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  1. #1
    SnookerFan147 is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Please help me find the right expression

    How do you say that in brief when someone hasn't spoken a foreign language for years and he/she is rusty on it. His/her vocabulary has shrunk, he/she can understand when being talked to, but when he/she replies he/she makes a lot of mistakes.

    I want to write it on my CV, so I need a formal, brief expression.
    Can I write passive command, e.g. Passive Command of German?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    167

    Re: Please help me find the right expression

    Quote Originally Posted by SnookerFan147 View Post
    How do you say that in brief when someone hasn't spoken a foreign language for years and he/she is rusty on it. His/her vocabulary has shrunk, he/she can understand when being talked to, but when he/she replies he/she makes a lot of mistakes.

    I want to write it on my CV, so I need a formal, brief expression.
    Can I write passive command, e.g. Passive Command of German?


    The purpose of a CV is to get you an interview. It's important not to lie, but it's also important not to 'down play' your chances or underestimate your abilities. 'Passive' is too weak. 'Rusty', whilst not suitable for a CV, does show your level of competence in English. You might say 'Working knowledge of.......', or 'Good oral skills, competent written skills', something like that.

    Good luck !

  3. #3
    Neillythere's Avatar
    Neillythere is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    536

    Re: Please help me find the right expression

    Hi.
    A regular expresion would be "rusty", which means that you have previously learnt the language, but are not as good as you used to be and may have forgotten either vocabulary or grammar or both.

    Typical example would be: "I'm reasonably fluent in German, but my French is a bit (or "is somewhat") rusty". You may also narrow it down as to which part is "rusty" i.e. either reading/writing or the spoken language.

    Hope this helps

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    19,397

    Re: Please help me find the right expression

    Another way would be to say "Well-grounded/Fluent in xxxxxxx, but out of practice".

    This will indicate that you have achieved a level but have not been using the language recently.

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