How do we know when we can speak a language fluently?
Going on a language study to strengthen one's knowledge of a foreign language is an intensive exercise for our brain. We do not always realize that we are progressing. However, there are small things that make us say that we may have passed a stage. But, how do you know that you speak a language fluently?
A FLUID TRANSLATION
The first rule we learn in a language course is: do not translate word for word. Yet this is the only thing we can do in any language, we first think our sentence in French.
Our brains need reassurance and feel comfortable to build a sentence. When one does not pass by one's mother tongue to formulate sentences it is because one is already at an advanced stage of the practice of another language.
The time between questions and answers decreases, exchanges are much more fluid and conversations are no longer limited to a yes or no. Bingo!
Receiving a phone call or visio from a person who speaks another language is very often a source of stress and can be difficult to master. The person is not present physically one can not try to read on his lips or rely on his gestures to understand. The non-verbal no longer exists.
We do not know what to expect and that's when we lose all means. We do not think we are able to understand the conversation and we are anxious. Unhooking your phone and no longer being afraid to speak English, German, Spanish, Chinese or any other foreign language is a very good sign.
UNIQUE PHRASES TURNS
There are certain expressions that are close to French, so we can easily use them at the right time. If you stay abroad for a while, for example, you will learn unique expressions. They are used exclusively by people native to the country, or those who have been there for a while.
Once acquired, you will succeed in placing them in the right places in your conversations. For example, you will not say "Can I have a donut, please?" To the local merchant, but "Can I get a donut, please?" ". Small subtleties that will give you confidence in yourself and above all that will allow you to better understand you and integrate you among locals.
HOLES IN FRENCH
"Uh, how do you say already in French? ". No it is not to tell it or play it but it does happen to the French to forget their own language. When you stay in a country for too long and communicate primarily with the local language, it is not uncommon to have blackouts.
In addition, people who start to master a foreign language sometimes use common words in French sentences. It even happens that they translate word by word a sentence that they are used to pronounce in English, in French. We give you an example: I'm going to visit someone instead of going to see someone.
DREAMS IN VO
The legend says that when you dream in a foreign language, you are bilingual. While the word "bilingual" is a bit strong, this statement is true. A dream in a language different from his, proves that we have assimilated good notions.
Above all, do not be ashamed of it, it is a very good way to locate one's linguistic level. The dream is the unconscious, so if you find yourself daydreaming in Spanish it's because you have not even looked for it and your brain is doing it automatically.
A DISTINCTION OF ACCENTS
Becoming acclimatized to a foreign language is also getting used to an accent. Depending on the continent, the country, the region or even the city, the accents diverge. Knowing how to dissociate a small or large scale accent is a real headache.
Already in French some regional accents are not easy to distinguish, imagine in English or Italian ... If you can make the difference is that you speak fluently a language and especially that you have yourself recover an accent.
Going to a language study abroad is also adapting to the computer keyboard or telephone. French QWERTY gives way to QWERTY most of the time. The adaptation time can be longer or shorter. But once adopted, we can hardly do without it.
Although it is a simple banality for many, knowing how to adapt to different tools and environments is an important part of learning a language.
THE MEDIA IN VO
It is often said that one can learn a foreign language by watching a series or reading newspapers. It is true ! The practice of a foreign language maintains itself very well thanks to the media. The stages are progressive but allow to realize its level of understanding.
For series and films, we start by watching the program in French with the original subtitles. Then we reverse the process, the program is in original version and the subtitles in French. The subtitles then go into original version until disappearing. This final step comes when you feel perfectly comfortable and that you speak the language correctly.
So, after reading all this, do you recognize yourself? Are you as bilingual as you think? Tell us everything!