Do you spend a lot of time learning languages every day?

I have the questions to all language learners. How much time do you spend learning each day ?
I mean not only sitting in front of the computer but also listenig mp3 files while going by car/underground.

I usually listen 30 minutes in the morning when I am getting ready to work. Then when I go back in the afternoon I listen 30- 60 minutes; I wish I could learn more but simply I am short of time. I also read the text in the afternoon.

I was just wondering how people who learn more then one language can deal so well with so many languages ? How can you do that ? I would be very glad if you could give some useful advices.

I do about the same as you for French. 40 minutes on the mp3 as I walk to work, and another 40-50 on my way home. Most of the material I am listening to is not transcribed. I also will watch TV in French whenever I feel like being a couch potato. I will try to read the news in French as well. In this way I usually mutlitask, learninng French while doing something else.

This possible only becauase I already have a good knowledge of French. For Japanese, I would need to depend on LingQing and reading from a smaller variety of texts. This also reduces the opportunity of killing two birds with one stone.

I hope someday to get to the “tipping point” in Japanese that I already have in French.

No actually,due to my school,i cant find suitable time everyday.But mornings at weekends maybe be good time focus on german,because no schools at that time.

Right now I just do private lessons here and have my own class to go to and have no ‘actual job’. I still find a way to be lazy. I find that I waste a lot of time reading ‘about language learning’ and editing/uploading and all the other annoying things that go with technology and language learning.

I’ve now started to try to make minimum goals and to have some sort of routine, like doing 25 flashcards every morning for each language with coffee ect. Things still get in the way…

Roughly 1,5 hours of listening per language - German, Russian and Chinese. Not a problem since I can do other things at the same time. If I have more listening time, I usually devote it to Chinese. I save LingQs and do flashcards during other computer based activites. According to a study chart (a spreadsheet) I update weekly, my daily “average” is 5,83 hours.


you are the champ, I am sure. I mostly listen, 30 minutes a day commuting, 20-30 minutes while doing chores, and other 30- 40 minutes on those days when I run or work out, and even longer when I go cross country skiing or do some gardening or other chores.

Reading books away from the computer is sporadic but can be as much as a few hours a day or as little as nothing.

Reading and LingQing on the computer probably averages 30 minutes a day but is uneven. I did much more at the beginning of my Russian studies. I also enter my list of terms from my reading from time to time.

Reviewing words in the vocab section or from my emails, about 10 minutes a day on average, the occasional 30-40 minute session and lots of days with nothing.

Writing comes down to the odd foreign language post on our Forum.

Speaking, about 2-3 30 minute sessions a week with tutors at LingQ in total for Russian Portuguese and Italian.

The occasional movie on TV, or video, or the occasional chance to use another language.

I think I average an hour or an hour and a half a day.

My activity is much the same as Steve’s. I have three kids so I don’t get much time to watch foreign language films or compose essays, but I generally can find some time each day to read a book.

I am plugged into my mp3 player a lot of the time, which gets me funny looks at the school gates. Especially when I start repeating bits or heckling the podcast I’m listening to :wink:

On weekdays I listen after taking my kids to school. This are 20 minutes in the car. In this time I try to listen to new material what I have read and saved in LingQ. Three times per week I go jogging for one or two hours and this time I use for listening too. While jogging I often listen audio books. I also use the time for listening while doing house chores, but only if nobody in the house (otherwise they named me unsocial ;-)). In addition, the last time I used to read books in English. In this kind, listening and reading are a habit for me. Unfortunately, I am a little lazy with vocab learning, writing and speaking. Therefore, I will use more the forum for improving my writing skills.

On good days I try to work on the computer with LingQ about one or a half hour, sometimes more, sometimes less. I have realized the importance of regularly learning. It is better to do every day something for 15 until 30 min than nothing. Nevertheless, if you work more you can reach your goal earlier.

I have great oportunity to learn language, because it takes me 1.5 hour to get to my work and I have the same spare :slight_smile: time to go back. So I use this time for listening and reading, On weekends I listen podcasts when I do sports or do some routine works. Also I have conversations with my tutor two hour in a week. Sometimes I write at forums, but not very often.

well…recently learning languages comes down to watching movies and TV series without subtitles…and honestly…I’ve been watching this way CSI or Hose M.D. for example… Thanks to them both my vocabulary connected to medicine is bursting at the seams! However, I’ve always been interested in this stuff…always wanted to be a forensic expert!!! Anyway, I also try to read some articles ( at least in 2 foreign languages) in the morning, with a cup of coffee in my hand…When I’m doing some written assignments I listen to the radio (when writing something in German, I listen to Swedish radio, when writing in English, I listen to German radio and so on and so forth…) I cannot exactly confirm if it’s effective, it just helps me to concentrate on a particular task and simultaneosly learn the intonation, melody of a given language :wink:

I aim for an hour’s passive listening a day (Sudoku, sleeping grandchild in the babywrap and MP3 player are a good combination). Active, ie LingQ, listening is much shorter, 10 minutes at most. I don’t always get around to reading the lessons each day, although I generally carry some around with me. So there may be room for improvement, since I don’t really “study”, I just sort of let it happen to me. I’ve started, however, to be quite disciplined about looking at the daily e-mail vocab first thing in the morning. It doesn’t take long and really does help me to remember. A few minutes well spent! Writing would take more time and I do shy away from it still. I reckon half an hour per language, as I tend to worry about words. So, it’s 2 hours a day at the moment, shared between the various languages.

Steve has mentioned this in one of his posts

I believe intensity is the key. I spend as much time as I can, because I’m enjoying it, it became part of my life. I spend 3 to 10 hours a day, reading, listening, watching videos,serials, movies.

I am wondering if listening while you are doing something else is as eficient as focused 100% on listening. My first improve in english was with audio to listen in driving (yes my english was worst before hahaha) As I do not drive I could listen 100% focused.

Now about time I do not keep records. I think when you get older you are not able to keep your mind focused as long as when you were 20. I read somewhere our mind learn 3 hours a day at its maximum ability.

That said I thing listening is always good even when not focused. And to answer to the question about multi language. I decide to focuse on spanish for now but I have to say that listening in one language help with every other.

If you intensively listen to spanish for a while then start learning german from scratch you will progress a lot faster in german than a guy who starts german at the same time you do but who has only his own language and did not listen to any other language as you did with spanish. I talk about spanish and german but it is true with every language even totally different one.

If I am listening to content of interest, it is an enjoyable activity, and not difficult to combine with driving, washing the dishes or running. Learning does not have to be work.

The brain learns all the time. There is no time limit. The brain does like novelty, however, and therefore it is important to vary the activities, listening, reading, watching movies, talking, reviewing vocabulary writing etc… If you can spend many hours a day on the language you learn quite quickly, in my experience.

Nor do I think there is much difference in learning ability between a 20 year old and a 60 year old. The main difference is that the 20 year old may think that he/she can achieve anything and the 60 year old may convince him/herself that he cannot learn any more.

I think in this forum that if you want to learn the language there will be no excuse such as " I don’t have time " .
Steve - your post that age doesen’t matter in learning is true. It is all about our attitude.

The problem is that a lot of people who has families , kids are claiming they have to much to do and they can’t devote time for other activities.

Young people usually when they have much more time for learning and less duties , they will not find time for learning. For them there is other things to do. And then when they get older , they are .regreting that they hadn’t learned before…

Everyone can find a little time daily to practise what you really like. And you are also proving that learning is possible even when you have very busy day. I know sometimes it is really tough , but it is possible if you enjoy it and treat it as your hobby .

Well I think it matters how old you are and how well you learn.

For example when I was 26 years and 104 days old I could learn like no other, now that I’m 26 years and 341 days old the information just doesn’t stick like it used to…

Many people want to look and to sound young but age is a reality - when I was a child I could run all day long - when I was 35 I could still walk all day long - Now days when I walk 2 hours I have to rest the all next day. What is true for body is also true for mind. For example I often sleep before tv on winter saturday afternoon.

About driving in listening. I often drive my bicycle and I will never listen to my mp3 when biking because listening to the environment is a big part of my security among the wild car drivers. I know that many car drivers are able to do something when they drive their car - either phone call - or talking with the passagier or eating or thinking about what they will do when they get to their destination. Often because they do this way everyday or because it is an highway and there are nothing that runs as same as highway than other highway. Then suddenly there is a surprise on the way and they crash. Well not every surprise will cash your car if you listen to mp3 when driving but the risk is bigger if you do.

Listening focused does not mean it is a work. My mother loved to read but she needed the tv and the conversation to be off.

In my opinion if your are not focused when listening you are not listening but hearing. Maybe both are ways to learn. Maybe you learn more when hearing - I have my doubts on that but maybe I am wrong in doubting. I have hear about a method to learn when sleeping but I do not have any experience on that.

I think we all agree that focused listening is better than passive listening, which in turn is better than “listening” in your sleep. In a heavily trafficed area, it is probably wise to focus on reaching to your destination without getting into an accident.

I’m quite sure that persons with hectic schedules can squeeze in study time (especially if they’re really interested in learning a language), maybe not several hours in a row, but five minutes here, fifteen minutes there. Everything adds up.

I never do focused listening. All of my listening, which represents 75% of my language learning, is listening to content of interest while doing other tasks. if the content is of interest I have no trouble. I am not consciously “learning”, I am just enjoying listening. Most people can talk while driving, so I do not see a problem listening while driving. i would not listen while on a bike. I think that would be dangerous. On the other hand I listen while playing golf, which annoys my wife.

Obviously our bodies are not as strong when we are old, and we also get tired more easily. On the other hand many older people, if not most older people, are just as alert mentally, just as able to reason, and I believe, just as able to learn when they are old as when as they are young, as long as they think they are. And if they think they are, who is to say they are wrong.

I was mentioning about attitude that change when you get older. So when you are young sometimes your parents / teachers have to make you to learn something and you often deny to do it.
When you get older you regret that when you had more time you didn’t learn .

I don’t know how is it when you are 40 , 50 or more because I am not in this age :wink: Maybe your mind and body is not the same like in young age. But when you are active , you will try new stuff and make your brain it will help to be young mentally.

Listening while slepping is not convincing idea for me. Listening while riding a bike also doesn’t work for me . But when I drive a car I listen to Lingq text instead of radio programes. I just try to get used to sound and melody off the language. And I am focused what is happeing on the road.