Six to Eighteen Months
That's what it takes to learn a new language if one has the aptitude and a lot of study. This is no secret. It's six months for the "easy" languages, I guess, and eighteen months for the harder ones if English is the native language of the learner.
That's still very fast, imo. Although some people can learn faster than that, I think two to three years is a better time frame to learn a language for an adult learner outside of an immersion environment.
What do you think? What's the fastest you've learned a language and which language did you learn?
Ridiculous figures, unless you consider learning a language to be learning it to a meagre slightly-above-tourist level. I've been learning English 12 years and still learn new things every day. Here's my opinion, anyway:
Intermediate level (news, easy readers, semi-everyday conversations): 1 year
Advanced level (easy novels for native speakers, wide variety of conversations on less common subjects): 3 years
Fluency (popular adult novels, conversational level of an 18 year old): 5+ years
Intermediate level: 2-3 months
Advanced level: 1-2 years
Fluency: 3+ years
Of course, this is VERY rough and VERY varialbe from person to person.
I didn't give a source. It's A.G. Hawke and he was talking about the DLI in California.
Ridiculous figures, unless you consider learning a language to be learning it to a meagre slightly-above-tourist level
I TOTALLY AGREE!
In this forum, people often say that a language is hard or another one is pretty simple but they only possess more or less a tourist level or even worse, they have just read some information about the language on the internet. There are languages which are quite easy at an elementary level (yes, you're right, you can achieve this in 6 months :-) )but they become more and more difficult at an upper-intermediate or advanced level. (English and the Romance languages are amongst these languages, in my view) In addition, I realise that the texts and materials for foreign learners are generelly simplified, I mean they don't need to learn all the irregularities and peculiarities of the language they are learning. I'm particularly referring to some language courses like Assimil, the grammar is completetly underestimated and neglected most of the time.
It is six to 12 months, if that is all you have to worry about. If you don't need to work, don't need to study, have other people who do your washing & prepare your meals etc.
The autistic savant, Daniel Paul Tammet, learned a language, Icelandic, in one week. He was tested on Icelandic television and easily passed the tests. He is suppose to speak 11 languages.
If he can learn a new language in one week, you can learn a new one in 6 months.
Except he didn't learn it in one week. Maybe he picked up the fundamentals and was able to carry out a conversation, but he didn't REALLY learn Icelandic. You must have a very weak idea of learning a language if you believe that.
The way I learned my languages took several years. I just did it through middle school. However I think if I'd live in an other country I might be learning that language a lot quicker.
I know a Swedish football player, who played in Germany before, he could speak Dutch fluently in three! months. While other Swedish players in that football team need more time because they haven't learned German in the past.
You're all forgetting one simple thing: You're all going on about how impossible it is to learn a language in a week - I bet you couldn't learn Pi to thousands and thousands of decimal places in a week either. You're applying normal rules to an exceptional person - the autism, the fact that he is a savant, means that he CAN do this.
Nobody can do that! A savant can just learn some grammatical rules, noun declentions, verbal conjugations and stuff like that in a week
<,You're all forgetting one simple thing: You're all going on about how impossible it is to learn a language in a week - I bet you couldn't learn Pi to thousands and thousands of decimal places in a week either. You're applying normal rules to an exceptional person - the autism, the fact that he is a savant, means that he CAN do this. >>
Yes that's true, but it makes sense people would bring it up, since it was posted on a language learning forum to see if normal people could glean anything out of his success. I think it is clear that we cannot. If he really did it then his methods for doing it must be about as obscure and esoteric and inscrutable as his methods for learning PI to 1000 decimals...
Some people can learn a dramatic role over the weekend or an entire musical score.
I don't know how much Icelandic he actually learned. He did have a nice situation in which to learn it, though, I must say.
I read that he can learn a language in three days, but who is to say what that means to him? A.G. Hawke thinks that some languages can be pared down from a week to a month. He is the author of "The Quick and Dirty Guide to Learning Languages Fast" and a green beret.
I'd like someone to pay me to learn Arabic in a month or two. Okay, I'm not a genius-give me three months to learn basic Arabic. I hope I get yummy couscous and oriental tea as part of the bargain.
Btw, he is reported to be up to eleven languages and creating his own based on "Scandinavian" languages.
Let me restate that. The basics of a language can be learned within a week and worked up to some sort of practical level within a month. That's what I got out of Mr. Hawke's book. I haven't tried it. I wonder if I can get a grant to learn languages all the time!
<< He did have a nice situation in which to learn it, though, I must say. >>
Yes, that's true. He went to the country itself, and was taught on a one-to-one basis by a tutor native in the language. I'm sure if we all got that opportunity we'd all be a lot more fluent in a lot more languages!