Is it possible to be fluent in one Language in 1 YEAR? what factors accelerate reaching this goal?

Hi every body, i know it depends on what language you have choose , but in average Is it possible to be fluent in one Language in 1 YEAR? what factors accelerate reaching this goal?


Apr 23, 2017 7:51 AM
Comments · 14

The Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. state department estimates that it takes an English speaker 1100 hours or 44 weeks (i.e. they assume 25 hours/week of study) to learn Farsi at a level of "Speaking 3: General Professional Proficiency in Speaking (S3)” and “Reading 3: General Professional Proficiency in Reading (R3)." I imagine the difficulty for a native Farsi speaking learning English is similar.

A big problem is that everyone selling language training tends to tell people what they want to hear. Everyone would like to become "fluent" in three months or six months or so. Obviously people vary in ability, languages vary in difficulty, and people have different goals. The guy who talks about "fluent in three months" is talking about a fairly loose definition of fluent and a very seriously intense commitment for those three months. 

Based just on what I read, it seems likely to me that the truth is that what the FSI says--"fluent" in one year should be possible, but only for people that work seriously hard at it, amounting to constant immersion and three or four hours a day of serious hard work and using the language. In other words, you can probably do it but it's like a half-time job for that year.

Personally, I'm an old guy and I'm not working very hard at it. I've been nibbling away at Spanish for about three years now, probably averaging 30 minutes a day, thus 500 total hours, and I feel that I'm about halfway to where I want to be. A short Cervantes Institute questionnaire placed me at "B1.3-1.4," i.e. still in "intermediate" but with "advanced in sight," so that's consistent with what others have said. 

(Everyone I've ever talked to who has traveled to another country and seriously immersed themselves has said that it enormously helpful).

April 23, 2017

Well, as you say it depends on your own language and the language you want to learn. If they are close, no problem, but you have to work constantly . I managed to get fluent in one year in Spanish, but my native language is Italian.

Every day I studied one hour, listened to radio-stations and YouTube on the internet or looked at films with subtitles. I read magazines, children's book and literature. I also had at least 3 or 4 hours of private lessons a week online. Plus twice, I went three weeks to a Spanish course in Spain. After a year, I made the DELE exam B2 successfully and was ready for C1.

I did the same thing with Arabic, and studied even more. I must admit the results are not the same! Even after 4 years.

So I think you will succeed in English in one year if you find a good and reliable partner on Italki. It's a language that is available everywhere on the net.

For Arabic you have the advantage of the script who is (almost) the same and some common words (I read that 40 % of Farsi words are of Arabic origin).

But for Chinese I wish you good luck. But nothing is impossible. Other people did it. And think about the great intellectuals of the past like Ibn Sina, he spoke Farsi, Arabic, Ancient Greek.... he translated the texts of the Greek philosophers into Arabic. 

April 23, 2017
Thanks very much Dan, your comments are very useful and inspiring for me...
April 23, 2017
I think the one of the main factors of being fluent in a one year is sadly environment.
You can be highly motivated but if you don't life in a country speaking the language of your choice it always comes to you to tear as much language practice as you can (ex. from the internet)
there are just few things that I thing can kinda compensate this? 
Mainly money. With money you can take tutions, learn with professional laguage speaker whose deal is to teach you a language as effectively and fast as it's possible. You can also find a foreign friend who speaks that language but you must be lucky and even luckier to keep conctact with him.
The hardest situation that you can be put in is when you lack money, your native language isn't really desired by anyone and live in a country which a community is very undiverse ethnically (so far I fulfil every of those ;-;)

But still We're blessed by living in the era of the internet. If you can't go to the suitable enviroment make it to come to you. Learn as much vocabulary and grammar as you can, start watching/ thinking/ reading in that language put sticky-notes everywhere you can in your house and derive as much fun from it as you can (when you're excited you learn faster)

The biggest problem with it is that you can learn almost only an income side of a language. Buying at a store, booking a ticket at a cinema and other things that you do on a regular basis are less pracitced by you and you must kinda make a mindset which will keep you in touch with spoken tongue as often as possible (which is hard to me)

It's my opinion. Tell me at what point do you agree or not
April 23, 2017


Thanks very much for telling your experience...

April 23, 2017
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