What is being fluent?

When you are completely fluent: you are able to understand, read, and express yourself easily in any kind of situations, without even thinking. Living in the country usually gives you the advantage of becoming fluent quickly.

The beauty of being fluent

As someone who always loved languages – I find that being fluent is an amazing feeling!

It opens many opportunities, makes you meet different people, allows you to travel easily… In other words, knowing another language changes your life!

Other important advantages

  • Speaking more than one language keeps your brain healthy and may delay any Alzheimer or dementia type of diseases.
  • The ability to speak another language makes you look more attractive and smarter (No1 sexiest language: French, No2: Italian, No3: Spanish).

So being fluent in a second language is pretty cool, right? But of course it can also become a bit strange when you start forgetting your own mother tongue – yes, it is a thing!

The craziness of being fluent

When you are really immersed in the culture of the country you live in and barely speak your mother tongue anymore, it can become tricky to remember some words. That’s how I spent many Skype or WhatsApp calls with the online dictionary near me, just to be able to express myself and make some sense in French.

It is also very common when my non-French friends ask me how to say a particular English word in French. I usually have an answer straight away. But it’s true that sometimes it takes me more time, and I have to actually think hard to come up with the right translation!

Personal experience

I am now proud to say that I am fluent in English. I’ve worked and tried very hard to get there and even if I don’t know all the English words (to be fair I don’t know all the French words either!) I always find a way to express myself and make people understand me.

I love learning new languages. I always have. And now that I am finished with English, I gave myself a new challenge: be fluent in Italian!

Advice

If you are not lucky enough to be able to go live in the country in order to speak fluently, there are other ways to learn a language.

  • Watch TV shows in the language you are learning

Start with subtitles and stop using them when you feel ready. Reading subtitles can be quite tiring but it’s amazing how much vocabulary you can learn while doing it!

  • Read as much as possible

Start reading books with the dictionary next to you. At first you will literally check every three words and it will take you forever to read a single page. But it works!

  • Practise

To use all the vocabulary you learn by watching TV and reading, you need to practise the language. If you don’t know anyone who can help you out, there are plenty of apps that you can download – I use Duolingo.

So what do you guys think? Any language you’d like to learn?

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