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How do you know when you are fluent?

ClaudiaR-sc5G

Under what conditions wold you consider yourself to be fluent in Japanese?  This was a question I recently heard and I was wondering what others thought.

ThomasK12

I know it has been 9 months since you asked this question, but I figured I would give it a shot. 

To every person, fluency can be what you want it to be. Do you want to be able to speak, read, and write, or  just be able to do one or the other?  

For me, fluency in writing means I can write coherent sentences in the language on any topic of which I have knowledge. That means, anything from the mundane daily conversations, to technical writing as it relates to my job.

As it comes to speaking, I consider fluency to be much of the same as it is with reading/writing with one key addition. Listening.  To me, fluency is when you can actively engage in conversation, or follow a conversation passively and understand most, if not all of what is being discussed.

How to get fluent would be another topic all together :D

teacup

I missed this question too, but I'll participate since it's been resurrected. ^^;

Merriam-Webster says the definition of fluent is "capable of using a language easily and accurately." I always think of fluency as the ability to communicate in real time. The skills required to listen, understand and respond immediately over the course of a conversation are greater than those required to passively watch a show or write a sentence / paragraph (except in a test environment). 

Tony-S10

Being fluent can mean a lot of things to many people. In my opinion it is when you are confident enough with it that you do not have to question yourself. Don't take anything offensive to what I mean by this. Think of it similar to when you take the training wheels off your first bike. You need them for a while and then eventually you will not need them at all. You will know for certain when you get that feeling deep down inside that you have accomplished something you have set out to achieve. That is how I feel about it personally. 

ClaudiaR-sc5G

Thanks, people.  You all pretty much match what I thought.  It's interesting to see what other people's ideas are.

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