Poll: How long do you think it takes to become fluent in English?

How long do you think it takes to become fluent in English?

Under 1 year
1-2 years
2-3 years
3-4 years
over 5 years
a lifetime

Statistics Poll Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 4,164
  • Comments: 30
  • Added: September 2003



It does depend on what you mean by 'fluent'. If you mean perfect and indistinguishable from a native speaker, that could take a lifetime. If you mean capable of doing anything in the language, then it could only take a couple of years.

It also depends on age- children can pick languages up in next to no time.


It depends also, and it is the most important thing, on the person itself and its capabilities on learning languages, and even more important with whoom he passes most of his time, and on many other things, it is therefore a quite complicated question to respond to.


It also depends on age- the biggest factor.


I'm a native speaker and still learning.


I agree with italianbro, JT & Willbut. It depends on a lot of factors.


Well, it'll take you a lifetime to be fluent in any language even if you are a Native speaker. Nobody's perfect. There is always a room for improvement. We sometimes commit slips without us noticing it. Some may be acceptable in American English and some may not in British English. There is no such thing as absolute level.


To me, fluency means that when you start talking, other people don't think you're not a native speaker.


moocho libre.. i dont understand english, but im working on it. it took me about a day to become a fluently horny speaker!!




i said 2-3 years because i learnt English in that span of time. how competent your teacher is ,plays a huge role and then how much concentration you give this task .




Age factor and the environment in which s/he lives, plays a vital role in it.


i havespent 6 yearsof my life in high education studying english language and litrature. i have finally had my diploma but in vain i don't feel any success in that.


I think it depends on how we improve our language habits

Ahmed AL Iraqi

I think a main thing to you have a fluency in English language is by practicing this language with people that are spoken English, this very well language

farhan abdi kaar

it depends how you practice in your daily life and your efort


It highly depends on the environment really. It is generally said that about 3,000hrs speeking is needed for young person to become fluent in some language.


The word "fluent" is a relative term. It's meaning depends on what you mean by it. A good understanding of it would be that if you can make yourself understood concering a topic, then you are "fluent" to that degree. To become as fluent as a well educated native speaker will take you longer than it too that person because you'll use your own native language as a crutch so that you won't spend as much time and effort at the second language. No one can become so fluent in 1 or 2 years but you can learn to communicate well enough to handle most situations within a couple of years if you really try and follow a few simple, though not easy, common sense laws of learning. 1. Read a lot in the language you want to learn because you'll expand your vocabulary mostly that way. 2. speak in that language with every chance you get or can make. 3. If you can listen to the language and read a transcript of what you're listening to at the same time, that will be very useful. 4. Try to get someone, anyone, to let you teach them some of what you're learning because it will cause you to remember it better and longer. 5. Don't bite off more than you can chew. That is, study and memorize only a little at a time. If you try to take on too much, you'll become discouraged and you'll slow your progress. 6. Don't think about the time it's taking to reach your goal. Just work steadily day by day and try to make at least a little progress every day. 7. Don't quit. But, if you do, be sure you just rest a few days and then start again with a refreshed spirit. Quitters never win and winners never permanently quit.


I must agree that I have a small pen*s


According to the poll. I think that there are many people that do not understand what fluent means.

Susan Rose

I moved from Costa Rica to the United States two years and a half ago. I didn't speak English that all, so I start taking free English classes. I started it from level 0, you know, learning the basics...Now I'm attending ESl classes at college, and I still learning. I feel fluently in my speaking , but not in my writing. Eventhought I still working on it. English is a very difficult Language, or at least harder than Spanish for sure. ;-)


I learned written English by myself in just under a year when I was ~14, using nothing but the internet and movies. After I started speaking, it took me ~6 months to get my pronunciation to a decent level (working for an english-speaking employer, over the 'net). My native language is Spanish, and I'm starting to teach myself Mandarin right now. :) Learning new languages is Awesome. German is next, I really want to read Nietzsche in original language


There are so many varieties of English that it is difficult to master them all. Even phonetics have different interpretations.


I voted "2 - 3 years", but it depends on the bent, motivation and preparation of the student in question..


Speaking from personal experience, I believe that it certainly takes the average adult more than 5 years to become fluent in a language. And that is not native speaking by any means. Native proficiency would take close to forever for said adult. Yea, there are various factors involved, of course, like many have said. If one wants to become fluent as quick as possible it is best to immerse himself in an environment where there is only the targeted language being spoken. Taking classes on a regular basis would be extremely beneficial.

simon ab

It depends on how much effort we are putting on.And the most effective way to improve our english or at least to be able to feel comfortable with ourselves is to practice it (communicate with it) I,being a non native speaker,trying t engage with native speakers because i believe it will practically help me to improve my english much quicker.


i have read a story on the BBC
a pakistan woman who living in england and did not even know what the alphabet is.
but after 6 months she can communicate with natives in english according to the story.

so i guess it mostly depends on
your environment that you have

unlike decades ago

we are living in the world of the internet which means we can talk via this small machine to native speakers just in our rooms. chances are around us

it is up to our mind for being fluent english.

Good luck.


from my opinion,fluency English means that you can give a speech without script. It's really really hard,I am hopeless, I'm in a awkward situation,I can understand the Comment here,but I can't read newspaper,I can't read academic book from library,I can't understand the movie without seeing the subtitle


To me fluency means being able to express any idea, or to communicate without facing any form(grammer,pronounciation,etc) of difficulties or error.
This means you're also able to comprehend and understanding written documents or scripts.
So, if english language is your second language, then it takes roughly about five years to master it.

However, the environment or the location also determines the rate at which you master the language. If are around a community in which english is their mother toungue. You'll speed up the process


If you don’t have any base and you are completely new to the lenguaje, it can take you a while like 6 or 7 years Or more if you are an adult. One of the difficulties that an adult person face is the time. we have to work and go to school.
If we compare the amount of hours the kids have at school and the time they have at home to study and do their homework is more easy for them to focus more and learn faster.
If you are old it can be hard but it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve to get some degree if you wish to.

Browse our language polls:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25