How Long Does It Take To Learn Spanish?

How Long Does It Take To Learn Spanish? – An Often Asked Question

Today, it appears that you’re forever bumping into someone who wants to find out how long does it take to learn Spanish. Sadly, this is a question for which there’s no single response, simply because there are far too many variables.

For example, you want to take an individual’s language talent into account, and also whether a student will be ready to put in the necessary quantity of effort. Also, the answer would depend largely on which Spanish language learning program the scholar chooses to use. Furthermore, the length of time it takes to acquire the skills to speak Spanish would also rely on factors such as whether the scholar will be using non-public tutoring, or whether they will be studying in a class environment. Also, does the student be using one of the many home study programs and will they be studying in their home country or in the country where Spanish is spoken as a native language. Above all, one desires to think about how good the teacher or the program is.

Because the answers to the previous questions will essentially figure out how long it takes to learn Spanish, there is simply no way to give a simple answer to the question. While certain individuals will learn a significant amount of conversational Spanish inside as little as half a year, others will fail to reach the same level even after twenty or 30 years.

Instead of trying to state a particular time period pertaining to the question of, “how long does it take to learn Spanish?”, let’s just say I’d rather discuss what I think to be the quickest way to learn Spanish. Firstly, any student who wants to learn a foreign language should ideally use every possible opportunity to interact with others in the language they wish to learn.

To my mind, the school room approach takes too long, particularly if it’s the sole system being used. Instead, I feel that a self study method is far better, providing naturally it’s of a decent quality. Such courses permit a person to progress at a speed they feel OK with, so providing they’re serious, they can progress at a much faster speed than they would be ready to in a classroom environment.

Additionally, people should employ a reputable program which includes not only written Spanish, but also multimedia and audio lessons. Naturally, it is even more profitable if the audio lessons can be downloaded onto a mobile device such as an iPod. This is basically because when someone tries to learn a new language, it is best if they can read it, write it, speak it, and understand it (listening skills). Unless a program includes each these areas, it shouldn’t be used as a stand-alone program.

Rocket Spanish is for instance a very advocated program, and naturally, it addresses all 4 of the areas just mentioned, and as such, it is easily one of the best programs out there for providing a solid base of basic conversational Spanish. Aside from this program, Rosetta Stone is also highly respected and just like with Rocket Spanish, Rosetta Stone also addresses all four areas. Furthermore, this program also offers two different versions and you can select between Latin American Spanish and the “Spain” version. On the other hand, Rosetta Stone is slightly more costly than Rocket Spanish and it will possibly take a little while longer before you develop a suitable level of conversational Spanish, but so far as Spanish language programs are concerned they are both quality programs.

Even though one cannot say precisely how long does it take to learn Spanish, there are several things you can do to minimize the time it takes. If you are truly serious and you are capable of a specific amount of self discipline, then both the programs mentioned above could be used side by side in order to develop your Spanish language abilities rapidly. You do however need to bear in mind that no language course, regardless of how good it may be, will be in a position to teach you how to talk Spanish as fluently as what a native Spanish speaking person does. The only real way you may ever achieve such an attainment, is if you are steadily exposed to the language on a once a day basis. However, many scholars have found that subscribing to Puerta del Sol Audio Magazine has to a point helped them develop their listening and comprehension skills, though it must be mentioned that this only is applicable to people who,students who,individuals who are at an intermediate or advanced level. Additionally, you may need join a Meetup group in your area that shares an interest in learning Spanish.

Learn Spanish Online For Your Convenience When You Have A Tight Schedule

If it has ever crossed your mind that you should take the time to learn Spanish, then you might be even more motivated to learn because, not only is it a very beautiful language to speak, it is also considered to be one of the easier foreign tongues to master. Even better, for those who are aficionados of all things internet, there are a number of options to learn Spanish online, making it very accessible to almost anyone.

Being bilingual has many advantages including it can open up a world of opportunities for you in the job market that can frequently lead to increase in pay. The growth of the Hispanic segment of the population has lead to a growth in the Spanish speaking section of the market and smart businesses are ensuring that they have employees who can communicate effectively with this market. One way you can fit learning Spanish into your schedule is through independent study online.

People also consider learning how to speak Spanish because they want to travel to Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, South America, Central America or Mexico. Many people in the hospitality industry in these countries speak English , in addition to their native tongue, but it’s also good to be able to speak and understand at least some Spanish when you travel in these countries. This is another good reason to learn Spanish online.

If you want to learn Spanish as a second language because you want a mental challenge, good for you. In addition, as you study, you may find that you’re able to speak English better than you could before, because you understand its structure better. By learning to speak Spanish, you challenge your English skills, too, and advance your understanding of both languages as you go through your lessons.

Regardless of what your motivation is for learning Spanish, it has been proven to be very convenient and easy to learn online. There are many different Spanish language courses to choose from in the online world. Spend some time reviewing the various websites that offer these courses and search out sites that allow people to give honest reviews about them.

You’ll need to be patient with yourself, as well as tenacious, when you work on picking up a foreign language. It can’t happen overnight, and you’ll need to be able to study on a regular basis, as well as to practice. You’ll need to be able to keep going even if you become discouraged and make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are part of the learning process.

It will be almost impossible to learn a new language if you do not discipline yourself to setting aside some time each day to work on it, even if it is only 30 minutes. Just studying a couple of times a week will get you nowhere as you will tend to forget between study sessions due to lack of reinforcement. A steady routine will work wonders.

If your native tongue in English, then you will soon learn that to properly form words in Spanish, you will use the muscles in your mouth differently. This is another reason it is important to give at least a few minutes a day to your efforts at learning Spanish, so that your muscles can become accustomed to the new word formations. One of the advantages you have when you learn Spanish online, is that you can both see the words and hear them at the same time, which will help you with correct Spanish pronunciation.

Rocket Spanish

I have recently discovered a new program for learning Spanish that appears to be quite good.  I am in the process of reviewing it and will post my findings to this blog when I have finished my review.  My first impressions are that it is an excellent program for learning to speak Spanish.  More to follow.

Resources for Learning the Spanish Language

So far the best resources I have found for learning the Spanish language continue to be the Rosetta Stone Spanish language learning software program and the Pimsleur Spanish audio program.  While the Rosetta stone requires the use of a computer, it does cover no only understanding and speaking Spanish, but also reading and writing Spanish, while the Pimsleur Spanish audio program only covers conversational Spanish.   However, I find both to be excellent and and that both can be used together to increase my language learning skills faster then using either one of them along.

Methods for Learning Spanish – Full Immersion

There are a variety of methods for learning Spanish.  Each generally has its own pros and cons.

Full Immersion:

Full or total immersion is considered the fastest and most complete method for learning any foreign language.  Full immersion involves actually living in a country where the language is natively spoken.  For learning Spanish it would involve living for some period of time in one of the many Spanish speaking countries of Spain, Latin America or South America.

Informally, full immersion can be as  simple as actually moving to that country and living among the populous and picking up the language by observation, watching local television, reading local papers, etc until you finally learn the language.  This is a very hard and difficult way to learn a language but is often the method used by refuges or immigrants.  The informal full immersion method works best if there are no other speakers of your own native language around, thus forcing the learning of the new language.  An Romanian acquaintance of mine used this method of learning English after moving to the United States.  However, Spanish speaking immigrants to the United States find many other Spanish speakers to whom they can communicate and thus do not find learning English as much a necessity as my Romanian friend and many fail to learn much English at all. 

A more formal method of full immersion is to take a formal language learning course while living in the country.  There are a number of formal Spanish language learning programs designed to use this method that can be found in Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica.  They usually involve living with a local family, attending formal Spanish language classes half a day each weekday and numerous local field trips all conducted in Spanish.  While these programs are generally an excellent method of learning Spanish, they can be quite expensive, considering not only the cost of the program itself, but the cost of living locally while taking the course and of course the time involved.  For most of us some other more cost effective method is needed and I will explore those options in future posts.

[Note] In an attempt to take advantage of the success of full or total immersion programs, one foreign language learning company has used the term “Total Immersion” to name their foreign language learning CD program.  It is NOT the same thing. Their program not only is NOT total immersion, it is also not very good, and in my opinion a waste of money.  I purchased the CD’s of both their basic and deluxe programs and cannot recommend them.  There are much better options available on the market including Rosetta Stone’s Latin American Spanish or Spain versions and the Pimsleur method Spanish language programs (while more expensive, they are much more effective).

Learning Spanish Language Becoming More Important In Today’s Economy

 In a recent article about a new Spanish-language Website on Hispanic PR Wire, it was noted that, according to Forrester Research, 51 percent of online Hispanics in the US prefer to be offered Spanish-language websites, and 23 percent must have Spanish online. 49 percent of Hispanic adults are online at least monthly, up from 45 percent in 2006. In addition, they seem to be more likely to trust companies that have a Spanish-language website.

In a world where the Spanish language is the third most spoken tongue, there is no doubt that learning Spanish can be a beneficial endeavor. Taking up Spanish will allow you to keep in touch and up to date with the influence of the Hispanic culture which is becoming increasingly influential in the United States and around the world.

Speaking Spanish is also becoming more important in business and career matters.  People who are bilingual in English and Spanish are in increasing demand in the market place.  Knowledge of Spanish will enable you to more effectively communicate with co-workers, clients, customers and employees who speak Spanish as their native tongue.  Recent marketing studies conclude that in North America, the Hispanic population of customers is the most rapidly growing segment of the market, which has many companies scrambling to attract and accommodate the Spanish speaking crowd.

This also means that learning Spanish can be a real boon to your career in terms of advancement or in the area of career choices. More and more often, listing that you can speak Spanish on your resume can make the difference between getting noticed or being passed over. In the United States, knowing how to speak Spanish is particularly helpful if you are in education, health care or any of the building trades.

There are well over thirty-five million Spanish speaking citizens in the US, and estimates say that over 40 percent of the increase in the US population is within the Hispanic community. This means that, as time passes, the need to learn Spanish will continue to increase. With the increase in globalization and free-trade between the US and Mexico and other countries in Central and South America, there is no doubt that the people who take the time and make the effort to become bilingual, especially in Spanish, will have a clear advantage over those who are only English speaking.

It is not only in the United States where Spanish is popular and growing is usage. In Europe, Spanish is the second most studied language as a second tongue, with English being the number one most studied second language. Around the world, Spanish is the native tongue of more than 400 million people and is the third most common native language spoken, ranking behind Mandarin and Hindi. By simply acknowledging the current widespread use of Spanish, combined with the growth rate of the Hispanic culture worldwide, it is easy to see why the Spanish language is a wise choice for a second language.

It is also a certainty that Spanish will help to expand your universe of experiences and people. With the continued growth of the Hispanic population, it will become increasingly likely that you will have more interactions with people from the Hispanic community. For example, you or a relative might marry into a Hispanic family, you might have Spanish speaking families in your neighborhood, have Hispanic employers or employees, or simply have more interactions with Spanish speaking people in the routine course of your day.  I know I do.  For example, my son’s father-in-law is from Panama, the cleaning folks for my building are from various countries in Latin America, as well as those who provide lawn care for my yard.  The fellow who build my back deck was from Bolivia.  The signs in most hardware stores in my area are now in both English and Spanish.

Learning Spanish is also a wonderful way to help you to have a deeper appreciate for the culture of the Hispanic people and the great impact that it has made in many countries. Many of the great poets, writers, painters, musicians and architects have made significant contributions to the culture of the world. And, the flavorful and exotic foods that emanate from the Hispanic culture add even more reasons to celebrate the Spanish language and its unique heritage.

The people who clean my offices all speak Spanish, as well as those who trim my trees, take care of my lawn, deliver my appliances, build my deck and serve me food at McDonalds.  Learning Spanish has become more than a hobby, it is becomming important in order to communicate with much of the world around me.  How about you?