If you’re learning a language in Europe, you may be aiming to get a certificate showing the level of competency that you have reached. there is a standard framework used in Europe, called the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, abbreviated as CEFR or CEF, which defines 6 levels. These apply independently of the language you are studying, and of the European country you are studying in. It is also recognised in several non-European countries, such as Colombia and the Philippines.

Level groupLevel group nameLevelLevel name
ABasic userA1Breakthrough or beginner
A2Way stage or elementary
BIndependent userB1Threshold or intermediate
B2Vantage or upper intermediate
CProficient userC1Effective operational proficiency or advanced
C2Mastery or proficiency

The levels are described in detail on the website linked to above the table.

The EOI (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas) in Spain uses a slightly different way of referring to the levels, for example, they refer to the B1 level as “Intermediate”, but the B2 as “Advanced”. You can see a description of their levels here. This difference is because the levels are regulated by the “Ley Orgánica de Educación (Real Decreto 1629/2006)”.

You can reckon that for English, German or Spanish you’ll need about 75 hours to reach A1 level, 180–200 hours to reach A2, 350-400 hours to reach B1, 500-600 to reach B2, 700-800 to reach C1, and 1000 – 1200 hours to reach C2 level.