Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
Ani
Green Belt
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:58 am
Location: Alaska
Languages: English (N), French (getting fairly proficient), Finnish (on hold) Greek and Russian (beginner)
x 720

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby Ani » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:08 pm

blaurebell wrote:I wish this discussion wouldn't come up *every single time* someone mentions any kind of numbers. Yeah, we don't really know, but a ballpark guesstimate is still more helpful to the OP than "We don't know, figure it out for yourself!"



It's your opinion that ballpark numbers which are not based on the OP's situation are helpful. The reason this comes up every single time someone says "about this many hours" is because of how far that estimate may be from reality. It is rather painful to watch someone track their first 600-1000 hours expecting advanced skills at the end only to realize they are still really far from that goal.
3 x
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

User avatar
blaurebell
Green Belt
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
x 609

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby blaurebell » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:53 pm

Ani wrote:It's your opinion that ballpark numbers which are not based on the OP's situation are helpful. The reason this comes up every single time someone says "about this many hours" is because of how far that estimate may be from reality. It is rather painful to watch someone track their first 600-1000 hours expecting advanced skills at the end only to realize they are still really far from that goal.


Yes, it is *my opinion* that 600-1000h is a much better estimate than "Fluent in 3 months" or whatever lies they put on language courses or other various language learning snake oil these days. And yes, it's a better estimate no matter the circumstances. Even if you do everything wrong it would be really quite a feat to log 600-1000h with a language as easy as Portuguese, with Assimil no less, and not reach a sort of Benny Lewis fake "fluent" level or see no progress whatsoever. And after 600-1000h you're already so invested that success is kind of inevitable. Dropping out after 100h that you logged in the misconception that half an hour a day would be enough, is quite a different game from dropping out after 1000h!

People have all sorts of misconceptions about how long it takes to learn a language and usually they underestimate that time a lot, thinking that 1h a day for a year must surely be enough. Otherwise the OP's question wouldn't even have come up in the first place. The other day I read an article with the alluring title: "Learn a new language in just 15min a day". You can imagine what it was like! 15 minutes? Jeez, for how many years?! Don't get me wrong though I definitely agree that it will take *more* than 600h and not less. More than 1000h for a first time learner probably, unless that mysterious "language learning gene" is involved - and there are some people with that out there for sure, who are we to judge from an isolated forum post?

Frankly though, with all this talk we're getting really close to scaring poor first time language learners off the whole project when we go around saying that 1000h isn't enough to reach a level that we experienced language learners deem acceptable. It might be true in a strict sense, but these are *our* goals, not necessarily theirs. I know plenty of people who are perfectly happy with their eternal low B2 and no listening comprehension whatsoever. It's all a question of defining your goals ... as I already said in my earlier post.
4 x
: 51 / 100 Assimil Le Russe
: 8 / 45 Modern Russian 1
: 49 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Обретение чуда
: 4929 / 35000 LWT Known

fresh_air
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:12 pm
Languages: English*, Portuguese (A1/A2)
x 3

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby fresh_air » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:31 pm

blaurebell wrote:
Ani wrote:It's your opinion that ballpark numbers which are not based on the OP's situation are helpful. The reason this comes up every single time someone says "about this many hours" is because of how far that estimate may be from reality. It is rather painful to watch someone track their first 600-1000 hours expecting advanced skills at the end only to realize they are still really far from that goal.


Yes, it is *my opinion* that 600-1000h is a much better estimate than "Fluent in 3 months" or whatever lies they put on language courses or other various language learning snake oil these days. And yes, it's a better estimate no matter the circumstances. Even if you do everything wrong it would be really quite a feat to log 600-1000h with a language as easy as Portuguese, with Assimil no less, and not reach a sort of Benny Lewis fake "fluent" level or see no progress whatsoever. And after 600-1000h you're already so invested that success is kind of inevitable. Dropping out after 100h that you logged in the misconception that half an hour a day would be enough, is quite a different game from dropping out after 1000h!

People have all sorts of misconceptions about how long it takes to learn a language and usually they underestimate that time a lot, thinking that 1h a day for a year must surely be enough. Otherwise the OP's question wouldn't even have come up in the first place. The other day I read an article with the alluring title: "Learn a new language in just 15min a day". You can imagine what it was like! 15 minutes? Jeez, for how many years?! Don't get me wrong though I definitely agree that it will take *more* than 600h and not less. More than 1000h for a first time learner probably, unless that mysterious "language learning gene" is involved - and there are some people with that out there for sure, who are we to judge from an isolated forum post?

Frankly though, with all this talk we're getting really close to scaring poor first time language learners off the whole project when we go around saying that 1000h isn't enough to reach a level that we experienced language learners deem acceptable. It might be true in a strict sense, but these are *our* goals, not necessarily theirs. I know plenty of people who are perfectly happy with their eternal low B2 and no listening comprehension whatsoever. It's all a question of defining your goals ... as I already said in my earlier post.


If I may chime in, it will be one year, plus the time I spend in Brazil, which is 6 weeks. I have someone I'm staying with, so I'll be interacting with them and their family for a good chunk of time, plus running errands, going to church, getting drunk with Brazilians, and using public transport.

My original question (and my definition of fluency is a flat B2), is if I can reach this given the time frame. Its not my first language, I have an A2 level of completion from the Goethe Institut in laying around somewhere, rather pointless, but it's not my first attempt: I recognize that it's the beginning of a long process, and that it will take much longer to reach an advance level. I don't think I'll be writing a dissertation or working for a consulting company any time soon, for now I'm only trying to speak at a 3rd grade level.
3 x

User avatar
Ani
Green Belt
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:58 am
Location: Alaska
Languages: English (N), French (getting fairly proficient), Finnish (on hold) Greek and Russian (beginner)
x 720

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby Ani » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:02 am

fresh_air wrote:If I may chime in, it will be one year, plus the time I spend in Brazil, which is 6 weeks. I have someone I'm staying with, so I'll be interacting with them and their family for a good chunk of time, plus running errands, going to church, getting drunk with Brazilians, and using public transport.



Sorry nothing I said was related to your question. I really think you should follow iguanamon's advice (especially about starting a log), read his other posts about the multi-track approach, and spend as many hours as you can between now and October. You'll surely have enough Portuguese to have fun in the language during your trip, regardless of what that level might be labeled as.
0 x
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

Online
User avatar
smallwhite
Blue Belt
Posts: 764
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:55 am
Location: Australia
Languages: Cantonese (n) > Mandarin > English > Spanish > French (C1) > Italian > Dutch.
.
Studying German > Swedish.
·
x 1082
Contact:

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby smallwhite » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:31 am

Ani wrote:I really think you should follow iguanamon's advice (especially about starting a log), read his other posts about the multi-track approach, and spend as many hours as you can between now and October.

, while keeping in mind your immediate goal of having touristy speaking and listening ability by October. I would leave The Alchemist until after the trip, to make time for things like Collins Easy Portuguese Photo Phrase Book.

Some of my threads that may be relevant to you:
Your plan of attack - Speaking
Do You Use Phrasebooks?
Do You Like Quizlet?
How do YOU use Memrise?
0 x
072 more days of German
107 more days of Swedish - getting there!

User avatar
blaurebell
Green Belt
Posts: 300
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2 passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
x 609

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby blaurebell » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:39 am

smallwhite wrote:
Ani wrote:I really think you should follow iguanamon's advice (especially about starting a log), read his other posts about the multi-track approach, and spend as many hours as you can between now and October.

, while keeping in mind your immediate goal of having touristy speaking and listening ability by October. I would leave The Alchemist until after the trip, to make time for things like Collins Easy Portuguese Photo Phrase Book.


I agree with Ani and smallwhite. Do as much as you can and focus on listening comprehension, leave the reading for later. Although I find reading super effective to get a broad vocabulary and high levels of comprehension - beyond B2 - , it's definitely not the path to choose when the goal is to speak early. Literary vocabulary is of no use on the street. Music is great for listening comprehension if you try to hear and understand the lyrics. You can even do this intensively, listen and try to write down the lyrics, then check them against some online lyrics database. I used to do that with English when I was a teenager and it was a lot of fun, especially when I got it entirely wrong and ended up laughing about whatever nonsense I thought they were singing. For me this was just listening to music, not learning English. Watching TV is also really helpful, especially action series that you might have already watched before. Even if you don't seem to understand, keep watching a little every day, 10min at least. You'll be surprised about how much you'll understand after a while. And yes, iguanamon gave excellent advice well worth following!

Do you have any classes planned for your stay in Brazil? I started Spanish from scratch in Spain with 3h a day of classes and after 10 weeks I could start to read books without a dictionary with a level of speaking of maybe B1. This was the average for all language learners there following the same classes, except for native English speakers who had never learned a language before. They always had to repeat the first 2 weeks to catch up with the rest. Over the 5 months I was there I saw a lot of students come through that school and their progress pretty predictably matched my own experience starting from scratch. Immersion is really super effective! The first week was scary and I may have once bitten into a piece of raw pumpkin thinking that it was melon ;) but generally it was an overall wonderful experience. It's hard to estimate what your level may be after those 6 weeks with prior knowledge. Very likely beyond speaking like a third grader, especially if you also take classes there.
0 x
: 51 / 100 Assimil Le Russe
: 8 / 45 Modern Russian 1
: 49 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Обретение чуда
: 4929 / 35000 LWT Known

Adrianslont
Orange Belt
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:39 am
Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), Indonesian (lower intermediate?) French (A2?)
x 224

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby Adrianslont » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:09 am

You've had some great advice in this thread plus seen the usual interesting discussions of what fluency is and how long it takes to get there.

I will only add that I think you are going to do great and will be reasonably pleased if you follow your plan adding a few small tweaks.

I base my opinion on your obvious enthusiasm and your background in weightlifting - you know what it means to dedicate yourself to a hobby that requires regular practice for an extended period and, as with weightlifting, the results will surely come with your effort. Many people who start learning a language are pretty clueless about how to go about it and the amount of work it will take and you clearly are not!
0 x
: 2779 / 10000 SRS 10k challenge
: 220 / 610 610 days

User avatar
James29
Blue Belt
Posts: 534
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:51 am
Languages: English (Native)
Spanish (C1-ish)
French (Beginner)
Portuguese (Thinking about it)
x 1032

Re: Portuguese learning plan - what level will I be?

Postby James29 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:41 am

If I were in your situation (to the OP) I would make it my top priority to complete the DLI course before the trip. That's the best/fastest way to advance your level to a point where you will get the most out of the trip. Obviously, DLI is not perfect. DLI coupled with Assimil would definitely be the way to go. Good luck and enjoy.
1 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: aokoye, Xenops and 2 guests