What Is The Average Time To Learn Spanish?

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What Is The Average Time To Learn Spanish?

People across the country, and across the globe, are starting to pursue bilingual abilities, especially in regards to learning Spanish. Schools are offering special diplomas to multilingual students, and countless jobs open up for people with these skills because they can interact with a broader set of people.

Learning Spanish is such a beneficial skill for people to have and the benefit will only increase with time as the percentage of native Spanish speakers increase.

Despite the benefits, many people turn away from learning a new language due to a range of concerns.

One of the primary reasons people decide not to learn another language, such as Spanish, is a major concern about the time commitment it would take.

In this modern era, most people do not have countless hours to spend learning Spanish or any other language and therefore decide not to try.

If this is your concern, the good news is, the time commitment is not as significant as most would think. Unfortunately, this means that you no longer have an excuse not to learn Spanish.  

Spanish Frequency Dictionary

You'll significantly speed up your Spanish learning journey if you learn the most common Spanish words first.


Average Time to Learn Spanish

To become fluent enough in Spanish to hold a conversation is said to take anywhere from 250-350 hours of study.

That may sound like a lot, but it is actually only about an hour a day for eight to twelve months. You may be thinking that you do not have an hour in your day, but the truth is you do.

Instead of watching one episode of television or scrolling mindlessly on social media before bed, take the time to study Spanish, and before long you will find that you can carry on a conversation in another language!

Keep in mind that learning a language is a very unique and individualized process, and the time constraints can vary significantly for several reasons.

For example, if you have already learned a second language, particularly a romance language, learning a third should prove much easier and less time consuming than the previous did. The level of fluency, of course, can also affect the time commitment.

Before you begin, be sure to consider if you want to reach the fluency of a native speaker or if you are satisfied with the ability to carry on a conversation with one—also consider which one is realistic for you and your lifestyle.

Finally, the method in which you choose to learn a language will also greatly influence the time you must put into it.


Time According to Method

Typically when a student is studying a language in high school or college, the professor will group units by topic and sprinkle grammar in between the vocabulary.

In these classes, the student may learn how to say carry-on luggage or horseback riding before they can ask where the nearest hospital is or successfully order a cup of coffee off a menu.

For this reason, high schoolers and college students can spend three or four years learning a language and still not be able to carry on a decent conversation with a native speaker.

When considering studying Spanish, you can also choose to go for a proficiency level similar to that a native speaker might have.

This means nearly perfect pronunciation and understanding tens of thousands of words. To get to this level, it will most likely take you five or more years and devoting a significant amount of your time to studying the language.

This is a reasonable consideration if you are planning to move to a Spanish speaking country and residing there for the next significant period of your life. If not, this is not a needed consideration, maybe a fun long term goal, but not necessary to consider yourself bilingual.

A third method that you could choose is to focus on the words most used in conversation. There are about one thousand words in every language that make up about ninety percent of the things people say.

This means that if you learn one thousand, you can understand ninety percent of what you will hear people say in that language.

With context, you can often figure out even more than that. Go to two-thousand five hundred words, and you can bump your understanding up to ninety-five percent.

By focusing on the most used words and adding in a few hours of grammar work, you will be able to carry on a conversation within a year, if you learn just six to seven words a day.

Anyone and everyone has the capability to learn six to seven words a day.

Repeat them on the car ride to work or in the shower or right before bed. Learning a language can fit into your life, at your desired rate with this method.

Do you not have a year? Go up to twelve to fourteen words a day and learn it in six months. At twenty-four to twenty-eight words a day, you can learn it in three.

You can fit learning a language to conversational fluency without having to change your schedule or commit the next half-decade to the task. If you are looking for a low-stress low-time commitment way to learn Spanish, I suggest starting with this method.

Our books are designed to help you learn a language, including, but not limited to, Spanish, with this method — focusing first on the most used words to help you maximize your understanding and abilities.


Learning a language takes time and effort, but not as much as everybody thinks, and it is definitely not a good reason not to learn one.

Spanish is both a beautiful and practical language that you will not regret learning. If you want to gain the fluency of a native speaker, be prepared to put in hours of work, though the hours will be rewarding, but if you just want the ability to carry on the conversation you can fit the language into your life, not the other way around.

Whether you have three, six, or twelve months, there is a pace option that will work for you and your lifestyle. Do not put it off; get started learning Spanish today.

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