Ever hear this?
You know you’ve mastered a language when you start to dream in that language.
I don’t know who came up with this, who thought about this first, or where this came from, but it’s never really been the case for me.
Portuguese is the language I’m using most right now and I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt in that language. Even when I was learning it for the first time, my dreams (if I had any) were all in English.
And I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve dreamed in Spanish (which was my first second language I learned 25 years ago).
So, that being said, I figured it was time to come up with a real list (?) of ways to know whether or not you are fluent in a second language. (Be sure to add your own in the comments below!)
You know you’re fluent if…
- You can understand a radio DJ.
- You can read an understand a newspaper editorial.
- You can name all the fruits at a local farmer’s market.
- You can name all the cuts of meat at a local butcher shop.
- You can speak with and hold an extended conversation with a taxi or Uber driver.
- You can order a pizza over the phone.
- You can understand rap music in that language.
- You can understand and tell jokes.
- You can flirt successfully.
- You can understand the speech of that country’s president.
- You can understand a news broadcast.
- You can sing along to the music on the radio.
- You can order a service over the phone.
P.S. If you’re fluent in two or more languages, you should get paid for it. Read my book for how to make money with your second language.