A lot of people are impressed when someone speaks several languages. Many of us would love to speak many of them or start learning a new one. But it always seems like a lot of work and time. To learn a language in 3 months sounds like something impossible.
Despite that, we all have heard from people that learn languages in very short time. Probably all of us wonder if that is really possible.
Here we want to give you our view of things, and tell you a little bit about our experience.
Why learn a new language?
There are many reasons why you would want to learn a new language. Maybe you are going on vacations somewhere and would like to communicate with people, maybe you think is important for your career or maybe you met a girl and want to impress her in her language.
No matter what the reason is, it is always a good Idea to speak a new language. We believe that it enriches your travel experience and that is why we want to learn as many languages as we can.
I, Carla, am lucky enough to have grown up with 4 languages: Spanish, German, Catalan and English. The first two at home, and the other two in school.
Is it possible to learn a language in 3 months? And reach fluency?
First of all, fluency means something different for everybody. For you fluency might mean that you can understand what people say to you and be able to answer even in a crappy way.
For others fluency might mean having a C2 certificate. In my case fluency means being able to communicate with the people from the country without problems. Understanding everything they say and being able to speak without having to think about the next word for long. This would be about a B2 level.
So, maybe the C2 fluency you won’t be able to reach in 3 months, but a B1 or B2 fluency is definitely an achievable goal.
So our answer is YES! It is possible to learn a language in 3 months.
How do I do it?
So the first thing when learning a language is to know why you are doing it. If you don’t have a purpose for learning the language most likely you will quit along the way.
Once you know why you want to learn it you have to figure out what methods, which apps or books work best for you. There are some many options to learn a language, that you have to find out for yourself which is the best way for you to learn.
The good thing about having a deadline, is that you will try everything in your power to keep it. So you will put in the time that otherwise you would. Many people work better under pressure, and that is what you are creating for yourself when you say that you want to be fluent in 3, 6 or 9 months.
On the other hand, if you enjoy learning a language, and have no rush, then take the time you need. Because even though it is achievable, it might not be something for everyone.
What should be my focus?
If you want to reach fluency in 3 months though you should start speaking from day 1. Three months is not such a long time, and if you wait with speaking you might understand everything after 3 moths, but won’t be able to say a thing.
But to learn a language in 3 months and be fluent in it, you also have to let yourself make mistakes. You don’t have to focus too much on speaking perfect at the very beginning. Don’t need to just learn grammar and more grammar.
It is important that you hear a lot of the language. You want to be able to understand when people talk to you. To hear out the words. And that you do by exposing yourself to the language as much as possible. It can be trough movies or tv show, podcast or people that speak the language.
And try to have as many conversations as possible. Speaking is the key. And make mistakes, they will only help you learn.
Is it better if you immerse yourself in the language?
Immersion is always a good idea. That way you only hear that language all the time and are forced to use it.
I started learning english at school. By the time I was in 10th grade I could understand everything, but communicating was still missing a bit. I always wanted to be fluent in english so I decided to do grade 11 in Canada.
Thanks to that I have the english level that I have today. Being around Canadian people for 11 months forced me to speak the language. I was surrounded by the language 24/7, and I even got back talking with a Canadian accent.
I think immersion helps a lot. And if you want to learn a language in a short period of time it is a really good way to achieve it. But you have to actually immerse and not try to find people that speak your language.
For things to avoid while learning a language abroad go ahead and read “10 mistakes to avoid when learning a language abroad“
But immersion is expensive!
Ok, you might me be thinking that not everyone can afford an immersion. And that might be true. Not everybody might have the time or money to go to another country to learn a language.
For sure you will have a nice time and experience getting to know the country and talking to the locals, but you can also do immersion at home.
Surround yourself with people that only speak the language you want to learn. Only listen and watch things in the language you want to learn. Avoid people that don’t speak the language for the amount of time that you are doing the immersion.
It might be harder than just flying to another country to learn the language, but if you really want to do it you will find a way.
And if you do have the time and money to go to the country, make sure to really immerse. Many people go, and then just hang around with people from their country. You have to make sure to really stick around people that only speak the language you want to learn.
Learning Portuguese in 3 months
So, know that we have said that it is possible, we really want to prove it. So I started a challenge where I will learn Portuguese in 3 moths.
I want to reach fluency in Portuguese, and that means for me a B2 level. I like to make it as a challenge because I feel the need of having to reach my goal.
And sharing it with you gives me more pressure to achieve it, since I don’t want to disappoint you. I have been about week and a half into this challenge already.
I have never really learned a language by myself, so first I have to figure out what the best ways for me to learn are. This is what I have been trying to do these past days.
For now I can say that I am learning with Netflix, LingQ, Mosalingua and I am going to have my first conversation in iTalki tomorrow. Looking forward to see how that goes.
The good thing about Portuguese is that it has a lot of words very similar to Spanish, but at the same time I don’t know if it is better or worst. It makes me get confused with a lot of words and sentence structure, because I often think it is going to be the same as Spanish. And pronunciation is completely different, so hoping my partner in iTalki is going to help me with that tomorrow.
Right now I am putting about 2 hours of learning everyday. I don’t know if that is going to be enough, or if I will have to increase that time in the next couple of days.
I will keep you posted on how my challenge goes, and what obstacles I find along the way. But I am confident that if I keep learning everyday I will reach my goal.
If you want tips on how to travel on a low budget so that you can go and do an immersion then you should download our FREE E-Book. In the book you will find the best tips on How to Travel the World with 30$ a day.