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How Long Does It Take To Learn German Fluently?

How fast can you learn the German language? The answer depends on several factors, but generally, with consistent studying and practice, you can be proficient in German in just around thirty weeks. You can speed up the timeline with a comprehensive German language learning program, deeper language immersion, and more rigorous practice.

How Long It Takes to Learn German

How many months it will take to learn the German language? According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), German is a Category II language. This means that, for English speakers, it’s more difficult to learn than languages like French, Spanish, or Dutch (Category I), but is easier to learn than languages like Indonesian (Category III), Russian (Category IV), or Japanese (Category V). 

Category II languages (although German is alone in this classification) take roughly thirty weeks or 750 classroom hours to learn, which rounds out to about seven months.

Understanding German Fluency

As with most other languages, German is ranked into different levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that determines one’s level of fluency. Here’s what each level entails and how much time it usually takes to get to its fluency classification:

A1 German

A1 is beginner German and takes about seventy to eighty hours to achieve. A person who passes the A1 level can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and construct very simple sentences that are situation-specific, such as introductions.

A2 German

A2 is elementary German. It’s similar to A1 German in that it’s limited to direct exchanges, but it has expanded social interactions that are related to hobbies, plans, etc. It takes 150 to 180 hours to reach A2 German.

B1 German

B1 is considered to be intermediate or independent German. It tackles the same topics as A2 German, plus maintained speech in a wider range of contexts. 

At this level, you can give personal opinions, describe dreams, hopes, and goals, and give short explanations of your plans and views. You can also have informal discussions on different events and can more easily talk about matters related to your daily routine. You may also speak a little bit more quickly. It should take about 300 to 360 hours to get to B1-level German.

B2 German

B2 is upper intermediate German and is often the base level needed for purposes of school or immigration. It encompasses the same things in B1 German, with the ability to express points or views on topics, stating advantages and disadvantages. 

At the upper intermediate level, you can comprehend complex texts on concrete and abstract topics. You can also communicate well enough that a conversation won’t be too straining between you and another German speaker. B2 German would require around 530 to 620 hours of study.

C1 German

C1 is advanced German that entails the ability to speak on completely new topics simultaneously and understand a wide range of demanding and long texts. At this level, you’ll be able to grasp implicit meanings in contexts and use the language effectively and flexibly in social, professional, or academic settings. You can achieve C1-level German with 600 to 750 learning hours.

C2 German

C2 is a highly competent German level that’s considered near-native status. As a C2-level speaker, you can understand nearly all of the same topics as a native German speaker. 

You’ll be able to comprehend and summarize information from various oral and written sources, with the ability to present coherent reasons and explanations. Plus, you’ll possess an extensive knowledge of conversational and technical vocabulary. C2 German often requires over 750 hours of lessons.

Be Fluent in German with German Academy Zurich

German Academy Zurich offers German courses from A1 to C2 level, along with specialized programs for different purposes, to help you become fluent in the language quickly and effectively. Find the right course or a private teacher for you today!

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