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Using Glossika: General
How long does it take to learn your new language?
How long does it take to learn your new language?

Awhile. Depending on your specific goals, it might take more or less time.

Sheena Chen avatar
Written by Sheena Chen
Updated over a week ago

Language learning ultimately boils down to determination and consistency.

If you've never learned another language before, our experience is that it will take 9-12 months before users are ready to "graduate" from Glossika and begin moving on to reading books, having conversations, or anything else they might want to do. (Assuming you are learning 10-15 new sentences per day and keeping up with your reviews.)

To bridge the gap between today and then, it's important that you've got a plan. We've done the hard work of determining what you should learn and when, but you've got to be dedicated enough to keep up with that training.

To help you plan an efficient language learning schedule, ask yourself these three questions:

1. Is this a language you previously studied at school?

If so, great! Even if you don't feel like you got very far in school, you probably have at least a rough grasp on some very important basics: what the language sounds like, some essential grammar points and a bit of vocabulary. All that stuff is still somewhere in your brain, and you'll start remembering it as you work through Glossika.

2. How different is this language from your native language?

If you're learning a Western European language like Spanish or French, you're in luck. These languages have all sorts of similarities with English, from the vocabulary and idioms they use to how they structure sentences. If you're learning an Eastern European, African, or Asian languages, less of your English is going to "transfer" — the learning curve will be a bit rougher and progress will take a bit more time.

If that sort of thing is interesting to you, consider familiarizing yourself with the structure of language families. Try looking up your language on Wikipedia and check to see what family and branch it's in. Doing so gives you useful information like this: English is Germanic in structure and grammar, but has a large number of vocabulary from Romance languages. Therefore, English is halfway between Germanic and Romance. For this reason, any Western European language in these branches are easily accessible to native English speakers. 

If your native language is Korean, the situation is different. Korean is not related to any other language, but it does have some characteristics that make it similar to a few languages. The structure of Korean is more or less the same as Japanese, for example, and both Japanese and Korean have a significant amount of shared vocabulary with Mandarin Chinese. As such, a Korean speaker will find parts of both Japanese and Mandarin to be familiar/accessible.

3. How many languages have you learned in the past?

Hands down, the hardest language to learn is your very first foreign language.

When you learn your first language, you're not just learning that language. You've also got to learn a ton stuff about linguistics, psychology, and learning. You probably don't yet have strategies that you feel confident about, and you might not have found resources which suit you. Learning subsequent languages becomes easier because all of this "meta" knowledge comes along with you. If you learn the subjunctive mood in Spanish, you don't have to learn it again when you move on to French — you already know what the subjunctive is and why it's used, so all you have to do is learn what it looks like in French.

That in mind, if you feel like your progress is slow, just know that it's normal. Consider working through a textbook with a tutor or teacher, look for opportunities to immerse in your target language's media, and do whatever it takes to get through the beginning stages. Eventually you'll find an approach that works for you — and so long as you keep doing your reps and making progress, you'll reach the intermediate stage.

Please refer to this table to determine approximately how long it will take you to "graduate" from Glossika:

Note: the above chart assumes you are doing 10-15 new cards per day, every day, and are also keeping up with your reviews. If so, this chart is a reasonable estimate of how long you'll need before you're ready to begin reading books, watching movies, and having conversations in your target language. There is a learning curve to all of those things (if not, we'd all be perfect communicators in our native language!), but you'll have learned enough that all of these tasks should feel like reasonable/doable challenges.

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