This is the question I get asked the most about learning Spanish: how long does it take to be fluent? Some may say it can take up to three weeks. However, others argue it takes around three years. I believe there is no accurate answer to this question. The amount of time it takes to be fluent in Spanish is really up to you! From my personal experience as a language student and teacher I have a theory that there are three factors that influence the language learning speed.
How long does it take to learn Spanish?
I strongly believe that there are three factors that answer the question: how long does it take to learn Spanish? The number one factor is dedication, number two is practice, and number three is will.
How much time can you dedicate to studying? By studying I am not just referring to taking Spanish lessons with a teacher. I mean grabbing a grammar book, learning Spanish online, doing exercises, writing paragraphs, creating flashcards, reviewing content, doing homework, etc. There is no room for excuses like “I am too busy/tired” or “I couldn’t find the time” when you study a new language.
A workout for the brain!
Studying a new language is a form of workout for the brain. Think of studying Spanish as going to the gym. If you want a six-pack in a short time, then you will have to dedicate many hours a week to working out those abs! Therefore, if you want to be fluent in a short time, you will have to dedicate many hours a week to working out your brain by studying the language.
The fastest way to become a fluent Spanish speaker is to speak! The amount of speaking practice you get per week will also be a crucial factor to determine your language learning speed. If you only practice your speaking skills once a week, I highly recommend you start using apps like HelloTalk where you can speak to natives on a daily basis. You can also join a group in Clubhouse, the social audio app. Or you can simply exchange audios through direct messages with your favorite teacher on Instagram (you can DM me here).
In my opinion, this is the most important factor to answer the question: how long does it take to learn Spanish? It is okay to have a strong motivation like “If I learn this language, I will be able to speak to my girlfriend’s family in Spanish” or “If I learn this language, I can improve my relationship with my Spanish speaking coworkers”. However, a good reason to study is not the equivalent of a strong will to learn.
No will, no success
You need to be willing to learn! If there is no will, there is no success. When you continue repeating in your head “I need to study Spanish” and you fail to take action, you only get further from your goal. What does a student with a strong will do? This student:
- takes action,
- practices constantly,
- never skips a lesson,
- does not let frustration take over,
- shows enthusiasm to learn,
- celebrates small achievements,
- enjoys the language learning journey
Learning Spanish online
Have you tried learning Spanish online? This can speed up your language learning process. However, the internet is an island full of hidden treasures. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a map to find the best Spanish learning resources online? Well today is your lucky day! I have drawn this map for you. Save all these websites as your favorites to keep them handy (click on the star next to the link on your browser’s search bar).
- Find a Spanish teacher here to take 1:1 lessons online: Preply.
- The most reliable monolingual dictionary: diccionario de la Real Academia Española.
- Try to avoid Google Translate, use WordReference instead.
- Find lots of Spanish grammar practice here: Aprender Español.
- Here is a mini application for learning Spanish vocabulary items: Spanish in Flow.
- My favorite website with Spanish lessons for all levels: ProfedeEle.es
- A website that uses Youtube videos to help you improve your pronunciation: YouGlish
- And, of course, Easy Argentine Spanish www.easyargentinespanish.com to improve your Rioplatense Spanish with blog posts, audios, word of the week, and (soon to come) Podcast.
Conclusion about learning Spanish: How long does it take?
Here is my answer to the question: How long does it take to learn Spanish fluently? It is up to you! If you want to speed up the process, take into consideration these three important factors: dedication, practice and will. Dedicate as much time as you can to study the language using the numerous resources available online. Practice speaking, ideally, on a daily basis; there are many ways to reach out to native speakers. And the last and most important: be willing to learn! Be consistent, show enthusiasm, don’t let frustration take over, and enjoy the language learning process.
What do you think about this article? Leave a comment below.