If you get started on a program to learn a foreign language, how long will it take before you can really use it? It depends on how much time you have to spend. The more time you spend exposed to your new language, the faster you'll pick it up. A quality immersion program can have you speaking a new language on roughly the grade school level or perhaps even a middle-school level in two or thee months. Working on your own with tapes or CD will take longer, but it isn't impossible for you to become good enough to carry on simple conversations, meet basic travel requirements, and avoid some of the more common cultural mistakes in three months or so. Two things to keep in mind is that you must expose yourself to your language and study it regularly and often. Study every day if at all possible. As you learn more of your new language, your ability to pick up more of the language will increase. You will be able to learn much more during your tenth week of study than you did in your first.