Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Off-Topic > Off-Topic > International affairs/politics  
View Poll Results: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently?
I'm British and only speak English fluently 12 7.06%
I'm British and speak 1 other language fluently 18 10.59%
I'm British and speak 2 other languages fluently 11 6.47%
I'm British and speak 3 or more other languages fluently 6 3.53%
I'm NOT British and only speak my native language fluently 6 3.53%
I'm NOT British and speak 1 other language fluently 23 13.53%
I'm NOT British and speak 2 other languages fluently 35 20.59%
I'm NOT British and speak 3 or more other languages fluently 59 34.71%
Voters: 170. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #81  
Old 07.11.2019, 20:41
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Neuchatel
Posts: 23,040
Groaned at 552 Times in 424 Posts
Thanked 25,544 Times in 11,728 Posts
Odile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

B2 is a good level, but definitely not fluent.

Slammer is right, use it or lose it. For me, I use French and English all the time, every day- makes no difference. I have a Degree in German and used to teach it to A'Level- but never use it these days. It would just take me a couple of weeks there to go back to fluency, but nowadays it is a bit rusty. I'd love to speak Italian fluently, and was studying for A'Level just before we moved here. I get buy nicely, have a decent intonation, but grammar and vocab insufficient. Really must try and spend longer periods there. After 2 weeks, I am getting quite confident - then leave.

Last edited by Odile; 08.11.2019 at 10:30.
Reply With Quote
  #82  
Old 07.11.2019, 23:06
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Sion
Posts: 26
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 15 Posts
mobk has earned some respectmobk has earned some respect
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Dual nationality (CH, CAN), but sadly only English fluently.


French to newspaper reading, halting conversation level.


Spanish and German to a useful traveling level, but light years from fluency.


Enough snippets of Latin to sound snobby.
Reply With Quote
  #83  
Old 08.11.2019, 09:38
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 8,254
Groaned at 265 Times in 215 Posts
Thanked 10,633 Times in 5,672 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
An observation from my discussions (in Spanish) with Swiss-based Spaniards and other native Spanish speakers: Almost none speak English.
And some say the same about Italians.
And I had quite the opposite experience with all the young(ish) ambitious Spaniards that are working for multinational companies because there are better opportunities abroad than back home, especially in certain fields.

It's funny how different people can be, eh?

Quote:
View Post
But definitely not fluent.

Slammer is right, use it or lose it. For me, I use French and English all the time, every day- makes no difference. I have a Degree in German and used to teach it to A'Level- but never use it these days. It would just take me a couple of weeks there to go back to fluency, but nowadays it is a bit rusty. I'd love to speak Italian fluently, and was studying for A'Level just before we moved here. I get buy nicely, have a decent intonation, but grammar and vocab insufficient. Really must try and spend longer periods there. After 2 weeks, I am getting quite confident - then leave.
My French is getting rusty even though it's my first foreign language, English is only the second. I studied both in school as part of the school curriculum, whatever else I can speak nowadays it's because I invested my time (especially my time) and money in courses, books, various learning materials. Oh, actually I am a bit unfair now, our companies payed for a few German language courses but I was so busy back then that I didn't really take full advantage. I had to start again on my own, and properly that time. I could have had such an easy life in the French speaking part, but no, I wanted a challenge. And challenge it was - having to learn not only the official (High) German language, but some dialect(s) too....;-) Still believe that all of us who're making it or navigating through the Swiss diglossia deserve a certain amount of understanding from the locals. I might ask for too much though, who knows.

But yes, I also agree with slammer - use it or lose it. Practice, wherever and whenever you can.

Quote:
View Post
English and German are pretty much interchangeable for me. At one time I could hold a conversation in Mexican Spanish, something that turned heads when in Spain. I could hold a simple conversation in Danish and can still just about read a newspaper also and much to my surprise I still retain a lot of school French. (Bet you didīt expect that Mrs. Ormrod) Maltese, only a few words, just enough to get me from A to B and not starve in a Restaurant.
Itīs all a case of "Use it or lose it!"
Lol, my (rather basic) Spanish contains lots of bits from South-America, maybe even Mexico. I'd be delighted if I could use the Argentinian accent though - which I like the most...maybe it will come natural to me one day...just to confuse the audience. lol.

Last edited by greenmount; 08.11.2019 at 23:43. Reason: typos etc
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank greenmount for this useful post:
  #84  
Old 10.11.2019, 10:11
Sky's Avatar
Sky Sky is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somewhere special far away
Posts: 4,035
Groaned at 51 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 5,985 Times in 2,315 Posts
Sky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
My French is getting rusty even though it's my first foreign language, English is only the second
Your English is perfect, I thought it was your Mother Tongue.
True bilinguals are rare.
Reply With Quote
  #85  
Old 10.11.2019, 10:29
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 13,817
Groaned at 126 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 25,634 Times in 9,856 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
True bilinguals are rare.
Not sure itís that rare, to be honest. If youíve got two parents who speak two different languages to you from birth (like loads of people here), you canít help but be bilingual.

My son speaks English like me, even mirroring my accent and occasional word-play, and speaks Swiss German like his dad.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Sandgrounder for this useful post:
  #86  
Old 10.11.2019, 10:38
Belgianmum's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Neuch‚tel
Posts: 10,705
Groaned at 138 Times in 125 Posts
Thanked 15,700 Times in 6,833 Posts
Belgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
Not sure it’s that rare, to be honest. If you’ve got two parents who speak two different languages to you from birth (like loads of people here), you can’t help but be bilingual.

My son speaks English like me, even mirroring my accent and occasional word-play, and speaks Swiss German like his dad.
I agree, in this day and age where multilingual families are common, truely bilingual people are not rare at all.
For my parents’ generation, on the other hand, it would have been really rare and exotic.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 10.11.2019 at 10:53.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Belgianmum for this useful post:
  #87  
Old 10.11.2019, 10:53
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Geneva
Posts: 3,644
Groaned at 31 Times in 26 Posts
Thanked 4,482 Times in 1,724 Posts
McTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond reputeMcTAVGE has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

If Scottish-English counts and if singing in Swiss-German rather than speaking it counts, then 5.
Reply With Quote
  #88  
Old 10.11.2019, 12:00
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 11,174
Groaned at 170 Times in 147 Posts
Thanked 15,877 Times in 6,446 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
B2 is a good level, but definitely not fluent.
Depends on your definition of fluency.

I'm considered by some native speakers to be fluent in French and in German - since I speak relatively quickly, without too much hesitation. However, my grammar isn't necessarily correct and I've got lacunae in my vocabularies (especially in German). What matters to those hearers is that they understand me and I understand them - even if I have to ask for clarification of certain words.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #89  
Old 10.11.2019, 12:13
Sky's Avatar
Sky Sky is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somewhere special far away
Posts: 4,035
Groaned at 51 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 5,985 Times in 2,315 Posts
Sky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
Not sure itís that rare, to be honest. If youíve got two parents who speak two different languages to you from birth (like loads of people here), you canít help but be bilingual.

My son speaks English like me, even mirroring my accent and occasional word-play, and speaks Swiss German like his dad.
I thought the same.
Itís a posit though discussed by linguists that itís actually very hard to be a true bilingual. I suppose in the sense of being able write and formulate like Greenmount for whom English is not her native language.
A true bilingual has the capacity to converse and write in both languages identically.

Iím fluent in English, French and Italian, but I only translate from French and Italian in to English. Iíd love to say Iím a true bilingual as per a linguistís definition as I write, speak without a foreign accent and can think naturally in French especially, but I canít because I sometimes become frustrated when seeking the right words in French, and I consciously need to think of grammatical structures.
__________________
.
"Il mondo Ť fatto a scale, chi le scende e chi le sale"
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Sky for this useful post:
  #90  
Old 10.11.2019, 12:23
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: KŁsnacht, Switzerland
Posts: 4,142
Groaned at 88 Times in 82 Posts
Thanked 8,575 Times in 3,954 Posts
Blueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
Itís a posit though discussed by linguists that itís actually very hard to be a true bilingual.
I've heard the same because there's a belief that one of the languages will suffer and one will become dominant. OH is currently refreshing his Greek using Duolingo because he's neglected his written Greek for years but has recently had a number of legal docs to deal with, and as you wrote, he finds himself mentally searching for words.
Reply With Quote
  #91  
Old 10.11.2019, 12:41
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: near Langenthal, BE
Posts: 852
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 925 Times in 405 Posts
swisscanmom has earned the respect of manyswisscanmom has earned the respect of manyswisscanmom has earned the respect of many
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Don't think it is that rare. All depends on how often you use both languages. I consider myself truly bilingual and use English at home and German/Swiss German at work. I don't think there is a dominance in any one language.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank swisscanmom for this useful post:
  #92  
Old 10.11.2019, 13:14
Belgianmum's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Neuch‚tel
Posts: 10,705
Groaned at 138 Times in 125 Posts
Thanked 15,700 Times in 6,833 Posts
Belgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
Don't think it is that rare. All depends on how often you use both languages. I consider myself truly bilingual and use English at home and German/Swiss German at work. I don't think there is a dominance in any one language.
Our son is exactly the same.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Belgianmum for this useful post:
  #93  
Old 10.11.2019, 13:17
Sky's Avatar
Sky Sky is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Somewhere special far away
Posts: 4,035
Groaned at 51 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 5,985 Times in 2,315 Posts
Sky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond reputeSky has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Depends on the definition I suppose.
Yes, there is a dominance in one language.
It’s easily tested.
Translate a few sentences from one language to the other, and then vice versa, and one can quickly feel the difference in effort.
In fact, professional translators prefer to translate towards their own native tongue, due to the dominance of the one language over the others.
Reply With Quote
  #94  
Old 10.11.2019, 14:01
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 13,817
Groaned at 126 Times in 117 Posts
Thanked 25,634 Times in 9,856 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

I think even if you are mono-lingual you still experience occasional lapses in recalling a word. If someone who is multilingual does that I think itís unfair to immediately assume itís down to a weakness in one of their languages.

The amount of times I call something a Ďwotsití or Ďthingummybobí is down to my lack of concentration rather than a linguistic failing. Iím not bilingual by any means but sometimes the German word for something pops into my mind before the English word, and itís purely down to context.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Sandgrounder for this useful post:
  #95  
Old 10.11.2019, 14:05
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Neuchatel
Posts: 23,040
Groaned at 552 Times in 424 Posts
Thanked 25,544 Times in 11,728 Posts
Odile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
Depends on the definition I suppose.
Yes, there is a dominance in one language.
It’s easily tested.
Translate a few sentences from one language to the other, and then vice versa, and one can quickly feel the difference in effort.
In fact, professional translators prefer to translate towards their own native tongue, due to the dominance of the one language over the others.
In my case, it is the contrary. My Degree and professional life were mosty English speaking - although my MT is French. I left aged 19. Much easier and quicker to translate from French to English. Also prefer teaching English rather than French or German.

Last edited by Odile; 10.11.2019 at 15:01.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Odile for this useful post:
  #96  
Old 10.11.2019, 14:13
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: KŁsnacht, Switzerland
Posts: 4,142
Groaned at 88 Times in 82 Posts
Thanked 8,575 Times in 3,954 Posts
Blueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond reputeBlueangel has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
Depends on the definition I suppose.
Yes, there is a dominance in one language.
Itís easily tested.
I can test it every Sunday.
OH has just got off the phone with his mum, which means that he'll begin a conversation with me in Greek several times today, and I'll have to remind him "English please!" It's happened every Sunday for the last 8+yrs. With his brothers, they slide from English, to Greek to Afrikaans in one sentence, all the time. They also do a weird thing where one brother will ask a question in English and the other two will both answer in Greek or Afrikaans without consulting each other.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Blueangel for this useful post:
  #97  
Old 10.11.2019, 18:38
ZuriRollt's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ZŁrich
Posts: 4,273
Groaned at 158 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 4,789 Times in 2,177 Posts
ZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
I can test it every Sunday.
OH has just got off the phone with his mum, which means that he'll begin a conversation with me in Greek several times today, and I'll have to remind him "English please!" It's happened every Sunday for the last 8+yrs. With his brothers, they slide from English, to Greek to Afrikaans in one sentence, all the time. They also do a weird thing where one brother will ask a question in English and the other two will both answer in Greek or Afrikaans without consulting each other.
Well, this kind of gets back to Skys post about what can be considered fluent.
This post certainly wasnít right.
Reply With Quote
This user groans at ZuriRollt for this post:
  #98  
Old 10.11.2019, 18:54
RufusB's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: In my head. And UK. Ex-Basel.
Posts: 3,813
Groaned at 65 Times in 60 Posts
Thanked 6,381 Times in 2,541 Posts
RufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond reputeRufusB has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

Quote:
View Post
True bilinguals are rare.
Nope. There are four in my daughter's primary school class alone : Spanish, Polish, Persian and Punjabi.

A friend of mine is "truly" bilingual, by Sky's definition, she speaks, writes, thinks and dreams (so she tells me) in both English and Japanese. Fluentmin both French and Italian.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank RufusB for this useful post:
  #99  
Old 10.11.2019, 18:54
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 11,174
Groaned at 170 Times in 147 Posts
Thanked 15,877 Times in 6,446 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

I just wanted to add. All three of my kids are fluent in English and German. One of them is fluent in dialect as well.

Only one of them is good at translating! It almost as if the different languages exist in different personalities within their brains. Certainly the youngest (and most fluent) is the least patient with my bad grammar...
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #100  
Old 10.11.2019, 21:07
ZuriRollt's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ZŁrich
Posts: 4,273
Groaned at 158 Times in 102 Posts
Thanked 4,789 Times in 2,177 Posts
ZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond reputeZuriRollt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: How Many Languages Do You Speak Fluently

had a chat with the woman who works in my local Coop last week. She and her children can converse very well in German, portuguese, Spanish, Swiss German and english.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How do you know how many zone tickets do you need? rgc Travel/day trips/free time 7 24.08.2015 10:31
How many pets do you have? FSOWife Pet corner 88 12.10.2012 12:16
How many pairs do you need? Carlos R General off-topic 1 19.02.2010 11:50
How many scars do you have Sutter General off-topic 164 27.05.2009 19:32
How many hours do you work? cremebrulee Employment 26 20.02.2008 17:29


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:51.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0