How to Speak Any Language Fluently?
If you are learning a language, you probably ask yourself a question: how many words do you need to know to be fluent? Well, the answers differ: you can read that you need to know 2,000 words to be fluent on one website, but then your private tutor says that to be fluent the minimum is 10,000 words.
There is no fixed amount of words you need to learn to be fluent in any language because the level of fluency cannot be measured by the vocabulary you master. In this article, we explain what fluency is, and give you some tips on checking whether you are fluent in a language, so read on!
What Is Fluency?
Originally this term meant the ability to read very fast, at the speed of your speaking. Then, it was made more general, and now we understand fluency as the level of language mastering when you can read books and news, understand people speaking without the dictionary, as well as express your thoughts at the same speed as you do it in your native language.
Basically, fluency means mastering a foreign language at a level close to your native language knowledge.
Why Is It Important?
There are situations when you cannot find the right words to say what you need to say, and it makes your conversation with a native speaker more difficult. Fluency is a skill that ensures you do not face a similar problem.
You don’t have to know every word of the language to be fluent: the most important is to be able to understand the meaning of what you read and hear. If you can guess the unknown words from the context, that is pretty much enough to consider yourself fluent!
How Many Words Do You Need to Know to Be Fluent?
The amount of words largely depends on your goals in learning a language. If you want to travel to Spain for a week, 1,000 words will be enough for you to be fluent in asking for directions and ordering food, but moving to this country requires more than 5,000 words to be able to live there. For attending a conference at your job, you will need to know around 2,000 words.
Can I Check My Fluency?
There are different ways of checking your fluency and counting the words you know is certainly not among them. You can check your fluency level in understanding and expressing because these two aspects of language skills include all other skills you can have.
How many words do you need to know to be fluent in understanding? There is no need to count them, but you should be acquainted with the basic words you use in your day-to-day life in the native language. If you want to make sure you are fluent in understanding, you can read a book, watch a movie or series, and follow a blog. Since English is the most learned language in the world, we have made a list of the best books, films, and blogs you can use.
Books to Check That You Are Fluent in English
- “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
- “Nine Lives to Die” by Rita Mae Brown
- “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough
- “The Atlantis Gene” by A.G. Riddle
- “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman
- “The Girl with All the Gifts” by M. R. Carey
- “Sincerely, Carter” by Whitney Gracia Williams
- “Leaving Time” by Jodi Picoult
- “Three” by Ted Dekker
- “The Martian” by Andy Weir
These books are of different genres, so if you can read them, you can be sure that you are fluent in English.
Movies to Check that You Are Fluent
- Inception, 2010
- The Social Network, 2010
- Avengers: Infinity War, 2018
- Whiplash, 2014
- Interstellar, 2014
- La La Land, 2016
- Zodiac, 2007
- The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014
- Drive, 2011
Blogs to Check that You Are Fluent
Blogs are very useful because you read the texts in modern English, and learn the actual words used by native speakers.
- The Londoner
- Deliciously Ella
- Hannah Gale
- Hand Luggage Only
- The Young Adventuress
- The Anna Edit
- Kate on Conversation
- Don’t Worry, I’m an Economist
- Slummy Single Mummy
How many words do you need to know to be fluent in expressing your thoughts? You need just as much as you need to express your thoughts in your native language. Okay, maybe not that much: it is easy to check whether you are fluent enough.
Translate Everything You Say
When you are alone, try to translate everything you say into the language you are currently learning. If you can explain what you need to explain, you are fluent.
For example, you are cooking alone. It is a perfect chance to practice a language: speak to yourself aloud in a foreign language. Even if you don’t know a word, try to use a descriptive phrase instead.
This activity will help you analyze what vocabulary you are missing.
Talk to Someone
Find a friend who knows or is currently learning a language you want to practice, and talk to him or her. When you forbid yourself talking in your native language, you will have to find a way out and express your thoughts.
If there is no one to talk to, you can use the Ablo app, available for iOS and Android. Here you can chat with people from all around the world, just indicate the language you need to practice. You will also see whether the words you know are enough.
So, how many words do you need to know to be fluent? There is no fixed amount. You can learn 1,000 medical terms, but it will not make you fluent because you will not be able to communicate. You need to check your fluency level and then improve your weak spots.