How much time do you spend learning a new language every day?

Lately I’ve been studying portuguese like a maniac. Lol. I love that language, so I decided to study on a daily basis for about 1 hour. Do you think I am gonna reach a breakthrough in three months? Most of the time, I read and listen. I haven’t spoken a word, but I get a grasp of the language pronunciation as I listen more and more.

One hour a day is not enough.
If you would like to ‘reach a breakthrough in 3 months’, you have to study 4 hours a day, not less.
Or you have to study 2 hours a day to reach a good intermediate level in 6 months.
All languages are interesting but they take a lot of time and a lot of patience.


I am currently just reading in Spanish for 1.5 hours a day and will be reading my grammar book for 15 minuets too.
and watching an episode of a series. so in total 2.5 hours of Spanish input/learning everyday

Well, since you are Chilean you are probably a spanish speaker, which already grants you some advantages studying portuguese since our language is so closely related. I think one hour per day is actually a big number, even more if you are a beginner in the language. I usually focus on studying at least half an hour. But normally I go for 1~2 hrs. How long I study daily varies a lot, mostly on what I am studying (specifically) and my level in that language.
I think you can get really far in portuguese with one hour per day in three months. I don’t know a “breakthrough”, but maybe this mindset is kind of upsetting? Like, go for it, try your best and how much you can, maybe you’ll find that you achieved your goal or that you still need studying. Maybe this kind of mindset works for you, for me it’s generally counterproductive.
Good luck.

I go for it. I will stop thinking about the results and I’ll just enjoy the ride. Thanks for your words.

Wow. You are really determined to learn Spanish. What kind of shows do you watch in Spanish?

That’s some good advice. I appreciate your words. Since I’ll go on vacations soon, I’ll spend more time studying. I hope I can make it to four hours a day!

well I have not watched any yet as I have literally just started doing this when I reached 10.000 words ( it is still not enough ) but I try type into google “Spanish audio and subtitles on Netflix” I then choose from the selections from there. but I cannot understand a lot as my known words are not enough.

It depends on what you mean by “breakthrough,” but yes, you will get noticeably better with 1 to 1.5 hours a day for three months–especially with Romance language and especially if going from scratch.

If you were to spend 4 hours per day for 90 days, that’s 360 hours total, and that’s A LOT or progress.

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To know 10000 words is quite a big deal. In every day Spanish, we usually use no more than a 1000 words.

+jossx1987 I’m sorry but I think you’re wrong. First, Lingq counts different forms of the same word as separate words: e.g. “casa” and “casas” are counted as two different words, so jonesjack’s “10.000” words are far fewer than it seems. Second, Spanish speakers use a lot more than 1000 words to communicate on a daily basis

I totally agree (with Francisco). Even it were 1,000 words FAMILIES, I think it would be stretch. American high schoolers would be able to reasonably communicate if they could take part in everyday conversations. Maybe the trick is trying to figure out what 1,000 words they will use that day? :wink:

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What research do you base your claims on ?

I don’t study languages, i spend time with them. If you let the language become a part of your life rather than dedicating specific time to ‘learning’ it you will do much better much faster.

Trato de escuchar y leer español la mayoría del día (input). Y tambien trato de pensar en español (output). Estos me ayuda mucho. Hablo con hispanohablantes a traves Skype/iTalki approximadamente 4 veces por semana (output). Lo que necesito hacer mucho mas es esribir (output).

maybe when I reach 20.000 I will see a huge difference haha

LOL, alicia22m, how are you going to find time to write doing all that? Anyway, I spend an indeterminate amount of time on Lingq learning about 10 words a day and then I am finishing up the courses or doing listening-reading with parallel texts. I think my time varies a lot but probably comes out to about 1 hour a day for the last 3 months. No “breakthrough” yet but I can read basic text easily now (like for example the last post). Speaking is not so hard for me, I am a good imitator and speak for a living. However, my listening comprehension is AWFUL.

Oh, absolutely, the difference between 20K and 30K is giant. You will also have a better sense of how the language works through your book studying.

LOL! I know. I don’t think that I will get around to as much writing as I would like. But writing is such a great output activity which I need more of at this point. I don’t have people to talk to all throughout the day in Spanish for my output, so the next best thing is to write tidbits throughout the day or think in Spanish (which I always forget to do!). I’m pretty much done learning grammar rules and have tons of input from books, podcasts, shows all day long, that’s the easy part. But forming sentences on my own, that’s the big challenge and output is a whole different ballgame… for me anyways. I’ve been studying intensely for the last year and feel good about what I know, but getting it out fluently, for me takes TONS of output practice. I think the program you have going there sounds pretty good! I imitate pretty well too and also am not a good auditory learner! I’m really enjoying this LingQ program. How long have you been using it?

This is my first week trying the program. In fact, I’m still on free trial trying to decide if I stay on or not. I surely will. I love it. And the best of all, I’ve kept consistant on it.
I’ve tried other programs, too like Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone and assimil but they ended up boring me.