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How long does it take to learn a second language?

  •  Posted on Nov 30, 2017  by  | No Comments
 

We recently shared a fantastic article on our linkedin pageHow long to learn that language – here’s a map for that.

It sparked some interest amongst the consultants here at Euro London who are all multilingual and multi skilled individuals.

“It depends on how much time you dedicate on learning the language. You could spend a few hours a week or 7 days a week!”

“What about fluency? There are all sorts of levels.”

“it depends on learning ability, it’s not always about timing.”

We decided to share information on how long it took our consultants to learn a second language and how they became fluent in a language.

 

  • Stacey Arnison – Country Director

Language: Spanish

Where did you learn Spanish?: Chatham Grammar School for Girls + The University of Portsmouth

How long was the course for?: School was 5 years (GCSE + A Level), Uni was 4 years including a year abroad

Did you move to a country where you got the chance to practice your language? Yes, Granada in the south of Spain

What level of fluency are you?: Fluent

What tips would you provide to someone who wants to learn Spanish?: Spend a minimum of 6 months in the country of the language you are learning and do not stop practicing when you get home. Use it or lose it. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, everyone does so just learn from them.

Have you always used your language skill in your career? Yes

 

  • Ben Brogden – Manager

Language: German

Where did you learn German?: I started  at 11 in my first year of secondary school. After completing GCSE and A-Level studies, I opted to study not only law (70%) but also German (30%) at the University of Sheffield.

How long was the course for?: It was actually departing from any course and learning independently that made all the difference. Using the language to manage all aspects of personal (finding a flat, managing bills and contracts etc..) and social life (Dusseldorf’s old town is known in Germany as the longest bar in the world; the beer bolstered my confidence to speak) moved me on to a far more natural level, including thinking in German more than 50% of the time; even dreaming in German.

Did you move to a country where you got the chance to practice your language? Yes, twice; The big improvement came during a year studying law at the University of Regensburg in Germany. At that stage I reached a level of fluency that enabled my first career step after graduation; a German market business development role (placed by Euro London of course). That opened up an opportunity to move to Dusseldorf, where I was able to immerse myself fully in the language and culture for 18 months.

What level of fluency are you?: 13 years back in London has definitely pushed me back to pre-Dusseldorf levels but the comprehension and enthusiasm for all things German remain.

What tips would you provide to someone who wants to learn German?: Big tip is to be confident; I always found that German people helped me through a conversation if there were gaps in vocabulary and the more I grasped the nettle, the more often it paid off in terms of building the number of situations I could enter with total belief.

Have you always used your language skill in your career?

The German language and Germany have been central to my career from day one and I wanted it that way. That’s why I walked into Euro London’s office the day after finishing my studies, CV in hand.

 

  • Josh McClean – Senior Consultant

I started learning German when I was 13 at school and after numerous school trips to Germany and family ski trips to Austria I decided to continue at Sheffield University. During my 3rd year I spent a year working for an independent translation agency in Hamburg. Living with a host family and playing for a local rugby club made sure I could practise my German on a daily basis outside of work which helped me to gain fluency before returning for my final year of study. Working at Euro London Appointments has allowed me to keep my German up on a daily basis when speaking to candidates and checking German translations and written tests. The best advice I can give to anyone learning any language is practice practice practice! It never goes away but some words take longer to remember than others. Viel Erfolg und viel Spaß!

 

  • Callan Wilson – Senior Consultant

Language: Spanish

Where did you learn Spanis?: European School of Brussels

How long was the course for?: 6 years

Did you move to a country where you got the chance to practice Spanish? No

What level of fluency are you?: B2 (upper intermediate)

What tips would you provide to someone who wants to learn Spanish?: Travelling to Spain every year really gave a boost to the learning process.

Have you always used your language skill in your career? No, I learnt Spanish up to C1 level, but having been out of practice for several years means my level has dropped!

Do you speak a language? If you are looking for a language speaking job, contact Europes leading Multilingual Recruitment Consultancy – Euro London Appointments.

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