What does it mean to be fluent?
When do you know you speak a language fluently? Many people have different ideas of what "fluent" means. 

I ask because this is a bit of a controversial or widely discussed topic in the language learning community, and it’s interesting to hear different opinions on the topic (what terms certain people use to describe their progress in language learning, what terms people hate, what levels people think determine fluency, and so on).

This is not to say that fluency, whatever the heck it means, is always the main goal or should be the main goal, but it's still interesting to talk about how widely used it is for being a word that has so many definitions. 
Apr 22, 2019 8:42 PM
Comments · 10

I really dislike this term "fluent" (like "I am fluent in xyz language") or "fluency".  It is kind of like asking "Do you know abc language?", which is usually a question that non-polyglots / monolinguists ask.  The reason that I dislike how these questions are phrased is because (unless you are a native speaker in a language), if you are learning a new language, your proficiency in that language is always a gradient (a shade of gray), rather than binary ("yes" or "no")

I am just going to draw an arbitrary line around level B2-C1 and say that is fluent.  If you are just living in a country for fun, as an expat who is a digital nomad, then fluency could be at a lower level like B1-B2 because you only need to order food, ask for directions, renew your AirBNB reservation.  If you are working in a country as a translator or a journalist, you need to be close to C2 or native.  Again, the answer is "depends", which is why I hate the term "do you speak xyz language / are you fluent in xyz language?"

I prefer to say "C1 in listening, B2 in writing, etc"

April 22, 2019
Para mim, falar fluentemente significa ser capaz de me expressar tão bem na língua estrangeira quanto nas minhas línguas maternas.

Se este não fosse o caso, eu diria que sou funcional em uma língua, ou mesmo proficiente, mas não fluente.

A ideia de fluência implica rapidez e facilidade de palavra.
April 22, 2019
I think fluency is when you can speak the language as well as (or nearly as well as) your native language
April 25, 2019
Hi julia
April 25, 2019
Being able to speak the language correctly, clearly and distinctly with very little hesitation. 
April 25, 2019
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