Today, it seems that you're forever bumping into someone who wants to learn how long does it take to learn Spanish. Sadly, this is a question for which there is no single answer, just because there are way too many variables.
For instance, you want to take someone's language talent into account, and also whether a student will be willing to put in the mandatory amount of effort. Also, the answer would rely principally on which Spanish language learning program the person choses to use. Furthermore, the time period it takes to aquire the skills to communicate Spanish would also depend on factors such as whether the student will be using personal tutoring, or whether they'll be studying in a class environment. Also, will the person be using one of the numerous home study programs and will they be studying in their home country or in the country where Spanish is spoken as a first language. Above all, one needs to consider how good the teacher or the program is.
Because the answers to those questions will essentially figure out how long it takes to learn Spanish, there is simply no way to give a single answer to the question. While certain people will learn a significant amount of conversational Spanish within as little as six months, others will fail to reach the same level even after 20 or 30 years.
Rather than making an attempt to state a specific time period concerning the problem of, "how long does it take to learn Spanish?", let's just say I'd rather discuss what I suspect to be the speediest way to learn Spanish. Firstly, any student who wants to learn foreign languages should ideally milk each possible opportunity to have interaction with others in the language they need to learn.
In my judgment, the classroom approach takes too long, particularly if it is's the only method being used. Instead, I feel that a self study system is much better, providing naturally it's of a decent quality. Such courses permit a person to proceed at a pace they feel comfortable with, so providing they're serious, they can progress at a faster speed than they might be ready to in a classroom environment.
Additionally, an individual should employ a reputable program which includes not only written Spanish, but also multimedia and audio lessons. Of course, it is even more beneficial if the audio lessons can be downloaded onto a mobile device like an iPod. This is basically because when someone attempts to learn a new language, it is best if they can read it, write it, talk it, and understand it (listening skills). Unless a program includes each of these areas, it shouldn't be used as a stand-alone program.
Rocket Spanish is as an example a very suggested program, and naturally, it addresses all 4 of the areas just discussed, and as such, it is obviously one of the best programs out there for providing a solid base of basic conversational Spanish. Aside from this program, Rosetta Stone is also highly respected and as with Rocket Spanish, Rosetta Stone also addresses all 4 areas. Furthermore, this program also offers two different versions and you can select between South American Spanish and the "Spain" version. On the other hand, Rosetta Stone is slightly more pricy than Rocket Spanish and it'll possibly take a little while longer before you develop a suitable level of conversational Spanish, but as far as Spanish language programs are concerned they are both good programs.
Even though one cannot say exactly how long does it take to learn Spanish, there are several things you can do to lessen the time it takes. If you are really serious and you are capable of a specific amount of self discipline, then both the programs mentioned above might be used side-by-side to develop your Spanish language abilities rapidly. You do however need to bear in mind that no language course, regardless of how good it may be, will be able to teach you the way to speak Spanish as fluently as what a native Spanish speaking person does. The sole way you'll ever accomplish such an attainment, is if you're steadily exposed to the language on a daily basis. However, many students have found that subscribing to Puerta del Sol Audio Magazine has to some extent helped them develop their listening and comprehension skills, though it has to be mentioned this only applies to those who are at an intermediate or advanced level. In addition, you may need to consider joining a Meetup group in your area that shares an interest in learning Spanish.