How Long Does it Take to Learn Spanish?

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

If you're excited at the prospect of learning Spanish, you surely want to know how long the process will take. This article looks at the length of time one needs to get a decent grasp on the language with different approaches.

How Often Can You Practice?

This is going to be the most important factor in learning the language. Depending on the time you have available to study and your proficiency goals, you can gain a grasp of the language in anywhere from a few hours to a few years. The more you are able to speak, listen and recite the words you are learning, the quicker and more efficiently you will be learning Spanish. Think about how much time you have to work with, and you will have some idea of how long it will take for you to be speaking Spanish.

Learning in 150 Minutes

While it sounds like a radical approach, Paul Noble has put out a product that is designed to give you a crash course in Spanish and have you conversing in the language in two and a half hours. The audio book is a perfect companion to your travel to a Spanish-speaking country, and by the time you are off the plane, you will be able to ask important questions with courtesy. It doesn't promise total fluency by any means, but you will not be lost when you are attempting a Spanish conversation.

Learning in Three Months

Commonly referred to as immersion, learning Spanish in ninety days involves totally secluding yourself from English speakers and practicing for at least three hours per day. This may include moving to a Spanish-speaking country, or getting yourself a private tutor for targeted one-on-one lessons. It is certainly possible to pick up the language this quickly, but only the most dedicated will be able to stick with it.

Learning in Six Months

With about two hours of daily practice, you can absorb Spanish in half a year. You will need to be sure you are conversing every day, and it can also help to download Spanish podcasts and watch television and news in the same language. You can also take the conversations you hear on a daily basis and turn them into Spanish afterward.

Learning in One to Three Years

For those who have a hectic schedule and can only dedicate no more than an hour to their Spanish practice, it will take longer, but the important point is to establish goals for yourself. Use resources like to help you review your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation at your own pace. With time, you'll advance more and more, and before realizing it, you'll become proficient in Spanish.

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