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near-native - native-like (proficiency levels)

17 replies    
Can these words be used to describe proficiency levels in English? If so, where would you place them relatively to 'fluent'?


Lukas (DE)
Authormmmasterluke09 May 08, 17:00
I would use 'near-native,' and I'd say it's a step above fluent, which is already very good.

I would not use 'native-like' -- somehow that sounds more like natives in the sense of aborigines.

#1Authorhm -- us (236141) 09 May 08, 17:25
... and it should be

—> relative to 'fluent'


in relation to 'fluent' (-:
#2Authorhm -- us (236141) 09 May 08, 17:26
Ànd what would "dominant language" mean??
#3AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 09 May 08, 17:29
Helmi: where did you come up with the "dominant language" reference? Is there another post by mmmasterluke?
Btw, it's probably fair to say that someone who describes their level of proficiency as "native-like" doesn't possess "near-native" command of the language?!?
#4Authorgo_Habs_go (379735) 09 May 08, 17:38
Thanks, hm.

Do other native speakers agree that 'near-native' is better than 'fluent'? Does 'fluent'
include the use of idioms, proverbs and the like?
#5Authormmmasterluke09 May 08, 17:39
Not sure what 'dominant' would have to do with proficiency levels, and I wouldn't expect to see it on, say, a résumé. But in something like a psychological assessment, I would assume it meant the language that predominates in actual usage, whether of a person or a region or country; the one that is most often used in practice.
#6Authorhm -- us (236141) 09 May 08, 17:43
@ go_Habs_go, I don't understand your question. I just wanted to know whether "dominant language" would be on top, then "near-native" and then "fluent."
#7AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 09 May 08, 17:43
mmmasterluke: in German, wouldn't you think that "quasi wie ein Muttersprachler (=jemand, der diese Sprache von Geburt an spricht!)" is a higher level of proficiency than "fliessend"?
#8Authorgo_Habs_go (379735) 09 May 08, 17:44
@ hm -- us, that term is frequently used by translators in the ATA data base. Hence my question. :-)
#9AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 09 May 08, 17:45
My point is that I want to describe my own English skills for a an application (in the US). I want to be very close without going over ;). So I'm trying to find out what the general opinion about 'fluent' is. Then I'll decide if I need to find another term (above or under 'fluent') ;).
#10Authormmmasterluke09 May 08, 17:48
*f5* Helmi, as I see it, the problem with that is that 'dominant' is a judgment about frequency or quantity of use, whereas the other two are judgments about ability or quality. A bilingual person could have one language dominant (the one he or she mainly uses) but still not be perfectly fluent in it if it's a second language.

This is just a guess, but don't be led astray by 'beherrschen' and related words; there's not really an equivalent in English unless you're referring to the process of achieving mastery, as opposed to the resulting state. There should be old discussions in the archive on 'eine Sprache beherrschen'; the best translation is usually just 'to speak a language fluently.'
#11Authorhm -- us (236141) 09 May 08, 17:52
Sorry, Helmi, I was trying to tie your question to mmmasterluke's original posting somehow... since you are a AE native speaker (I assume), I didn't expect you to ask for an explanation of an English term.
#12Authorgo_Habs_go (379735) 09 May 08, 17:55
@ hm -- us, # 11, not a bad guess. I tend to agree with that.

and mmmasterluke, why not use "fluent" and in the event of your being hired your future employer will sure as hell let you know what he thinks about that.
#14AuthorHelmi (U.S.) (236620) 09 May 08, 18:06
To answer your question, Helmi: "dominant", imho, is just a neat way for a translator to refers to say that they are 'perfect' in two (or more) languages but use one of them more frequently than the others..."bi-lingual (EN-GE) with German as the dominant language" sounds much better than "German native-speaker / fluent in English" ;-)
#15Authorgo_Habs_go (379735) 09 May 08, 18:07
oops - of course, this should have read: "...a neat way for a translator to say that they are 'perfect' in two (or more) languages" (no: "to refers") - too much cutting & pasting & re-arranging sentences...
#16Authorgo_Habs_go (379735) 09 May 08, 18:13
>> You must feel a bit left out of the discussion.

thread hijacking!!

Anyway, thanks to everyone. I think I'm going to write 'fluent'. That should be fine. No need to raise the bar ;).

>> your future employer will sure as hell let you know what he thinks about that.

Maybe. But only if he or she is German ;)



#17Authormmmasterluke09 May 08, 20:48

related discussion: Sprachkenntnisse im CV

Dort wird angesprochen, dass Deutsche ständig behaupten, dass die "fließend" Englisch sprechen, obwohl sie es gar nicht können und dass "fluent" in der englischsprachigen Welt als Anmaßung verstanden werden könnte.

Ist vielleicht in diesem Zusammenhang ganz interessant.
#18Authormmmasterluke05 Dec 08, 15:20
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