Poll: In general, what is your oral proficiency in your source language(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:28
SITE STAFF
Feb 8, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "In general, what is your oral proficiency in your source language(s)?".

This poll was originally submitted by ferreirac. View the poll results »



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Linda Ildevert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:28
Member (2004)
French to English
Advanced Feb 8, 2017

My source language is French. I married a Frenchman, lived in France for 17 years and still speak French at home even though we are now in the UK. I'm surprised that some people replied "intermediate". Even with advanced French, I still need help deciphering things sometimes!

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:28
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Advanced Feb 8, 2017

So 'advanced,' in fact, that I generally point out to clients the mistakes in the source text. So modest, I am. icon_biggrin.gif

To be pedantic, I would never say 'Advanced.' I would opt for 'native or bilingual proficiency.' IMHO


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:28
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Advanced-plus Feb 8, 2017

In Portuguese, many Brazilians take me for a native. But I get more work from Spanish, which I would say is somewhat more than advanced.

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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:28
German to English
fluent Feb 8, 2017

I agree that there is an obvious option missing between "advanced" and "native".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:28
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other (depends on the source language) Feb 8, 2017

My source languages are English (intermediate+), French (advanced+), Spanish (intermediate) and Italian (basic, still learning).

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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Other Feb 8, 2017

Depends on the language. Ranges from advanced but a bit rusty (Swedish) to comic (Norwegian) and non-existent (Danish).

Thing is, I don't think anyone anywhere can speak all three, and why would you when you can get by perfectly well in Swedish or Norwegian (or indeed English) in all three countries?

(Spoken Danish, on the other hand, is so far disconnected from the written word, or human speech as we know it, Jim, that even Danes don't understand it. That's why there are so many pregnant pauses in The Killing. It's not a mood thing, they're just trying to work out what the other person just mumbled.)

Mine is a special case but does illustrate that oral proficiency is not actually a requirement for a translator.


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Ricki Farn
Germany
Local time: 15:28
Member (2005)
English to German
Oral proficiency Feb 8, 2017

I have no idea what my spoken English (source language) sounds like.

I'm not even sure how good my spoken German (target language) is - probably 30% IT slang, 30% the patois of my working-class neighborhood (with interlanguage elements from Turkish especially in the locative case), 30% the remains of a higher education that included Latin and Greek, and 10% FSM knows what (memes?). Going by the stares I get, that is.

Acoustic communication is just not one of my core qualifications.

[Edited at 2017-02-08 09:48 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:28
Spanish to English
+ ...
(Very) advanced Feb 8, 2017

(Almost) native. I've lived in Spain for almost 3 decades. I've been told my grasp of Spanish vocabulary and grammar is impressive and better than many actual native speakers. For example, just yesterday I was shouting the last 2 answers to the "reto" section of Saber y Ganar at my TV... which the Spanish native contestant failed to get. It may not mean much, but I felt chuffed anywayicon_smile.gif

Occasionally I'll have lapses, and my accent can vary, for example when I come back from a trip to Scotland it is stronger, but in general I'd say I have near-native proficiency.


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Linda Miranda  Identity Verified
Portugal
Member (2013)
French to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends Feb 8, 2017

In English I'm level B2, C1+ in French and Spanish, basic oral production in Italian .

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EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:28
Member (2012)
Czech to English
+ ...
Yes, it depends Feb 8, 2017

Linda Miranda wrote:

In English I'm level B2, C1+ in French and Spanish, basic oral production in Italian .

Beside the fact that some of my source languages are also target, I am near-native in French, fluent with mistakes in English and Bulgarian (advanced, if you want to call it that), while my spoken Romanian is basic (but I am working on it). I never tried to speak Slovak - there is no point, as Czech and Slovak are mutually understandable. When Czech people do try, the sound is not pretty-:), so I don't.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:28
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
(Almost) Native Feb 8, 2017

Normally when people speak in a foreign language, reflecting their natural uncertainty, people say: Oh, you're speaking (language) quite well.

I once heard this comment/compliment from an Irish man and was pleased. However, the question he then asked did take me by surprise: Where did you learn to speak such good... German?icon_biggrin.gif


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:28
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I answered 'other' Feb 8, 2017

Michael Wetzel wrote:

I agree that there is an obvious option missing between "advanced" and "native".



neilmac wrote:

(Almost) native. I've lived in Spain for almost 3 decades. I've been told my grasp of Spanish vocabulary and grammar is impressive and better than many actual native speakers.

Occasionally I'll have lapses, and my accent can vary, but in general I'd say I have near-native proficiency.


I came to Spain on 15 March 1977 - practically 40 years ago!


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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:28
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
Other Feb 9, 2017

I would leave the evaluation of my Russian to my clients and colleagues (even here).
I would simply say it's not badicon_smile.gif
I lived in Russia and Latvia almost 10 years. My Latvian is rusty. Other languages I use require improvement.

Actually, some of my Russian clients told me that I do have a 'charming Pribaltic' accent so Russians often think I am Latvian or Lithuanian nativeicon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2017-02-09 05:03 GMT]


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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:28
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Advanced Feb 10, 2017

I used to call myself "native" in both languages. About 10 years ago, I noted I'm only native in Portuguese, though I have deeply studied English all my life, and spent seven years in an American high-school, and been a translator and interpreter for over 30 years. And to be honest, I think very few people may call themselves native in two languages. I say in my CV's and profiles that I have proficiency or advanced level in English but not "native".
I also note that many Brazilian people who dare state they are native in English will show they are not if they write two lines and post them. It happened right here the other day, and the person got really mad when two people said "you are not native in English, my dear".


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