What's it like??
:To: all the Fluent speakers I Have always wondered what it"s like knowing a different language fluently?? Is it fun, is it boring, is it indescribable ?? I Have been wondering for years but never actually asked what do you think it's like?
I started learning Spanish about a year and a half ago, and, since then, I went to live in a Spanish-speaking country, made a ton of friends in Spanish, dated in Spanish, took electrical engineering courses in Spanish...I hope that I can consider myself fluent. For me, it's been amazing. It's weird because at first I was so shocked that I could just barely function in another language, then I was surprised when I could really connect with people, and now I'm just amazed that I have so many more potential (and actual!) friends. I wouldn't say that speaking is particularly fun at this point -- it's pretty much just like speaking English -- but what is fun is surprising people by speaking Spanish to them, or going to new places and being to learn about how people live differently and talk to them without one of us struggling to understand. One hilarious thing that happens to me is my brain will mess up and put the Spanish grammar in an English sentence, or a weird Colombian expression that sounds really wrong in English. I sound like an idiot but hey, what can you do. My friend who has been bilingual his whole life says that it's boring, but he's never been any other way, so take that with a grain of salt. For me, becoming bilingual has been one of the best things I've done in my life. It's been challenging, but it's opened me up to so many opportunities and allowed me to meet so many more people. I've been able to fall in love and have my heart broken, build things, and go on adventures with people who I otherwise wouldn't have been able to connect with at all.
If you're just starting to learn, I'd definitely recommend sticking with it! You can do it! :)
its quite odd really, it feels awkward talking to my family in my second language, even though I am fluent and mostly use it in society but still, inside my home I only speak my native language, it feels like over acting, or something has gone wrong if I talk to them in another language other then my native language, (even if we all are fluent in the other language) its almost like having split personalities ,(but I guess this doesn't imply to most people) but thanks anyway for asking :)
Hi! After the initial rush of joy when you first become able to talk to people in another language, and surprise them by doing so, and learn more about the new culture(s), etc., it's absolutely the same feeling as being able to talk in one language. Most of the time, you forget which language you're using and just concentrate on whatever the topic or task is. It's a completely invisible skill. 99% of the time, I'm unable to say in what language I read/heard/wrote/said something, unless I happen to have memorized a quote verbatim, or if the source or speaking partner is monolingual (in which case, I must have used their language, right?) Speaking in your L2 or L3 or L4 etc. is absolutely the same as talking in your L1, so... I guess if you like using your L1, you'll enjoy your L2 as well. :)
I can converse more or less easily in Spanish, but I would not say I'm fluent. Sometimes I just read or hear something and I know what it means. I don't have to think about verb tenses or translate back and forth in my head. But invariably there will be something that trips me up and that easy feeling vanishes. I usually have to listen very closely and pay a lot of attention if I'm using Spanish instead of English. But it's improving, bit by bit, and the easier it gets the more I enjoy it.
This would probably be a good question to ask in the general "Duolingo" forum, so you get perspectives from many people and not only Spanish speakers.
It's really neat the first time you realise "Hey, I'm fluent in a different language!", but since there's not one moment in which you suddenly get fluent, you might not get it. For me, I had the strongest one when we were doing introductions at the beginning of a Spanish course and, after I claimed to be conversational in Spanish, the teacher, who knew from last year's class, interrupted me saying "No, you're fluent". Anyway, at the beginning it'd really cool and enjoyable to speak a foreign language, but eventually it'll be old news. Speaking English or French is not at all special to me anymore. I don't feel any different about speaking them than I feel about speaking my native language.
I can't say that it feels all that special for me for the languages that I speak fluently (Dutch & English).
Most of the time I do not even notice which of the languages I am speaking in. E.g. you just automatically switch if an English speaker joins in. It is not that uncommon that I am speaking English with a bunch of Dutch speakers just because a colleague passed by and briefly asked something in English.
It is totally different for the non-fluent languages that you are actively learning. It is a lot of fun to become better at it and start to recognise stuff.
Also, learning more languages teaches you how languages work. More specifically you become aware that some things are just particular to e.g. English. It broadens your view of the world and opens your mind to different cultures.