Learning a new language takes patience, and many students start to wonder: “How long does it take to learn French?”
Every person learns differently depending on their goals, learning style, and ultimately – their level of self discipline. If you develop a practice schedule and get into the habit of sticking to it, you will be much more productive and efficient.
The amount of time it takes to learn French also depends on your methods and goals. To make better progress, use learning methods that suit your personal learning style. For example, if you’re a visual learner, try watching movies in French.
Your curriculum should be structured around your goals: Would you like to have casual conversations with family and friends, or do you need to be fluent for work?
After considering these factors, you’ll have an easier time answering the question – how long does it take to learn French? But rather than just coming up with your own estimates, let’s look at what the experts say for how long it takes to become fluent.
How Long Does it Take to Learn French?
There are a couple of different sources that provide us with estimates we can use as a reference for how long it takes to learn French.
For starters, check out the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. These guidelines describe different language levels in detail, so you can get an idea of how much time you would need to learn French.
According to the CEF, you’ll need between 1,000 and 1,200 hours of study to reach a “B2 level” of fluency in French. B2 is a higher, intermediate skill level.
On the other hand, the U.S. Foreign Service Institute has a different method for measuring language acquisition called the Interagency Language Roundtable Scale.
This resource states that the amount of time it takes to reach a “higher intermediate level” in French is between 575 and 600 hours.
These numbers won’t be exact for every language learner, but you can use them as a guideline to set realistic goals. If you’re already bilingual, or already speak a Romance language, the amount of time it’ll take you to master French will be closer to the 600 hour mark.
Are you hoping to speed up the amount of time it’ll take you to learn French? There are several steps you can take right off the bat that will make learning a language much easier.
3 Tips to Learn French Fast
French isn’t spoken just in France, but all over the world! So speaking French is becoming increasingly important if you work for an international business, or simply like to travel.
If you’re ready to start learning this fun and unique language, follow these three important steps to set yourself up for success.
Include French in your daily life so you can continue learning wherever you are. There are countless way to do this, but here are just a few:
- Write your shopping list in French
- Read the world news in French
- Watch TV and listen to music in French
- Change the language settings on your devices to French
Get creative and you will find lots of new opportunities to practice French everyday.
Talk to Natives
Talking to natives is the best way to learn French quickly. The more often you speak French, the faster you will learn the language, and listening to natives can really refine your pronunciation.
There are many apps and websites you can use to find other French speakers. Look for a language partner who can help you stay motivated and answer your questions about the French language and culture.
Keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to meet with your language partner face-to-face. Video chats are just as effective and helpful.
If you want to go the extra mile to immerse yourself in the French language and culture, travel as often as you can to French-speaking countries. It’s much easier for students to learn French when they’re surrounded by it!
If you’re really serious about becoming fluent, you can take French classes or private French lessons – all online. A French teacher will structure their lessons according to your goals and learning style.
When it comes to reading and writing in French, the guidance of a personal tutor is invaluable. Tricky grammar concepts are a breeze when you have a live instructor walking you through them step-by-step.
So, how long does it take to learn French fluently? The truth is – there isn’t just one correct answer.
The exact amount of time it will take to learn differs from student to student, but if you are motivated, you will improve your language skills much faster!
Guest post by Lena Konstantinidis from CourseFinders. CourseFinders connects students with language schools all over the world for life-changing immersion experiences.