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How Long Does It Take To Learn German with Duolingo?

Thomas Schroeder
Thomas Schroeder
Multilingual Expert
Tom is based in Munich, Germany, and is fluent in German, English, and French, all at a level of C1 or higher. As an international salesperson, Tom frequently travels Western Europe and uses all three languages regularly. While traveling, Tom keeps up on his learning with various language apps.

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In This Article

Our detailed guide covering the best practices for learning German using the Duolingo language app.

Learning German is all about practice and consistency. You need a means of getting regular exposure to the language, while simultaneously learning fundamentals like grammar and sentence structures. Fortunately, language learning apps like Duolingo make it easy to learn German, whether you need conversational skills or full fluency.

In this guide, we’ll discuss how long it takes to learn German with Duolingo, as well as how you can supplement your language learning journey for quicker, more successful acquisition.

How Many Minutes Per Day Should You Study German?

More is always better when it comes to studying a new language, but the answer to how much time is needed to learn depends on several factors. It’s suggested by the experts to spend about 30 minutes each day, five days a week, on your efforts.

How Long Does It Take To Learn German with Duolingo

This, however, could take more time than some people have. If you have to learn German quickly (say less than a month), you might want to put aside a few hours a day for your Duolingo training and other learning activities. Bottom line though, immersing yourself is the most effective way to learn German (or any language).

How Many Hours Does It Take To Learn German on Duolingo?

The Foreign Service Institute reports that it takes an average of 36 weeks to learn German, or 900 hours of classes and training. That’s because German is considered a category II language, which means that it is more different than English than other languages.

Again though, the level of hours needed varies depending on how quickly you learn and how fluent you need to be in the language.

How Long Does It Take To Complete The Duolingo German Course

For some people who are quick learners and pick up language naturally, it might take just 300 or 400 hours of using the app. For others though, it might take well over 1,000 hours of dedication.

With that said, you can also pick up German faster by supplementing your Duolingo learning, but we’ll talk about that more in a minute.

How Long Does It Take To Complete The Duolingo German Course?

The Duolingo course can take anywhere from 6 to 36 months to complete, depending on how extensively you want to learn the language and how much time you dedicate.

If you’re doing just one lesson per day, expect your journey to take closer to that three year mark. If you’re blowing through lessons daily though, expect faster results.

For reference, Duolingo German is one of the lengthiest programs available from the platform, mostly due to the complex nature of the German language.

Can you become fluent in German on Duolingo

If you are trying to learn German from Duolingo more quickly, you may want to dedicate multiple hours per day to your training.

Tips For Learning German with Duolingo

Learning German is a lengthy and complex process, but it’s far from impossible. In fact, the Duolingo platform makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable, thanks to their gamification of learning that includes rankings, leagues, and other features. If you want to make the most of your learning:

  • Set Goals: The best way to learn anything is to set goals for yourself and keep yourself accountable along the way. Don’t overdo it—short goals are good to start. Once you get into the language and get a feel for things, you can set more challenging goals.
  • Focus on What Matters: It’s easy to get distracted by things like leagues and gems, but your focus should really be on your own daily goals and personal learning efforts. It’s great if you beat the rest of the learners, but it’s even better when you outdo yourself.
  • Take Notes: Anyone who wants to learn a language should take notes and use them. You can write down German words and phrases you don’t recognize or struggle with, make notes on pronunciation, or whatever else you need.
  • Pace Yourself: German is more complex than a language like Spanish or French. Therefore, it may take non-native speakers more time to learn. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you more time than you anticipated. Just set realistic goals and let yourself learn at your own pace.

Best Ways To Supplement Your German Learning Process

In addition to the tips above, there are resources that you can use to supplement Duolingo during your learning journey. In reality, Duolingo should probably be a supplement itself and not your mainstay learning tool (as there are more robust German apps out there), but assuming it is, here are some ideas to supplement.

For starters, take advantage of online resources like pronunciation tools, translator apps, and more. You can also speed up the learning process by:

  • Watching German TV or videos
  • Listening to podcasts or audiobooks in German
  • Using the captions while watching shows and movies
  • Read children’s books
  • Listen to songs and read lyrics
  • Have a conversation with someone you know who speaks German

A platform like Duolingo is really just the core of your language learning process. In order to be most successful, you’ll want to add other training and learning opportunities to your daily life.

I would personally recommend checking out Rocket German, Babbel and Pimsleur as alternative apps. They contain audio lessons, more in-depth exercises, and bonus tools (like podcasts) to immerse you in German and help you learn faster. With one of these other apps, your German Duolingo journey will be much more fulsome.

How long does it take to learn German on Duolingo?

The answer to this question obviously depends on how much time you are committing to learning and many lessons you are completing each day, as well as what level of fluency you desire to achieve. If you’re doing two or three lessons per day, it will likely take more than a year to achieve any level of basic fluency.

How long does it take to complete Duolingo German?

There are approximately 130 units in the Duolingo German course, with new ones being added frequently (and others being expanded). Thus, it depends on your rate of lesson completion. If you are only doing one lesson per day, it will take years to finish Duolingo German.

Can you become fluent in German on Duolingo?

The short answer is not really. Even if you finish the entire German course on Duolingo, the highest level of fluency you’ll likely achieve is A1 or A2. I find it very hard to believe you’ll become fluent at a conversational level using Duolingo alone.

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