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.