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    I heard that even if you have an A level in a language + 4 years at uni including a year abroad you still won't be fluent and all jobs I've seen in the UK require fluency so could somebody tell me the point in doing a langauage at uni. though i'd be doing it as a minor.
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    Depends on the language and how much work you put in. It is totally possible to attain fluency in a European language in 4 years.
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    Totally agree with Snufkin.

    Another thing to bear in mind is how you use your year abroad. If you're going to spend it socialising with other English speakers your command of the foreign language is unlikely to improve much, but if you spend it in the company of locals (join a sports or cultural club of some sort, for instance) then your language will improve tremendously.
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    (Original post by Summer solace)
    I heard that even if you have an A level in a language + 4 years at uni including a year abroad you still won't be fluent and all jobs I've seen in the UK require fluency so could somebody tell me the point in doing a langauage at uni. though i'd be doing it as a minor.
    I've only done Japanese for 3 years since having started at university. I'm 2 months into my year abroad, and personally, I wouldn't consider myself native or fluent (depends on your standards), but to most people, maybe I would be considered fluent. I'm happy with my level now, and I'm curious to see what my Japanese will be like by the end of my year abroad at which time I'm hoping to do the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency exam which determines your fluency (the highest level being akin to the standard of a Japanese student at 1st year of university i.e. native).

    I did half a degree in French and Spanish and briefly went to Spain and I would say that I'm at a very advanced level in both French and Spain. I can discuss complicated issues in either language, write university essays in both languages, debated in the language. Moreover, I was able to easily live in Spain.

    So, I don't know what you mean by people not being able to attain fluency. Every student is different. You can do an A level language, get a C, study at university and scrape 50%, go abroad and not try hard and graduate with a 2:2. Yeah, in that case, you won't be fluent.

    However, if you put in the time and effort, fluency is, without a doubt, in your reach. You just have to work for it.
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    (Original post by Quick-use)
    I've only done Japanese for 3 years since having started at university. I'm 2 months into my year abroad, and personally, I wouldn't consider myself native or fluent (depends on your standards), but to most people, maybe I would be considered fluent. I'm happy with my level now, and I'm curious to see what my Japanese will be like by the end of my year abroad at which time I'm hoping to do the highest level of the Japanese Language Proficiency exam which determines your fluency (the highest level being akin to the standard of a Japanese student at 1st year of university i.e. native).

    I did half a degree in French and Spanish and briefly went to Spain and I would say that I'm at a very advanced level in both French and Spain. I can discuss complicated issues in either language, write university essays in both languages, debated in the language. Moreover, I was able to easily live in Spain.

    So, I don't know what you mean by people not being able to attain fluency. Every student is different. You can do an A level language, get a C, study at university and scrape 50%, go abroad and not try hard and graduate with a 2:2. Yeah, in that case, you won't be fluent.

    However, if you put in the time and effort, fluency is, without a doubt, in your reach. You just have to work for it.
    Wow your already aiming for N1 you must be really good.From what you have seen from 4th year students/in your opinion if somebody worked really really hard in there 4 year japanese degree what level of fluency they could achive for example how difficult would it be to speak about topics like politics and the economy or speak w/o stuttering or listen to the news without any problems.
    Also what uni do you go to in the UK ? are you staying with a host family?
    also how long had you been learning spanish for?
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    Most jobs consider A-level standard to be sufficient fluency. All job descriptions are bid up. No second-language speaker will ever have a perfect native-like command. Fluency is different and you will be more than fluent after a degree with a year abroad.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Most jobs consider A-level standard to be sufficient fluency. All job descriptions are bid up. No second-language speaker will ever have a perfect native-like command. Fluency is different and you will be more than fluent after a degree with a year abroad.
    Rubbish. It is possible to attain a native-level of proficiency. It takes a long time and you will probably have to immerse yourself in that language for many years, but it can be done.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Most jobs consider A-level standard to be sufficient fluency. All job descriptions are bid up. No second-language speaker will ever have a perfect native-like command. Fluency is different and you will be more than fluent after a degree with a year abroad.
    A level, really? Is that what the British standard of fluency in foreign languages has come to? An A level in a foreign language?

    As a someone who studies a few languages and is native in a few, that is somewhat laughable. I don't know what these jobs are, but they're hiring people with an intermediate level at a language which, in my opinion, is not close to being fluent.

    I did French and Spanish at school and I remember getting full marks on the course for Spanish while the native didn't even get that. At the time, I would have considered myself fluent. However, having done half a degree and gone abroad, I realise I was simply naive.
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    (Original post by Quick-use)
    A level, really? Is that what the British standard of fluency in foreign languages has come to? An A level in a foreign language?

    As a someone who studies a few languages and is native in a few, that is somewhat laughable. I don't know what these jobs are, but they're hiring people with an intermediate level at a language which, in my opinion, is not close to fluent.

    I did French and Spanish at school and I remember getting full marks on the course for Spanish while the native didn't even get that. At the time, I would have considered myself fluent. However, having done half a degree and gone abroad, I realise I was simply naive.
    I suppose it is the market optimum given the low level of language proficiency in this country. Price it any higher and they will get fewer applicants of sufficient quality in other areas.

    It's just what I've seen in job adverts with a language tacked on, if it's a specialist language role I guess a higher qualification would be needed but there are very few of these.

    I was not making a judgement that an A-level language student is fluent, merely that it's "sufficient fluency" - maybe I should have said "sufficient proficiency".
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Rubbish. It is possible to attain a native-level of proficiency. It takes a long time and you will probably have to immerse yourself in that language for many years, but it can be done.
    You're completely right. Can't rate you again, sadly.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    I suppose it is the market optimum given the low level of language proficiency in this country. Price it any higher and they will get fewer applicants of sufficient quality in other areas.

    It's just what I've seen in job adverts with a language tacked on, if it's a specialist language role I guess a higher qualification would be needed but there are very few of these.

    I was not making a judgement that an A-level language student is fluent, merely that it's "sufficient fluency" - maybe I should have said "sufficient proficiency".
    I see. It seemed like you were saying that an A-level language student would be considered fluent. In that case, you're right that it would have been better to say 'sufficient proficiency' or even, in my opinion, simply 'sufficient'.
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    (Original post by Summer solace)
    Wow your already aiming for N1 you must be really good.From what you have seen from 4th year students/in your opinion if somebody worked really really hard in there 4 year japanese degree what level of fluency they could achive for example how difficult would it be to speak about topics like politics and the economy or speak w/o stuttering or listen to the news without any problems.
    Also what uni do you go to in the UK ? are you staying with a host family?
    also how long had you been learning spanish for?
    From what I've seen, if someone worked super, super hard in Japanese for their 4 year degree, they could get N1. N1 is the level you should be if you want to take regular university courses with Japanese students.

    It's not easy, however. Most people doing Japanese degrees get N2 by the end of their year abroad. The very few who put in ridiculous amounts of effort will get N1.

    Regarding politics and economics, someone with N1 should have no problem with those topics or the news.

    I've been in Japan for nearly 2 months and I have no problems following native speaking pace when it comes to conversations, news, anime etc. The biggest obstacle, however, is vocabulary.

    Therefore, if you get N1, you should be fairly comfortable in Japanese.

    Even now, I'm not even N1 but I could understand politics or economics, depends on whether or not I know the vocabulary. A friend of mine is doing her dissertation on ecology in Japan, and so she can talk about environmental issues easily. I wouldn't be able to follow her whatsoever, however.

    Just so you know, N1 doesn't mean you're native, but getting that means you will be definitely be considered fluent and that you can comfortably work in Japan and understand most things. Once you get N1, the next step is getting native level in Japanese.
    I would, without a doubt, say that it takes a much longer time to attain fluency in Japanese than, for example, French or Spanish. You'll need to work hard.

    I study at the University of Edinburgh. The Japanese department there is fantastic and the language courses are very intensive. I've also heard amazing things about SOAS's Japanese department - their students always have an amazingly high level of Japanese.

    I live in all male Japanese dormitory in Japan. Most people live in international dorms when studying abroad in Japan and everyone speaks English. Traditional Japanese dorms are single-sex and somewhat rare these days since most Japanese students prefer living alone or with families. My Japanese dorm has done wonders for my language learning.

    If you live in an international dorm, be prepared to put in a lot of effort to get Japanese speaking practice in. Your Japanese language classes will only have foreign students, and to take regular classes with Japanese students, I'd guess you'd need to be upper N2 at the least, if not most definitely N1.

    I've studied Spanish for 6 years.
 
 
 
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