Fluency vs Accuracy

Learning French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

As a language learner, I tend to be keen in formulating sentences. I was always anxious with how my sentences will sound like if I chose a certain word to use. I fear that people will laugh at me for having grammar lapses. Thus, whenever I speak, I get scared. My mind will be haywire and will start to stutter. Especially in my country, if you speak other language that is different from ours, others will talk about you like you have done something wrong.

Not until when I went to college and I had a course in Language Acquisition. We had this topic called "Fluency vs Accuracy". Basically, fluency doesn't require you to have grammatically correct sentences. As long as you can be understood. On the other hand, accuracy needs to have precise grammar construction. It needs to follow grammar rules, whether spoken or written.

When I learned that there's such thing like "fluency", it made me a little confident to speak in English. My professor once said that making mistakes will teach you the right way. I made that as an inspiration to make my anxiety go away. It helped me a lot to gain courage. Now, I am here, trying to learn a new language.


Posts49Likes34Joined24/3/2021LocationManila / PH
Learning Spanish

I think you cannot be fluent if you are not accurate.  

The occasional mistakes and usual language errors are understandable. But mistakes in basic measure of accuracy is obviously not a sign of being fluent.  

Just my two cents.    


Posts1312Likes887Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
Learning Tagalog
Other Chinese - Mandarin, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai

This topic demonstrates why I stopped using the words "fluent" and "fluency" - it seems they have an infinite number of definitions, depending on who you talk to. I use the CEFR to talk about approximate levels, and variations of the word "fluid" to describe how freely I can speak. But ymmv.

I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.