Three years to fluency in any language!!

If you google “fluency in ..months” you will find lots of web sites promising fluency in weeks or a few months. Who is kidding whom?

It struck me that most language learners would be very happy to achieve genuine fluency in three years.  Most language learners do not do it as a full time job. Three years to transform yourself into a fluent speaker of another language? Yeah!!.

If we look at what fluency can mean in terms of understanding another culture, more meaningful interaction with people of a different background, increased pleasure from movies, books, travel and other forms of personal and even professional rewards, yeah..three years!! Promise?

Why pretend it is going to take less? In my own continuing love affair with Russian, and ongoing side flings with Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean and others, I would not want it to take less,

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One Response to Three years to fluency in any language!!

  1. Joop Kiefte says:

    No, I say my English is the best language of the languages learned at school. The British guy asked me if I was British when I talked to him and was pretty much surprised. This is because of my accent though and not because of my grammar, as I have always copied pretty strongly the accent of others. That way also frenchmen already complimented me with my french, although my vocabulary is abysmal.From all the 9 languages I speak I consider my English of the 3 worst spoken languages, not the best spoken. (The 3 worst spoken languages, incidentially, are all those I was taught at school…)Portuguese I speak every day, and really I feel very comfortable in it. The problem how you define fluency is even more relevant here though: I speak without fear and better than basically every foreigner in Brazil, but Portugueses criticize my word usage. Funny fact: they do that for all Brazilians…My personal point of view is that a language is decided by the people who speak it and not by standard bodies and grammar rules. Your accent and fearlessness is way more deciding than correct grammar. And that’s also why you find my English unnatural: I have never, ever, been to an English speaking country, and I only rarely (twice until now, if I’m not mistaken) speak with natives in real life. Also, I read a lot, but not really English literature. My English is defined by the standard of the internet. And you know what kind of a standard that is.

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