People often ask: “How long will it take me to become proficient in language X?” This question is impossible to answer because a lot depends on a person’s language learning ability, motivation, learning environment, intensity of instruction, and prior experience in learning foreign languages. It also depends on the degree to which the target language is similar to or different from the learner’s first language or languages that the learner has learned in the past. Last, but not least, it depends on the level of proficiency the person wishes to attain.

There is no such thing as across-the-board proficiency in a particular language. Proficiency is usually measured in terms of four skills:

Category 1 languages are those Western European languages that are most cognate with English and that are most typologically similar to it.  For instance, Dutch, Afrikaans, Spanish, and Italian belong to Category 1. However, German usually takes longer (30 weeks, 750 class hours), because of its relatively more complex grammar.

How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including  Spanish , French , English , Mandarin , Italian , Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you're good to go.

Our collection of foreign language lessons has been featured in the New York Times , Princeton University's Humanities Resource Center , and The New York Times again, and yet once again in  The New York Times .

Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. We never spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

People often ask: “How long will it take me to become proficient in language X?” This question is impossible to answer because a lot depends on a person’s language learning ability, motivation, learning environment, intensity of instruction, and prior experience in learning foreign languages. It also depends on the degree to which the target language is similar to or different from the learner’s first language or languages that the learner has learned in the past. Last, but not least, it depends on the level of proficiency the person wishes to attain.

There is no such thing as across-the-board proficiency in a particular language. Proficiency is usually measured in terms of four skills:

Category 1 languages are those Western European languages that are most cognate with English and that are most typologically similar to it.  For instance, Dutch, Afrikaans, Spanish, and Italian belong to Category 1. However, German usually takes longer (30 weeks, 750 class hours), because of its relatively more complex grammar.

How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 48 languages, including  Spanish , French , English , Mandarin , Italian , Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you're good to go.

Our collection of foreign language lessons has been featured in the New York Times , Princeton University's Humanities Resource Center , and The New York Times again, and yet once again in  The New York Times .

Get the best cultural and educational resources on the web curated for you in a daily email. We never spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

The Live Lingua project is part of our commitment to helping as many people as possible learn a foreign language, even if they can't afford our paid Skype language lessons . Part of the earnings from Live Lingua go to hosting, maintaining and constantly updating this area. This project is the internet's largest collection of free public domain language learning materials. It hosts thousands of free ebooks, audios and videos for over 130 languages from around the world. One of our missions is to make language learning accessible to everybody. Enjoy.

Most of the free language learning material on this website comes from three sources. The US Peace Corps, the US Foreign Services Institute, and the US Defense Language Institute. If you want to see the courses grouped by the creator, just click on the groups below.

People often ask: “How long will it take me to become proficient in language X?” This question is impossible to answer because a lot depends on a person’s language learning ability, motivation, learning environment, intensity of instruction, and prior experience in learning foreign languages. It also depends on the degree to which the target language is similar to or different from the learner’s first language or languages that the learner has learned in the past. Last, but not least, it depends on the level of proficiency the person wishes to attain.

There is no such thing as across-the-board proficiency in a particular language. Proficiency is usually measured in terms of four skills:

Category 1 languages are those Western European languages that are most cognate with English and that are most typologically similar to it.  For instance, Dutch, Afrikaans, Spanish, and Italian belong to Category 1. However, German usually takes longer (30 weeks, 750 class hours), because of its relatively more complex grammar.

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