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How long does it take to learn French?

In one year, a beginner can learn French. That’s quick, although not as quick as the one-month guarantees you see online. Specifically, a year is the average amount of time it will take a beginner who studies at least five hours per day to become proficient enough to work in French. But everyone is unique. How long it will take you to learn French is contingent on a variety of factors:

  • Your current French proficiency
  • The required French proficiency (Hint: for most people, upper intermediate is enough)
  • What languages do you already know?
  • If you reside in a French-speaking city?
  • How hard you study
  • How good you are at learning languages


The best way to estimate how long it will take you to learn French is to calculate the number of hours required to go from your current level to your desired level.

To determine your current French level, take a test. This test will give you a score on the six-level CEFR scale, from A1 to C2.


Determine the level of French you require. Most people need a B2 level to work in French, but this depends on the job and the country in which they are employed. Here is a diagnostic tool developed by ELAM to determine the language needs needed for a position.



Calculate how many hours it will take you to get from your current level of French to the level you require. Here’s a handy reference table.

Therefore, if you are a beginner and must attain a B2 level, you will need 100 + 200 + 400 = 700 hours of instruction. Add 50 percent to these estimates if you only speak a language that is significantly different from French and you only speak that language (for example, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean)


To determine how long it will take to learn French, divide the total number of hours by the number of days. In the previous example, taking a French class for one hour per week would require 700 weeks, or nearly 14 years, to master the language.



Our professional language communications programs are intended for learners who wish or need to complete a specific language level for their job. Our signature programs: LAD, LAD Intense, VBOB, or Blended-Lingua, will help achieve the targeted language level. This brief guide should have helped you estimate roughly how long it will take you to learn English. And remember: the earlier you begin, the quicker you will finish.

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