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3-month language learning to fluency level - agree or disagree?

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    In my opinion and experience of learning a language, these things that claim you can learn a language to fluency level in 3 months seem totally ridiculous.

    What is everyone's thoughts? Do you know of any articles available with 'what the expert linguists' say on this stuff?

    My friend claimed that her sister learnt Turkish in 3 months to total fluency level whilst working a full-time job (In this country). This would be near impossible even if she went and lived in Turkey and devoted her entire time to learning the language the nearest I would say she could possibly reach is about A-Level standard in the language.

    Thoughts???
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    I think you could gain enough skills to enjoy the language on an informal level, conversational and reading simple magazines, though you probably wouldn't seem the sharpest tool in the shed.
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    People bandy the word 'fluent' about too much.
    I've no doubt that she could have simple conversations, and possibly sound out all the words she reads, but she would understand very little. Maybe her English isn't great if she doesn't know what the word fluent means.
    I heard it takes 10,000 hours of exposure to a language for fluency. As in, native-speaker level of understanding, but still a little hesitant and accented. There simply isn't 10,000 hours in 3 months.
    So, yeah, not true.
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    (Original post by Piko_Piko)
    People bandy the word 'fluent' about too much.
    This.

    The amount of people who have informed me they're 'fluent' in German...:rolleyes: When I then get excited and start a german conversation with them, it doesn't take long to realise that they may have been exaggerating somewhat.
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    *******s. "Fluent" doesn't mean "conversational", ffs. You can get to a very decent conversational level in 3 months, but there's no way you'll be able to understand anything thrown at you that well.
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    I don't really know. I think it depends on your age. I went to America when I was 9 and although I lived there for a total of 6 years I'd say I was 'mostly fluent' within three months (whatever that means) and completely fluent within half a year. Maybe it just depends on the amount of spekaing that you have to do. Because I was in primary school I couldn't really escape having to learn and being surrounded by people who spoke English.
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    The time it takes for someone to be fluent in a language dependson a hell of a lot of things.

    Someone who is shy ain't going to take to a new language, a new country and new people very easily. However someone who's chatty and sugar is going to speak more and might learn faster.

    Another factor is how good the individual is at learning languages. I have a Turkish friend who's been in France for six years, yet despite her extrovertuosity (yeah, yeah not a real word, I know :dry:) she still has a very prominent accent and bad grammar.. Another friend of mine, from Turkmenistan, has been here for four years, and she speaks as well as me (I've been in France for eight years).

    Also depends on the language...living in China for three months will not make you fluent if you are used to Germanic and Latin languages. However, apparently English and Turkish have quite "simple" grammar...Then again this depends on dah indiv'.

    That's what I think.:cheers:
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    It does definitely depend on age - I'm Australian-born Chinese, and I entered kindergarten barely ever having spoken English, and I was as fluent as the other kids in a couple of months (don't know how many exactly). However, that of course is a very limited level of fluency - the level of a 5-year old. If you want the fluency of a twelve-year old (which is what the vocabulary of newspapers are supposed to represent), I would guess that that would take a lot lot longer. If you mean fluency of an educated adult, I'm pretty sure that's impossible to obtain without living somewhere where the language is spoken and written all around you for quite a number of years. Someone may think they're fluent, but bring up some science term or some sport term or just some commonly-known word from a discipline or activity not commonly spoken about, and you will see that most people who think they are fluent lack vocabulary beyond what is used in common conversation and perhaps their field of study/interest. However, if you define fluent as in able to have a full-speed conversation, than that is probably achievable in a year (e.g. I generally claim to be able to speak Cantonese fluently, even though I essentially can't as my vocab is exxtreeeemely limited; because I speak it at home and thus can keep up with the fastest Cantonese speaker and respond in fashion, as long as they use common day-to-day words that I know :P)
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    (Original post by JessaminePoppy)
    who's chatty and sugar
    Did you mean to use those words like that? :confused:
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    (Original post by 21stcenturyphantom)
    Did you mean to use those words like that? :confused:
    Er..."and sugar" replaces "and ****"... sorry.
    I mean a person who's chatty and "stuff" might be a better alternative.

    I didn't mean that kind of "sugar" :blushing:
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    (Original post by Aeonstorm)
    It does definitely depend on age - I'm Australian-born Chinese, and I entered kindergarten barely ever having spoken English, and I was as fluent as the other kids in a couple of months (don't know how many exactly). However, that of course is a very limited level of fluency - the level of a 5-year old. If you want the fluency of a twelve-year old (which is what the vocabulary of newspapers are supposed to represent), I would guess that that would take a lot lot longer. If you mean fluency of an educated adult, I'm pretty sure that's impossible to obtain without living somewhere where the language is spoken and written all around you for quite a number of years. Someone may think they're fluent, but bring up some science term or some sport term or just some commonly-known word from a discipline or activity not commonly spoken about, and you will see that most people who think they are fluent lack vocabulary beyond what is used in common conversation and perhaps their field of study/interest. However, if you define fluent as in able to have a full-speed conversation, than that is probably achievable in a year (e.g. I generally claim to be able to speak Cantonese fluently, even though I essentially can't as my vocab is exxtreeeemely limited; because I speak it at home and thus can keep up with the fastest Cantonese speaker and respond in fashion, as long as they use common day-to-day words that I know :P)
    I think this is fairly obvious. Not only are children much quicker at picking up languages but like you said, the fluency of a 5 year old does probably not extent much beyond a first year university student in the language, if that.
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    id say in general no this is impossible
    however if you are a young child then it is easy
    as someone else has said, conversational and fluent are very different...
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    I am just getting to the stage where I'm willing to call myself 'fluent' in French. This follows 10 years of learning the language at school, college, university and now seven months in France.

    Even when people would say 'Oh, you're studying french (at uni)? You must be fluent?' I would be rather hesitant in saying so, because I was/am aware of the many gaps in my knowledge.

    So my point is, 'fluent' is an abstract term. You might be able to converse for hours about your favourite book, but what happens when the electricity at your apartment is cut off and you have to phone the electrician? Or when you are thrown into your first day of work in an industry you have no experience of? I can guarantee you will sure as hell not feel fluent on those days.

    EDIT: If you've already learnt several languages, or are able to thoroughly immerse yourself in the language, you will learn it much quicker.
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    (Original post by Piko_Piko)
    People bandy the word 'fluent' about too much.
    I've no doubt that she could have simple conversations, and possibly sound out all the words she reads, but she would understand very little. Maybe her English isn't great if she doesn't know what the word fluent means.
    I heard it takes 10,000 hours of exposure to a language for fluency. As in, native-speaker level of understanding, but still a little hesitant and accented. There simply isn't 10,000 hours in 3 months.
    So, yeah, not true.
    I think fluency can be achieved if you completely submerge yourself in the language for a period of time. Speaking French in France for 6 months would be far more beneficial than 10,000 hours in a classroom, for example. I know someone who went to Spain with a very basic knowledge of Spanish and was fluent within 7 months.

    But no, I don't think that a 3-month language course would suffice, because languages are accumulative subjects and the course just wouldn't be intense enough.
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    I have been trying to learn English for more than 10 years and still my English is far from being fluent. I dont think my English is good enough to get into a University so imagine what 3 months can do.
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    To put it another way, is 12 weeks enough to get to a level which took a native speaker 12 years of being surrounded by the language and speaking it all the time?

    Children are a special case. They pick languages up far quicker as their minds are still developing, and the respective level of fluency for their age is lower.

    For adults, you can make a hell of a lot of progress in three months. I knew a Spanish girl who learnt French to B2 (upper intermediate) level after only three months in France, as French is in the same family to her native language and she made a big effort to make friends and speak as much French as possible. Near native level fluency in such a short period of time is impossible though. People seem to confuse it with conversational, whether through arrogance or genuine ignorance I'm not sure.
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    I'm not sure how you could do that to be honest. To me, fluency is being able to convey things in a near native standard which is best done if you're living in the country. The best you could probably get to is conversational but it would probably depend on how much effort you put it and the types of resources you use.
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    i have been trying to learn english for nearly one decade and i still fail miserably
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    (Original post by xmarilynx)
    Near native level fluency in such a short period of time is impossible though. People seem to confuse it with conversational, whether through arrogance or genuine ignorance I'm not sure.
    I have a half-German friend who can speak conversational German well, but she still only got a B at AS Level (missed the A by one mark) and because she hasn't completely submerged herself in the language she doesn't have the advantage that actual native speakers have. But her sociology teacher keeps telling everyone that she's fluent in German, and she gets really embarrassed about it.
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    (Original post by JessaminePoppy)
    Er..."and sugar" replaces "and sh*t"... sorry.
    I mean a person who's chatty and "stuff" might be a better alternative.

    I didn't mean that kind of "sugar" :blushing:
    Hah! That's OK. I was just somewhat confused. I thought you put 'sugar' to mean sweet, as in someone is sweet and acts in a kind manner. Thanks for clearing that up

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