mike29
C2 level? Are all English native speakers at the level of C2? I am just wondering because I know some native speakers whose vocabulary is not as advanced as it should be. Thanks in advance :)
Dec 6, 2016 3:04 PM
Answers · 9
I've no idea what C2 is(or where I would fall on the scale) but I am sure that with such a vast number of people speaking a language, of course there are people who are more educated than others. Do you not find that true of your native language?
December 6, 2016
Nope. While I would definitely say that the majority of the people I know would be able to pass a C2 level English test, I know that there are many who would not. For instance, I have been in interview panels that were hiring for administrative jobs and I was shocked at how bad some of the writing samples were that were given to us by native speakers during the interview process. I have met many students of English as a second language who would have done much, much better.
December 6, 2016
Thank You! I really appreciate your answer, it really helped me a lot :)
December 6, 2016
Very interesting. No, I do not think so. C2 level entails a firmness not only on points of grammar, but most importantly requires a rather in-depth engagement with cultural points of a language. At C2 one is pushing for an acquaintance with proverbs and subtle linguistic turns that go far beyond the knowledge of many native speakers. On grammar alone, as has already been noted, many native speakers of English (my language) regularly use non-standard (you may say 'incorrect'-although I do not) forms. For example in London you will regularly hear 'I ain't got nothing' which is a 'non-standard' version of 'I do not have anything'. A person taking the C2 exam would lose marks for saying this: nevertheless it is absolutely 'standard' in many parts of the English speaking world. Additionally many of the finer points of English grammar are not taught to the majority of children in England, with the consequence that they make 'mistakes' in points of English grammar that even a B1 student would have under control. Culturally it is absolutely clear that many C2 speakers of a foreign language have a far firmer control on cultural and historical points and are finer tuned to linguistic 'register' and stylistic points than many native speakers. At C2 one might engage with certain poetic flourishes or strategies in argument construction, skills that many native speakers do not have. At C2 level one speaks the target language (more or less) as an EDUCATED speaker of that language might: but remember that educated people tend, numerically speaking, to speak a very NON-STANDARD (often slightly archaic) version of their language. Native speakers, however, have the advantage of being linguistically comfortable in all (ordinary) life-circumstances, e.g. negotiating with a car-mechanic, that would still cause a C2 speaker difficulties. Lastly, many C2 speakers often still use very conspicuously odd-sounding turns of phrase that no native speaker of the language would ever use.
December 6, 2016
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mike29
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Slovak
Learning Language
English, Japanese