How to Become Fluent in a Langauge
To become truly fluent in a language you must think in that language. Say, for example, I speak English and am studying French. When I'm speaking French, I cannot listen to someone say something to me in French and then translate it in my head to English to understand. I need to hear, say, merci and just instantly know someone just thanked you for something. Try talking to a stuffed animal or pet in the language you are studying and you will get better. Start replying to your family members in the language around the house. Thank you for listening. Au revoir or goodbye. Please be sure to comment if this information was helpful.
Yes, thinking in the language keeps words cycling through my head. It does help.
I guess it depends how you define fluency. To me, someone who is fluent is able to understand 90% of what they hear and can effectively communicate whatever they're trying to say. For example, the Indian man who works at the gas station near me is fluent in English. Even though his grammar isn't perfect and speaks with an Indian accent, he understands everything I say and I can understand him.
A lot of people think that in order to be fluent you must have perfect grammar, perfect pronunciation and know thousands of words. I don't completely agree. To me, as long as the person can communicate well enough, even if their grammar and pronunciation aren't perfect, they are fluent.
From personal experience, I'd say don't focus too much about grammar and pronunciation. My philosophy is "start speaking from day 1 and make mistakes". For example, when I first started learning Esperanto I would attempt to have conversations with my friend. I constantly had to ask "how do you say ..." and I kept forgetting simple things like adding the -n ending and plurals. My friend had to stop me every 2-3 words to correct something. But thanks to his help and patience, I now speak a lot better and can now have fairly decent conversations.
If I was too embarrased to speak to him because I would make mistakes then I wouldn't be progressing as fast as I am, making those mistakes helped me learn the language and over time I started making less and less mistakes.
This is how I approach any language. Like for Turkish, I currently only know maybe 60-70 words and not much grammar, I can only construct 4-5 word sentences and my native Turkish friend corrects my pronunciation and grammar all the time. But I'm slowly getting there. I'm going out, making those mistakes and then learning from them.
The point I'm trying to make is don't feel like you have to be absolutely perfect 100% of the time. As long as you can be understood then you are good enough in the language to communicate.
Ce sont des conseils bon!! But I would not recommend replying to family members in your language if they don't know it. It could cause some problems...
Il est tres important parler francais avec les autre gens qui parlent francais. Quand on parle francais avec les autres, il est plus facile penser en francais. L'immersion est necessaire!
I agree you have to think in a language to be fluent otherwise there are awkward pauses. Another step is when you begin to dream in a language. That means it is really integrated.
I'm French and I'm learning English, personnaly I use a lot of sources of learning and there are a lot of these for English learner, likely much less for French! English learners are lucky :)
I think we need to practice in real to progress in a foreign language, I use Skype and have contacts all around the world, it's great to do that...
I'm not fluent yet, my biggest difficulty is to understand spoken English, as you said for French...
I invit all of the English native speakers who are learning French to add me on their Skype: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best all ! :)
I don't know how my Facebook account is configured so maybe you won't be able to find me in the research toolbar, in this case give me your ID and I'll add you...
find me on Facebook as Dan Charette and ask to be friends! (Live in St Petersburg Florida and work for the Real Estate Marketplace)
There are about 20 Dan Charette on FB, I found one who "work for the Real Estate Marketplace" but no clue about "St Petersburg Florida", hope it's you. If it's not you, add me "Laurent Barre" it seems there is only one...
I translated your post into French in my head. Doing that while reading surely helps a lot too!
I've been at it for over 9 months straight, finished the tree and am at 53% fluency. It's extremely helpful to review each gold circle that has reverted each day. It takes time, but it get easier every day! I also agree that you must think in the language to proceed to more fluency.
When I leave my college language classes I ALWAYS find myself thinking in the language. It is almost difficult to transition out of the class.. I think that's a good sign though!