Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Language Fluency

From:Chris Bates <chris.maths_student@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 31, 2004, 18:48
Well, the question of how much storage space the brain actually has is
still under debate and I doubt there will be an answer any time soon,
but in order to be fluent in a language truly you need to practice it on
a regular basis. On those grounds I'd say the number of languages one
can be truly fluent in is limited by time at least to quite a low
number, given that most people actually have to work and eat and sleep
and do so many other things as well with their time. I'd say that at the
very most the average person could be fluent in 10 languages, but that
is a very high limit (Many people speak three languages fluently in
areas where there is no one or even two local language... but I think
most normal people don't bother with more than three, no matter where
they live). That's not to say that they couldn't (with some thought,
perhaps a little reminding to help them remember a language they haven't
spoken in a while) be able to speak less than fluently in many more, but
true fluency requires quite a lot of knowledge and regular use.

>Hi. I was wondering about how many languages you think it is possible for >a person to achieve fluency in, one who has only been brought up speaking >one language, and would have to learn the others from scratch. By fluency >I mean being able to communicate most things with little or no trouble, >and more than just being able to order food, getting a train ticket, etc. >Also, do you think it is necessary to live in the country where the target >language is spoken in order to become properly fluent? I have heard of >cases where people speak 30 or so languages, but I highly doubt they would >have been spoken fluently. >Also, is it possible for a person to become fluent in a language, without >living in the country of the target language? >Thanks > > >


Mark P. Line <mark@...>