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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    I'm wondering,

    Can I describe myself as a bilingual ?
    What is the difference between "a language learner" and "a bilingual"? Am I supposed to speak like a native speaker if I'm bilingual?

    What do you think?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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    #2

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    Yes, I'd say you're definitely bilingual because you speak two languages well (from what I gather). You don't have to speak like a native.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    I don't think you necessarily have to even be fluent (and of course there are differing definitions of fluency as well) to be considered bilingual. I imagine everyone has their own standards, but I'd consider somebody bilingual if they're able to communicate effectively in the second language.

    Note 'effectively' doesn't necessarily mean they're error free or even without moderate first language influence, and there's some wriggle room on what one considers 'effectively'. You can be bilingual while still improving your fluency. You just might not be 100% fully bilingual.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    There are no rules here. My opinion, and that's all it is, is that people are bilingual only if they can communicate in both languages with equal ease.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    Generally, I refer to people as bilingual if they grew up in a household where two languages were used equally so they absorbed the languages to the same native level. I work with a Dutch lady who is married to an Icelandic man and they moved together to the UK four years ago, before having a baby. Their son, now aged 3, speaks fluent Dutch, Icelandic and English. At home, they speak only Dutch and Icelandic but their son is exposed to English in every other aspect of his life so speaks it at native level. He is, in effect, trilingual.

    An alternative method of becoming bilingual is to live in a country from a young age even if the native language of that country is not the one spoken at home. A British friend of mine moved to France about ten years ago, with her husband and two small children. My friend spoke fairly good French before they moved there but her husband spoke none. Needless to say, both she and her husband now speak very good French but I wouldn't call them bilingual. Their children, who were aged 1 and 3 when they moved to France, are (in my opinion) bilingual. They attended only French schools, all their friends are French, and French people can't tell that the kids weren't born in France to French parents.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Yes, I'd say you're definitely bilingual because you speak two languages well (from what I gather). You don't have to speak like a native.
    Have we heard him speak? Has anyone here had a more than trivial spoken conversation with him? No offence meant, Boris - just asking.

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    #7

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    Raymott, above, is quite right to question this, Boris.

    I'm merely judging by the level of use of English in the posts of yours I've read, (which appears to be very good.)

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    #8

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    In the past the term was generally used for people who had grown up speaking two languages equally or had reached native-speaker level, but it is used more widely nowadays by many. I have no problems with a proficient user using the term even if their language isn't perfect.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Can I descriibe myself as bilingual

    I'd say you'd need to be fluent speaking, at least on everyday subjects. It would also depend on who you wanted to present yourself as bilingual to, and why.

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