Being Fluent VS Being Bilingual

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by french_horn_girl_13, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. french_horn_girl_13

    french_horn_girl_13 Member

    English Canada
    What is the difference between being bilingual and being fluent? Is there a difference? If someone can speak and write in a second language pretty well, but ot fluently, are they bilingual? What do you think?
  2. tilt

    tilt Senior Member

    Nord-Isère, France
    French French
    As a Frenchman, I'd say my English is fluent because I don't need to think in French when I speak English. Nonetheless, I'm surely not bilingual.

    Mastering a language is not only being able to write or say proper words. It means you don't have to think before to know how to say something. It also means, and this might be the main difference between being fluent and bilingual, that you have all the required cultural background to understand and to use idioms, proverbs, puns, and those kind of peculiarities.
  3. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    I agree with tilt on fluency.

    For me, bilingualism is the ability to speak two languages equally well.
    If, when you speak French, the French think you are French, and when you speak English, the English think you are English, then you are truly bilingual.
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