I am fluent in …….

Well it’s February of 2014 and I start at my new position this upcoming Monday.  It’s good that this is changing as my previous position was unreal.  Thanks outsourcing!  That was the reason being thrown into that mess I found myself in.  It was a interesting past Friday though ….even I heard some of the guys somewhat complain or didn’t think they could make it (one guy simply said he thinks he got sick that last time he ate there and couldn’t go) 7 guys from the group took me to the standard farewell lunch.  The group dynamics at my previous company wasn’t the best to say the least.

Why am I saying all this in my language learning blog?  I knew two of the guys in my group ‘supposedly’ can speak another language.  I didn’t bring anything up as I never talked to any of them about my attempts to learn Korean.  But my mgr brought up what does my wife do etc and I said she’s Asian and then  the guy next to me say’s if I can speak Korean.

He’s made numerous statements he can speak Italian.  A guy sitting across the table on a complete side note is talking with a new member of the group who is telling him his wife is from Brazil and how he can speak Portuguese.  So it was brief discussion on language learning as I briefly told him about learning Korean and he of course goes on and on how he know’s Italian and translates all the time.

Since he sat near me I heard him mention this many times but yet he speak’s or know’s Italian as well as a Italian two year old.  He’s one of the people I’ve come across occasionally who like’s to boast how they are fluent in another language.  Going to another country and being exposed to the language is one thing.  Knowing a lot of words and some stock phrases does not mean your fluent.  Being fluent is something completely different.  Not that a accent is bad but fluency means  something and people just throwing around that they’re fluent when they could barely could communicate with a dog from another country is another matter.

I didn’t pick on the guy across the table about his language prowess as I know he’s exactly in the same league as our group’s Italian language expert.  But I couldn’t hold back and asked out of the blue how to say certain things at our restaurant and a phrase or two.  I guess he wasn’t expecting that and not what I was asking for and he started floundering.  I mean I know maybe a word or two in Italian.  He could have made up anything and I wouldn’t know if what he was telling me was true or not.  I guess it was the surprise I was asking for Italian translation for things other than the basic’s but nothing hard where if  he was even intermediate in Italian he should know.

Ughhhh…..I don’t know if it was correct or not but at least he seemed to know the words for water and fork in Italian.  Fluent?  Fluent he was not.

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