Including both native and bilingual speakers, 52.6 million people in the US speak Spanish. It’s estimated that nearly 140 million Spanish speakers will live in the US by 2050.
Learning any second language can help slow the onset of Dementia. But Spanish, in particular, has many practical applications. Some employers actually pay bilingual Spanish speakers substantially more.
Let’s find out how much time you can expect to set aside to learn to speak in Spanish.
How Long It Takes to Learn to Speak in Spanish
Spanish is actually one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn. It takes between 575 and 600 hours to reach speaking and reading proficiency in the language.
Therefore, if you study 2 hours per day, you can expect to learn how to speak in Spanish within 9-10 months. At that point, you can read something like “peliculas completas gratis” on a Spanish site without having to use Google translate.
But keep in mind that this is only an estimate. Some people will pick up the language much more quickly. Others will experience more difficulty.
A few factors that impact how fast you learn the language include the following:
- Learning method
Why the Language Is So Easy for English Speakers to Learn
Compared to Chinese, which takes 2200 hours to achieve proficiency, Spanish is undoubtedly easier to learn.
The main reason why English speakers grasp Spanish so well is that the two languages are similar. Spanish derives from Latin, and so do many English words.
Spanish is also a phonetic language. This means the spelling of a word determines its pronunciation. Chinese, for example, is non-phonetic, which is one of the many reasons why it takes so much longer to learn.
However, Spanish does offer some challenges for English speakers. You’ll need to pay very close attention to the verb tenses and rule exceptions.
The Best Ways to Learn Spanish
If you have friends who speak Spanish, consider listening to them speak daily, and try to join in on the conversation.
You should also consider taking a Spanish class. But avoid large classrooms, as a one-on-one learning environment is much more efficient. It’s easy to find online Spanish tutors, so you don’t even need to leave your home for a lesson.
If you want to learn how to speak Spanish on your own, start with a site like Duolingo. Use speed learning Spanish ebooks to supplement your studies.
Put together a plan first. Here’s an example of a basic study plan you can use for a 2-hour study session:
- 30 minutes of Duolingo
- 30 minutes of reading an ebook
- 20 minutes of vocabulary practice
- 20 minute Skype conversation
- 10 minutes of reading Spanish articles
- 10 minutes of listening to Spanish music
To maximize the intensity of your sessions, you can study one hour in the morning and another in the evening.
If you’re dedicated and study regularly, you’ll learn to speak in Spanish in less than a year.
Once you begin to understand the basics, switch the language on your smartphone to Spanish. Try following a few Spanish speakers on Twitter, and visit a Spanish website every day. Small changes like this will help you speed up the learning process.
Now that you know what it takes, start building your study plan today! Also, make sure to check out our education blog for more useful tips.