What does it mean for you: To speak a language?
How do you define "speaking a language"? What does it mean for you?
What an interesting question.
Speaking a language means for me:
Have the possibility to understand the base of the texts and news that I read.
Have tha capability to express myself and be understand-able, using the language.
Have the skill to write e-mails and texts without serious errors.
Have the calm to use the language without stress.
All the best,
To know a second language is to be able to use it in most typical practical situations that you could use your mother tongue in well. I agree with Ledo that it primarily entails being able to get the main idea of what you read and what is said to you, being able to make yourself understood and understand other proficient speakers of said language in most instances, and being able to write without serious mistakes in terms of word choice, tone and grammar. I also very much agree with the part about it not feeling very stressful. Once you know a language fairly well, using it becomes much more natural so you don't feel like you are putting anything like as much effort as you had to during the early days of learning it.
I can speak English (mother tongue), Spanish, Portuguese and Italian well to the point that conversation is easy and I translate all three into English professionally. I have used (spoken or written to a native speaker) and understood some German, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.
And a lot of it is just experience. I have been language learning for about 16 years. Once you've learned a few, the rest become a lot easier to stack in.
I'd call myself bilingual if eg. I were to go on holiday and get by without having to use English (my native language). Of course this situation isn't the only one, if you can understand majority of media you find at home that can work too. Not necessarily the same as 'fluent' but that kind of comprehension I would say defines being able to speak a language. Unfortunately for me English is my only language, my Esperanto is at a decent level but I haven't been anywhere where I could've used it, apart from some internet sites.
Good question. To me, it's an easy language. I wanted a reason to say 'I'm bilingual', I've wanted to be able to speak another language for ages now, and I thought Esperanto would be the way to go. Like I said living in England not many people speak another language due to the 'everyone speaks English' mentality that people here tend to have, but I've surprised a few people by being able to translate certain sentence, as it fascinates a lot of people. But to add on, it's a very logical language. I like this a lot, as it annoys me a lot that English has rules that have a multitude of irregularities, whereas Esperanto is more organised and completely regular, something that I admire in a language. On top of that, I support the idea of Esperanto becoming a more widely spoken or at least known language so I decided to learn it myself.