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bassmah
Community Member

Which English language proficiency level is verified with score 91 on Duolingo test?

Is it fluent or bilingual?

19 REPLIES 19
colettelewis
Community Member


@Bassma h wrote:

Is it fluent or bilingual?


 _______________

Probably "fluent".  Very few people have a native proficiency in a language that is not their mother tongue, and "fluent" is a pretty high level.  

tinker_bell3
Moderator
Moderator

Hi Bassma,

 

I would just like to confirm, are you referring to the languages on your profile? Nichola is right. You can only be a native English speaker if you have been born or living in an English speaking country for several years. 

~ Joanne
Upwork


@Joanne Marie P wrote:

Hi Bassma,

 

I would just like to confirm, are you referring to the languages on your profile? Nichola is right. You can only be a native English speaker if you have been born or living in an English speaking country for several years. 


 ___________________________

Joanne,

 

Thank you, but I did not actually say this. If a person has  been living in an English speaking country for several years,  this does not in any way mean that he or she is a native English speaker.

 

This applies to any language. I have lived in France for many years, and while I would say I am fluent in French, even bilingual, I am not a native speaker.

 

In fact, you need not even live in your native  country to be a native speaker. I do not live in England and I am most certainly a native English speaker.  Your native language is the one (sometimes more than one if you are lucky) you speak from infancy and that you are educated in.

 

Some people (not many) have mastered a language other than their first language and are qualified to call themselves native speakers, but I doubt that there are that many on Upwork.  

The Duolingo test serves to put the blue tick (verified) to a profile's language proficiency level..


The OP's question wasn't what her English level *IS* (I agree "fluent" is appropriate but that wasn't the question) but which level she will be getting the verified tick at after scoring 91% in that test.

 

verified tick.jpg

 

Duolingo considers a score of 91% to 100% as the highest level, for what that's worth.

 

That is a high score, but I am sure Duolingo does not specify that someone who has passed at this level is necessarily at native/bilingual status, although from what I have read, it certainly proves a high proficiency. So I still maintain that the actual level is more  likely to be fluent (even if passed by a native speaker).  

 

 


@Nichola L wrote:

That is a high score, but I am sure Duolingo does not specify that someone who has passed at this level is necessarily at native/bilingual status, although from what I have read, it certainly proves a high proficiency. So I still maintain that the actual level is more  likely to be fluent (even if passed by a native speaker).  

 

 


 Well, Duolingo lump 91% to 100% into one level and call it "Proficient" - I have seen people with the verified badge at "Native or Bilingual" because of the Duolingo test.

 

Regardless of the tick, I think the correct and honest level for theOP would be "Fluent" - regardless of what the blue tick does or doesn't do. She'll certainly get the blue tick at Fluent based on the Duolingo result.

 

bassmah
Community Member

Hello Petra. Thanks for all your replies. I`d like to mention something. The level achieved at 91-100 in Duolingo test is specified as "Expert" not "proficient". 

petra_r
Community Member


@Bassma h wrote:

Hello Petra. Thanks for all your replies. I`d like to mention something. The level achieved at 91-100 in Duolingo test is specified as "Expert" not "proficient". 


Ah yes, so it is, I stand corrected. That said, your English is "Fluent" - not "Native / Bilingual."

 

 

 

bassmah
Community Member

Yes, I try my best to improve it as often as I can. I`ve submitted my Duolingo score for verification. Once my English level is set and verified, I`ll post it here. Just out of curiosity, what made you so confident it`s fluent not bilingual? Did I make any mistakes?  I`d really appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks.

@ Bassma --

 

Your English is excellent. Clearly, you are fluent. However, it is the small "tells," the minor errors, that give you away as a non-native speaker. Let me provide a few examples:

 

In the headline to this thread, a native English speaker would not write "with score 91," but would (instead) write "by a score of 91." A native English speaker would not write "on Duolingo test," but would (instead) write "on the Duolingo test."

 

You wrote this sentence: "The level achieved at 91-100 in Duolingo test is specified as "Expert" not "proficient".  The meaning is quite clear. However, the wording is just slightly awkward (word order and sentence structure), as is the word choice. Here is how a native speaker might write that sentence: "A score of 91-100 on [NEVER "in" or "at" for a test score!!] the Duolingo test is associated with ["is specified as" is clear in meaning but simply not correct/native] a level of "expert" rather than "proficient."

Thank you Janean for taking the time to help me with this. I really appreciate it. I`m always trying to improve and you just helped me do just that ๐Ÿ™‚ 

The differences among native, bilingual and fluent may not be significant for most jobs. I was born and raised in the USA, English is my native language. I lived and worked in Germany for years, and did medical school in German and then practiced psychiatry in German. I would go months without speaking English. I think and dream in German. I still call myself 'fluent.'

 

I lived for years in several Spanish-speaking countries and taught Spanish literacy to native speakers. I think and dream in Spanish, and would go months speaking Spanish only. I call myself fluent.

 

I write proposals in all three langauges, plus occasionally in French, Portuguese and Italian. Nowadays I typically use all six languages at least weekly, plus Arabic occasionally. If you can write a proposal in a language, you're probably fluent. I don't claim fluency in French, Portuguese or Italian, though, because they are not at the level of my first three languages.


@Janean L wrote:

@ Bassma --

 

Your English is excellent. Clearly, you are fluent. However, it is the small "tells," the minor errors, that give you away as a non-native speaker. Let me provide a few examples:

 

In the headline to this thread, a native English speaker would not write "with score 91," but would (instead) write "by a score of 91." A native English speaker would not write "on Duolingo test," but would (instead) write "on the Duolingo test."

 

You wrote this sentence: "The level achieved at 91-100 in Duolingo test is specified as "Expert" not "proficient".  The meaning is quite clear. However, the wording is just slightly awkward (word order and sentence structure), as is the word choice. Here is how a native speaker might write that sentence: "A score of 91-100 on [NEVER "in" or "at" for a test score!!] the Duolingo test is associated with ["is specified as" is clear in meaning but simply not correct/native] a level of "expert" rather than "proficient."


Regarding in vs. on: there's a difference between AE and BE.

In BE, you can do well in a test even though you get tested on a subject.

However, if you 'get tested in English', it means the test/exam was conducted in the English language on any given subject.

 

@ Ela --

 

I agree, Ela. Even in the U.S., one can do well "in" a test (subject). However, the idiom to which I was referring here is the idiom for "at 91-100," which refers not to the TEST itself, but, rather to the test SCORE. I am not aware that even in British English one can score "at 91-100 (on) the test" or "in 91-100 (on, or even in) the test." Although, the subtle distinction exists that one scores "at the 91st percentile." 

 

Of course, I have been mistaken in the past, and it could be true here, again!

petra_r
Community Member


@Bassma h wrote:

Just out of curiosity, what made you so confident it`s fluent noYt bilingual? Did I make any mistakes?  I`d really appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks.


 I lived in the UK for over 20 years. I recognize non-native English. The thing is, in your category there is absolutely no NEED for "native / bilingual" English skills, but any hint of dishonesty will send clients running for the hills.

 

Your English is great, but it isn't and couldn't be native / bilingual. Even if it was 100% error free it would not be native / bilingual, which indicates that it is the language you live, speak, dream, function in.

 

I know many people whose grammar and spelling is better than most "true natives" but their English is still, and probably always will be, not native / bilingual.

 

When a client sees a freelancer exaggerate their skills in one area they will assume all other skills are exaggerated as well.

The path to success in freelancing is "under-promise and over-deliver."

 

The other way round hardly ever ends well.

 

bassmah
Community Member

Thank you Petra for such wonderful advice. 

The "under-promise, over-deliver" advice is spot on!

Hi Nichola,

 

I apologize if my response somewhat implied that way. Thank you for pointing that out. It was actually my response to Bassma. 

~ Joanne
Upwork


@Joanne Marie P wrote:

Hi Nichola,

 

I apologize if my response somewhat implied that way. Thank you for pointing that out. It was actually my response to Bassma. 


 __________________

Joanne,

 

I realize you were responding to Bassma, but it is still a mistake to state that someone who lives in an English-speaking country for a few years automatically confers upon them native proficiency in  English. 


@Joanne Marie P wrote:

Hi Bassma,

 

You can only be a native English speaker if you have been born or living in an English speaking country for several years. 


Um, lol, what?? Are you kidding me? 

 

I'd like you to say that to all the native English speakers who were born in and live in Mozambique. (And there are plenty of them!)

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