would be, “each day, I will learn five new Spanish words.”
- Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals – It’s true that the ultimate goal is to learn Spanish. But the best way to get there is to have short-term and long-term goals. If you want to learn Spanish, you need to know what you need to do each day, week, and month.
- Push yourself without burning yourself out – If you want to learn Spanish, it is important to push yourself. But if you push yourself too hard for too long, you might fail to learn a language. It would be best if you challenged yourself, but don’t burn yourself out. You might be able to learn 50 words in a day, but you won’t be able to learn 50 words each day for one year straight.
- Keep yourself accountable – Goals are worthless if you fail to keep yourself accountable. Each day, week, and month, you should make sure that you met your goals. That’s the only way to make real progress.
Learn Spanish by learning words first
The best way to start learning Spanish is by learning words. Grammar is important too, but when you just start learning the language, words are more important. You could start by learning the 100 most common Spanish words. Once you have learned 100-words, you can start learning the 500 most commonly used Spanish words. Don’t worry about grammar until you have learned the 500 most commonly used Spanish words.
Learn Spanish by connecting with native speakers
The best way to learn Spanish is to talk with native speakers. To speak with native Spanish speakers, you have to leave the comfort of your language app or textbook. But there is no substitute for speaking a language with another human being. If your goal is to speak Spanish, you need to practice it with people. Many native Spanish speakers are also interested in learning foreign languages. You can find them online and set up times to help each other learn.
Learn Spanish by using it every day
The best way to learn Spanish is to use it every day. But what if you live in a country where Spanish isn’t the primary language. The good news is that you can still use Spanish every day in the following ways:
- Read the news in Spanish – Many of us start the day by reading the news. If you are learning Spanish, take a few minutes every day to read the news in Spanish.
- Listen to Spanish language podcasts – You can find podcasts on any topic in Spanish. Incorporate listening to the podcast each day, even if only for five minutes.
- Watch TV shows in Spanish – You can watch shows in Spanish to help you learn the language. Even if you have seen a show in English, you can watch it again in Spanish.
- Use a language learning app every day – There are many Spanish learning apps. Try a few and pick one you like. Use it for at least ten minutes every day.
- Change your phone to Spanish – If you are like me, you use your phone too much. Why not use your phone to learn Spanish. If you change your phone’s language to Spanish, you will force yourself to use the language all day long.
What level of Spanish do you want to learn?
How long it takes you to learn Spanish also depends on the Spanish level you want to achieve. If you only want to have basic Spanish conversation skills, you can achieve your goal fast. But if you want to get a job in a Spanish speaking country, it will take much longer.
It’s much easier to order a meal than to go through a Spanish language job interview. To reach an advanced level of Spanish, you should plan on a longer learning period.
How to learn Spanish at home?
Today, you can learn Spanish at home easier than ever. Unlike in the past, being at home doesn’t mean complete isolation from the world. With apps, TV, and various Spanish learning websites, you can learn Spanish at home. No doubt learning Spanish takes a lot of time and personal dedication.
Here is how to learn Spanish at home:
- Learn with a Spanish language tutor one-on-one. You can easily connect with a Spanish tutor at home to help you learn the language.
- Watch Spanish language videos, movies, or TV shows for 30-minutes every day. An important part of learning Spanish is to listen to native speakers. It will help you learn how native Spanish speakers pronounce words, a critical part of language learning.
- Listen to Spanish language podcasts. There are many Spanish podcasts geared toward people who are actively learning the language.
- Learn 10 new words every day. I know that ten words don’t sound like a lot, but you will have learned 300-new Spanish words in just a month. If you know about 2,500 words, you should be able to talk to anyone about anything. And once you have learned 5000 words, you basically have the vocabulary of a native Spanish speaker.
- Write your grocery shopping list in Spanish. Learning the Spanish words of various food items is a critical part of learning the language.
- Read the news in Spanish. If you like to spend a few minutes reading the news each day, why not read Spanish.
- Reach out to native Spanish speakers online and set up a language exchange. Many native Spanish speakers want to learn English and other languages. You can help each other learn a language, and perhaps make a friend in the process.
- Take a Spanish language course online. There are many free and paid Spanish learning courses available.