Searching for a word

Status
Not open for further replies.
A

Anonymous

Guest
If a person, whose mother tongue is not English, learn to use and speak English as perfect as a native, what would be the most suitable adjective to describe this person's English ability?

Thanks in advance.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Tombraider said:
If a person, whose mother tongue is not English, learn to use and speak English as perfect as a native, what would be the most suitable adjective to describe this person's English ability?

Thanks in advance.

The word "fluent" would be a good one.

flu·ent (flū'ənt)
adj.

1. Able to express oneself readily and effortlessly: a fluent speaker; fluent in three languages.
2. Flowing effortlessly; polished: speaks fluent Russian; gave a fluent performance of the sonata.
3. Flowing or moving smoothly; graceful: a yacht with long, fluent curves.
4. Flowing or capable of flowing; fluid.
[Latin fluēns, fluent-, present participle of fluere, to flow.]

flu'en·cy n.
flu'ent·ly adv.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
T

Tombraiders

Guest
Thanks, MikeNewYork. But I am afraid fluent is not the one. The reason is fluent tells only how skillful and effortlessly. You can speak fluent English, you may have accent; you may be able to use English fluently, but that might be British style English rather than American English. So I am thinking of some words like "He speaks native, authentic or indigenous English", or maybe something else. I need a word that describes if you speak with a foreigner without seeing him, it's impossible to tell he is from another country.
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Tombraiders said:
Thanks, MikeNewYork. But I am afraid fluent is not the one. The reason is fluent tells only how skillful and effortlessly. You can speak fluent English, you may have accent; you may be able to use English fluently, but that might be British style English rather than American English. So I am thinking of some words like "He speaks native, authentic or indigenous English", or maybe something else. I need a word that describes if you speak with a foreigner without seeing him, it's impossible to tell he is from another country.

I'm not sure there is a single word for that. One could say, "He speaks like a native speaker", "He speaks like he was raised here", etc.
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Tombraiders said:
Thanks, MikeNewYork. But I am afraid fluent is not the one. The reason is fluent tells only how skillful and effortlessly. You can speak fluent English, you may have accent; you may be able to use English fluently, but that might be British style English rather than American English. So I am thinking of some words like "He speaks native, authentic or indigenous English", or maybe something else. I need a word that describes if you speak with a foreigner without seeing him, it's impossible to tell he is from another country.

I agree with Mike in that there's really isn't one word. In addition to Mike's, there's S/he sounds just like a native speaker. Also, I agree with you in saying that 'fluent' just doesn't cut it. Given the definition of 'fluent', with regards to language acquisition, there are speakers of X, Y, and Z languages all over the World who are not yet fluent in their own language. :)
 

MikeNewYork

VIP Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Casiopea said:
I agree with Mike in that there's really isn't one word. In addition to Mike's, there's S/he sounds just like a native speaker. Also, I agree with you in saying that 'fluent' just doesn't cut it. Given the definition of 'fluent', with regards to language acquisition, there are speakers of X, Y, and Z languages all over the World who are not yet fluent in their own language. :)

Ain't that the truth! :lol:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top