How Long Does It Take to Learn German: 7 Days to Start with our 7-in-7 Challenge!

You’re looking into learning German. You have a deadline coming up, and you need to apply for a job or an educational institution. So, you have to know how long does it take to learn German?

The question is more complex than you think.

Easy German made street interviews asking natives and non-natives the same question we’re asking in this blog post: how long does it take to learn German?

In this blog post, we’ll give you some estimates, explain what we think stands for fluency in German + you’ll get a chance to start right now! Curious yet?

Los geht’s! (Let’s go!)

1. A guide to help you learn German: CEFR levels

First of all, we need to define the levels of German, and we’re going to do this based on CEFR, which stands for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

It is a standard used across Europe (and increasingly worldwide) to measure and describe language proficiency.

The CEFR divides students into six levels:

  • A1 (Beginner): You can understand and use basic phrases. You can introduce yourself and ask simple questions.
  • A2 (Elementary): You can understand sentences and commonly used expressions related to areas such as basic personal and family information or shopping.
  • B1 (Intermediate): You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters. You can handle most situations likely to arise while traveling.
  • B2 (Upper-Intermediate): You can understand the main ideas of complex texts on both concrete and abstract topics. You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity.
  • C1 (Advanced): You can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. You can express yourself fluently and spontaneously.
  • C2 (Proficient): You can understand virtually everything heard or read with ease. You can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.

The CEFR is very useful for setting learning goals and assessing progress in language learning. And it helps us, too! The exam that helps you pass these levels is the Goethe Exam in German – you can read more about how to pass the Goethe exam in German on the website.

BUT!

Having a diploma from any language, and any level, doesn’t automatically mean that you’re speaking your target language on that level. Most of these language learning exams and tests are too standardized in our honest opinion. You can prepare for a B2 exam, and you’ll still freeze every time you have to speak Spanish or German or English, and so on.

That’s why we’re measuring fluency in German a little bit differently! And that’s why we advocate for the Conversation Based Chunking method! It’s a self-study method that focuses on acquiring the natural building blocks of the language, instead of focusing too much on grammar learning and remembering boring vocabulary lists. We’ll explain more about this approach in a little bit.

But then, how do you define fluency?

We think that fluency in German means to have the ability to communicate effortlessly, using clear expressions, chunks of thoughts without much thinking and without taking long pauses. You also understand spoken and written German in different contexts, and you have a broad vocabulary on topics. What’s even more, is that you know about the German culture, too: this means that you’re not just familiar with the language, but also with how people in German-speaking countries live and spend their days.

So…

2. How long does it take to learn German?

The time it takes to learn German depends on several factors. One of these factors is your native language. Another factor is how much experience you have with learning, and with language learning altogether.

It’s also important to study as much as you can, and immerse yourself in German.

But let’s explore all of these factors one-by-one, so we can explain it in simple terms, and you’ll understand better.

Your native language affects how quickly you learn German

Your native language can influence your language learning journey. So, for example, if your native language is closely related to German (Dutch, for example), you will find certain aspects of learning German easier.

If you already know English, you have to know that there are German cognates – words that look similar and have the same or similar meaning in English and German, because they are both Germanic languages. German grammar can be a little bit trickier, but if you’re familiar with cases and genders from your language than it’s easier, too!

If you’re native language has some similar sounds, than German pronunciation will be a breeze! (Of course, apart from German umlauts.)

how long does it take to learn german with conversation based Chunking, screenshot of website

Experience also influences how long it takes to get fluent in German

Having prior experience learning another language (like one with complex grammar) can help you learn German.

If you’ve learned a gendered language like Spanish or French, you’re already familiar to the concept of gendered nouns. You’ll find that the transition to understanding and using German genders can be smoother since you’re familiar with categorizing nouns as masculine, feminine, or neuter and adjusting adjectives in German to their German articles accordingly.

If you’ve studied a language with a case system, such as Russian, Greek, or Latin, you might find German’s case system less challenging. Your previous experience with cases means you already know the idea of nouns and pronouns changing form based on their function in a sentence.

3. How much should you learn German?

Learn as much German as you can: this is the best tip we can give you!

Set a goal for yourself and follow it, no matter what! Consistency is key, and keeping up with good habits will get you a long way. Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes a day, it’s still better than learning only twice a week for 2 hours.

The best chance you have in learning German is to immerse yourself: listen to German podcasts, check the best German TV shows on Netflix, even learn German while driving! (Just pay attention to the road!)

The good new is the same as the bad news: in language learning, it’s up to you! You are the one who decides whether you spend only a few minutes a week on German, or you’re keeping up with your healthy habits, and you’re really setting the goal of learning German a priority.

But again, there has to be some kind of estimate. Let’s take a look!

How long it takes to learn German to a certain level

Here’s a table that outlines an estimated timeline for reaching different levels of German proficiency through intensive learning.

Keep in mind, that this intensive learning means fully immersing yourself in the language: taking structured classes, following up on your self-study routine, traveling to a German-speaking country and engaging in regular speaking activities

CEFR LevelWeekly Study HoursEstimated WeeksTotal Hours
A1 (Beginner)15-206-890-160
A2 (Elementary)15-208-12120-240
B1 (Intermediate)15-2012-18180-360
B2 (Upper-Intermediate)15-2018-24270-480
C1 (Advanced)15-2024-36360-720
C2 (Proficient)15-2036-48540-960

4. The best way to learn German fast

The best way to learn German is through immersion in the language. We can’t stress this enough.

This immersion allows you to experience German language and German culture as it is. You can practice it in real-life contexts. Immersion is all about surrounding yourself with German as much as possible: setting your phone’s language to German, turning your PC into German, talking to AI language apps in German, traveling to any of the German-speaking countries, if possible.

You can even participate in language exchange groups, hire an italki tutor, or read as much German media as you can. A particularly effective method is one we already mentioned: Conversation Based Chunking.

This method focuses on learning and using phrases or chunks, as we like to call them. Chunks are the most common phrases or block of the language that can be found in meaningful conversations. Once you focus on these, you become more comfortable and fluent in using the language naturally.

The approach not only improves your speaking and listening skills but it also helps you avoid grammar by fully internalizing the structure and the vocabulary needed for it in a practical way.

Some common German chunks are:

GermanEnglish
Wie geht’s?How are you?
Ich heiße…My name is…
Ich komme aus…I come from…
Was machst du beruflich?What do you do for a living?
Wo wohnst du?Where do you live?
Können Sie das wiederholen?Can you repeat that?
Ich verstehe nicht.I don’t understand.
Sprechen Sie Englisch?Do you speak English?
Wie spät ist es?What time is it?
Ich hätte gerne…I would like…
Wie viel kostet das?How much does it cost?
Wo ist die Toilette?Where is the bathroom?
Es tut mir leid.I am sorry.
Können Sie mir helfen?Can you help me?
Was empfehlen Sie?What do you recommend?
Ich habe eine Frage.I have a question.
Das gefällt mir.I like that.
Ich bin hungrig/durstig.I am hungry/thirsty.
Können wir die Rechnung bitte?Can we have the check, please?
Einen schönen Tag noch!Have a nice day!

Lucky for you, there are courses centered around learning with this method. And you can find these methods on our website, too! Let’s talk a little bit about them.

5. Study German with our 7-in-7 challenge and become fluent in German

To learn German effectively with the 7-in-7 Challenge, immerse yourself in the language using the Conversation Based Chunking method.

how long does it take to learn german with the 7-7 challenge, screenshot of website

Here’s how the challenge works:

  1. Daily Video Briefings: Each day, you’ll receive a short video briefing that introduces you to key language chunks and how to use them in everyday conversations. These briefings are designed to be concise yet comprehensive.
  2. Practical Tasks: Alongside the video briefings, you’ll be assigned practical tasks that encourage you to use the new language chunks in real-world scenarios. These tasks are meant to reinforce your learning and build your confidence in using German.
  3. Toolkit of Resources: The challenge provides a toolkit filled with essential resources, such as vocabulary lists, grammar tips, and practice exercises. These tools are tailored to support your learning journey and make it easier to integrate German into your daily routine.
  4. Time Commitment: One of the most appealing aspects of the 7-in-7 Challenge is its time efficiency. By dedicating just 7 minutes each day to focused learning, you can make progress without feeling overwhelmed. This manageable time commitment helps you build a consistent habit
  5. Immersive Approach: The challenge encourages you to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. This could involve listening to German music, watching German movies or TV shows, and engaging with native speakers.
  6. Community Support: Participating in the challenge also connects you with a community of fellow learners. This community provides support, motivation, and opportunities to practice with others who are on the same journey. Sharing experiences and tips can enhance your learning experience and keep you motivated.

By the end of the 7-day program, you’ll have a solid foundation in German and the confidence to engage in basic conversations.

The skills and habits you develop during this challenge will set you up for continued success in your language learning journey.

You won’t be fluent after these 7 days, but you will be well on your journey! The choice is yours, for starters: a free German Conversation Based Chunking Guide with the basics, or the 7-in-7 Challenge for ONLY $7 with extras?

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