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How Long It’ll Take YOU to Learn Spanish (Try Our Calculator)

Maria Claudia Alvarado Published on May 16, 2024

If you’re wondering how long it will take you to learn Spanish, you’ve come to the right place. There are a million different answers you can find on the web for this question, but there’s one huge problem with all of them: They’re generic. And that’s a problem we’ve solved here at Langoly.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the different levels of Spanish fluency, how many study hours per day it takes to reach each one of them, and how long you need to study to reach your goals. You can even use our Fluency Calculator to see exactly how long it’ll take you to learn Spanish based on a few questions. We’ll also take a look at factors that can influence how long it will take you to learn Spanish. 

Ready? ¡Vamos! (Let’s go!)

What are the Levels of Spanish Fluency?

There are different levels of Spanish fluency, and you can figure out where you are by evaluating your skills. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a standardized framework that makes it easy to measure your skills. According to the CEFR scale, there are six levels of fluency that go from the absolute beginner level  (A1) to complete fluency (C2). Here’s what you should be able to accomplish according to each level of Spanish:

Beginner (A1) – Hola, me llamo…

As a beginner, you’re able to recognize very basic vocabulary and participate in simple interactions like asking for time and introducing yourself. However, you might need help formulating more complex sentences.

Pre-Intermediate (A2) – Yo vivo en la ciudad y me gusta ir a la playa

You can understand and communicate with the most frequently used vocabulary. At a pre-intermediate level, you can talk about common topics such as family, living conditions, and education. You can also understand and write short and simple messages related to these topics.

Intermediate (B1) – El año pasado, nosotros viajamos a Argentina

Once you’ve reached the B1 level, you can understand the main point of everyday conversation topics as well as the news, TV and radio programs, and current events. You can create sentences to describe emotions, interests, experiences, and events. Thanks to this, you can also participate in casual conversations without having to prepare yourself beforehand.

This is a bar chart of the different CEFR language levels.

Upper-Intermediate (B2) – Creo que hay formas de ayudar al planeta

At an upper-intermediate level, you understand complex or abstract topics and can express yourself with ease. You feel comfortable participating in a conversation with a native speaker and can discuss your viewpoints on familiar subjects. You can also write clear and well-structured texts about more advanced topics like book reviews or short essays about the environment.

Advanced (C1) – Es mejor aprender poco a poco que estudiar por estudiar

As an advanced-level language learner, you can express yourself fluently without struggle. You can understand extended speech even when the pronunciation isn’t too clear or the native Spanish speaker uses idiomatic phrases or slang. At this level, you can also write complex texts with specific writing styles and readers in mind.

Proficient (C2) – En resumen, el exámen demostró su nivel de fluidez

Now that you’ve reached proficiency, you have no issues understanding any kind of accent, dialect, idiomatic expressions, or colloquialisms. You can communicate clear arguments and points of view about different advanced topics like culture, politics, or current events. At this level, you can easily read all forms of the written language such as complex literary works, manuals, professional reviews, and more. 

Now that you know the levels of Spanish, let’s take a look at how long it takes to reach each one of them.

How Many Hours Does it Take to Learn Spanish?

According to the Foreign Service Institute, it takes around 750 hours for English learners to reach fluency in Spanish. However, depending on why you want to learn Spanish, it could take you a lot less. For example, reaching the B1 level can take you around half the time! 

Here’s a table you can use to see the estimated time needed to reach each level of Spanish:

LevelHours of Study Needed

The numbers above give you a general idea of how long it takes to reach each level, and they’re pretty accurate for most people. You can use them as a guide to set realistic Spanish goals or create a convenient study routine. 

…but if you want a number that’s more specific to your experience, you can use the Fluency Calculator below. All you need to do is enter the level you want to reach, what your current level is, and how long you plan to study each day to get a personalized answer:

How Long Will It Take You To Learn A Language?​
What is your current level?
Upper Intermediate
What level do you want to reach?
Upper Intermediate
How many hours will you study each day?
0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Try calculator again See result
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How Long to Achieve Different Tasks

Becoming fluent in the Spanish language means that you can understand, speak, read, and write without struggle. This doesn’t have to be your ultimate goal for learning Spanish though. You can study for reasons like travel or simply to enjoy reading books in Spanish. Here’s an idea of how much time you need to accomplish some common Spanish-related goals.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Spanish for Travel?

To travel to a Spanish-speaking country, you only need an A1 level of language. This is the level where you begin your studies. Even if you’re new to the language, this is the perfect chance to naturally absorb common Spanish vocabulary. You can also learn about the culture of the different Spanish-speaking countries! To complete the A1 level and move to A2, you’ll need at least 200 hours of study.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Conversational Spanish?

Conversational Spanish usually requires you to reach the B1 level. This takes around 250 hours of study. To participate in casual conversations, you need to be able to understand and use the most frequent vocabulary and clearly express your ideas. At a B1 level, you should already feel confident in creating your own phrases and following common topics of conversation.

How Long Does it Take to Read a Novel in Spanish?

To read a novel in Spanish, you will need at least a B2 level which usually takes around 300 hours of study. At an upper-intermediate level, it will be much easier for you to follow the main topic of long Spanish texts. You’ll have an easier experience understanding the vocabulary and grammar used in Spanish books, and be able to enjoy the experience much more.

How Long Does it Take to Become Fluent in Spanish?

You’ll need to reach the C2 level to reach fluency in Spanish. This is the step on the CEFR scale and takes around 730 hours of study. Reaching this level means that you’re able to understand all forms of Spanish, including many of the different dialects spoken around the world. At this level, you also won’t struggle to communicate with native Spanish speakers despite the pace or topic of the conversation.

What Factors Can Influence How Long It Takes to Learn Spanish?

Learning Spanish is a different process for everyone. While you can follow certain steps to make the process easier, different factors can influence how long it will take you to reach your desired level of language:

Your Reasons for Learning Spanish

There are many different reasons to learn Spanish, and they can change how long it will take you to reach a specific level. For example, if you’re learning Spanish to travel, you might only want to reach the A1 or A2 level to navigate basic interactions. But, if you want to go to a university in a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll probably need at least a C1 level. This means that your Spanish journey can take anywhere from 0 – 730 hours.

Your Time Available to Study

How many hours a day you spend studying Spanish is directly related to how long it will take you to reach your goal. You will learn Spanish faster if you can spend at least a couple of hours studying each day than if you only study for a couple of minutes every other day. We all have busy schedules so make sure to build a routine that works for you and allows you to review what you learned so you can make the best out of your study time. Remember that the best way to learn Spanish is through immersion and not by stressing yourself.

The Resources You Use to Study

To reach fluency in Spanish, you’ll need to use different resources to develop all language skills. Spanish books have clear explanations and helpful examples for grammar but don’t improve your listening comprehension. On the other hand, Spanish podcasts can help you master Spanish pronunciation but might not be as interactive as online courses or apps. Using a combination of resources will teach you how Spanish is spoken in real life and ensure you can effectively communicate with native speakers. It will also make engaging in the learning process much easier!

You Already Speak a Language Similar to Spanish

Having experience studying a foreign language can make learning a new language like Spanish easier. Knowing or having a native language that’s similar to Spanish will speed up the process even more! Spanish is a Romance language, similar to French, Italian, Romanian, and Portuguese. These languages have similar vocabulary and grammar rules, so if you already speak a Romance language, you’ll be able to pick up Spanish much quicker!

Ability to Practice with Spanish Speakers

There are different ways to connect with Spanish speakers around you. If you have friends or family who speak Spanish, you can try practicing with them as often as possible. They’ll be able to provide you with the feedback and tips you need to improve your Spanish conversational abilities. This is much easier than trying to test your skills with strangers and can help you connect with the Spanish-speaking community around you. 

If you don’t know any Spanish speakers but live somewhere where Spanish is widely spoken, you can also do an immersion program to surround yourself with the language. Practicing in a group or even with a language partner can be encouraging and engage you in the learning process even more. Plus, it’ll allow you to use the language and teach you a lot about its culture.

What to Keep in Mind When Learning Spanish

Now that you know which factors can speed up your Spanish studies, you can start creating the best study routine for you. There are still some things you need to keep in mind when you learn the Spanish language. By following these simple tips, you can stay motivated and on the right track to your language goals. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when you’re learning Spanish:

Set Realistic and Measurable Goals

Setting realistic goals can help you avoid feeling stressed and keep engaged in your Spanish studies. Trying to become fluent in an extremely short time will tire you quickly and it can be more damaging than helpful. Instead, setting goals that you can track and that fit your schedule will allow you to see more progress. You’ll avoid the frustration that comes with cramming information and feel better when you see results.

Study Consistently

Consistent study is key when it comes to learning Spanish. Studying occasionally can teach you a few new words and phrases, but it won’t be enough for you to absorb new grammar patterns. By following a set study routine, you can make sure that you’re spending enough time practicing each Spanish skill. It will also make making progress easier, as you’ll always be expanding the knowledge you recently acquired.

Make a Study Plan that Fits Your Learning Style

Not everyone learns in the same way, so it’s best to create a Spanish study routine that tailors to your needs. For example, if you are a visual learner, you might like learning with Spanish apps. On the other hand, if you like a classroom learning style, studying with books and taking online lessons might be more effective. There are different Spanish resources and choosing the ones that work best for you can help you reach results quicker than a “fits all” study routine.

Find Authentic Resources

Integrating authentic Spanish resources into your study routine can make understanding and speaking in Spanish much easier. Reading authentic Spanish material can teach you how native speakers use vocabulary and grammar in context. At the same time, listening to Spanish newscasts, YouTube videos, or podcasts can help you get used to different accents, improve your pronunciation, and develop your listening comprehension.

No Matter How Long It Takes, Start Learning Now!

To start learning Spanish, you need to start by defining your goals and measuring how much time you have available. If you can only study during school or work breaks, you can use Spanish apps to complete quick lessons on the go. To learn Spanish on your own, you can start by picking up a Spanish language book or taking a look at online Spanish courses to follow a lesson plan. If you prefer more modern tools, there are YouTube videos you can watch to practice your skills and podcasts that can teach you more about Spanish culture. 

Everybody has a different goal when it comes to learning Spanish so it’s best to personalize your experience as much as possible. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy studying Spanish and feel motivated to continue going even if you have already reached your initial goal! Check out all of Langoly’s Spanish resources to learn about the Spanish language, find the best tools and resources to learn the language, and even pick up some new vocabulary!

How Long to Learn Spanish: FAQ

Can you become fluent in Spanish in 3 months?

You can learn basic Spanish vocabulary and phrases in 3 months, but you will need more time to become fluent. To become fluent you need to be able to understand and communicate in Spanish without struggle. According to the U.S. Department of State, it can take between 600 – 750 hours for English speakers to learn Spanish with fluency. Use Langoly’s Fluency Calculator to determine exactly how long will it take you to learn Spanish.

Can I become fluent in Spanish in a year?

It’s possible to become conversational in Spanish in a year, but you’ll need to study for at least 1 hour each day. Reaching a B2 level takes around 365 hours, which breaks down to one hour of study per day. However, you can reach this goal faster if you spend more time studying and practicing Spanish. 

Is 30 minutes a day enough to learn Spanish?

Studying 30  minutes a day is enough to learn Spanish if you continue over an extended period. For example, completing the A2 Spanish level takes around 200 hours so you’ll need to study for at least 1 year and 1 month. To reach the B2 level, you’ll need to study for at least 4 years and 4 months. And, for the advanced level, you’ll need around 5 years and 6 months of study. 

What’s the fastest way to learn Spanish?

The fastest way to learn Spanish is by immersing yourself in the language. By immersing yourself in Spanish, you can quickly learn the vocabulary and grammar you need to communicate with native speakers. It can also improve your pronunciation and teach you how to use idiomatic phrases in context. Reaching a C2 level of fluency usually takes 730 hours, but if you study for 1 hour every day, you can become fluent in 3 years and 5 months!

Maria Claudia Alvarado

Maria Alvarado is a content writer and translator from Lima, Peru. She graduated from the Savannah College of Arts and Design in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing. She is fluent in Spanish and English, has intermediate knowledge of French and German, and is learning Japanese. She hopes to bring consciousness about the importance of language learning through her articles and aspires to learn as many languages as possible.

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