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How Long Does It Take To Learn Spanish?


by: Cristina Cardona

After being a Spanish teacher for over ten years this is always the #1 concern from most potential students and it is still the hardest question to answer.
We are used o hear promises like: “Learn Spanish in 10 days”, “Learn Spanish quickly and for free”, “You will learn Spanish fast or we will give your money back”, or as the most advertised software program claims: “The fastest way to learn a language guaranteed” (I will not omit the name, since most people know I’m talking about Rosetta Stone).

Risking the possibility of discouraging a few potential learners, I must say that learning Spanish as a second language is not an easy task, but can be achieved by anyone who has interest, motivation and is willing to put some time and effort.

Before I answer the question, you need to define your expectations.

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

-Do I want to learn some Spanish because I would like to communicate with my family and friends?

-Do I want to achieve a basic conversational level to be able to communicate when travelling to Spanish speaking countries?

-Do I want to communicate more effectively with my customers and offer a value added to my business which could increase my sales?

-Do I want to be able to negotiate, make presentations and develop business relationships with my Spanish speaking customers and potential clients?

The higher your expectations, the longer the process of learning the language will be ranging from months to years. Being able to communicate in Spanish will not happen in days, but with some training and effort it can happen in months if you are serious about it.

I usually compare learning a language with the process of learning to play an instrument. No one will expect to play well the guitar in 10 days. Same applies to learning any language.

Far from discouraging the reader to learn Spanish I want to share a realistic point of view, based on years of experience, so you know where to stand. If you are deciding whether or not to start learning Spanish, one of the first things you can do is ask friends or people you know that have learned or are learning Spanish about their experiences. Or simply, google:‘How long does it take to learn Spanish?“ and you will find testimonials from real people and their experiences.

Once you decide to pursue this goal you need to follow some useful steps:

Step 1. Have a positive attitude.

Step 2. Invest some time and effort in the process.

Get involved in a class or find a private tutor. Study Spanish grammar, do exercises, read books, magazines, listen to your favorite radio station in Spanish. Anything counts…

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice!

The more you are exposed to the language the faster you will learn and the more confidence you will gain.

I learned English as a second language myself and started when I was. I still believe that learning a language is an amazing and challenging journey, that enables you not only to communicate in different languages but also to gain access to new cultures and new markets.



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