I am in the process of localizing an application and I can't wrap my head around a specific translation.

The user can enter a skill / prof. experience they have acquired or a language they speak besides their native tongue.


The user is is born somewhere in Britain and is a native English speaker. He also speaks French and enters "French" as a language skill. In a second step he is asked how proficient/good/experienced he is in this language, ranging from basic knowledge (1) up to fluid speaking (5).

I am looking for a terminology describing how profound a person is in a chosen skillset, like (basic/good/fluid/native tongue). A word which describes how well versed somebody a person in something.

Looking in the dictionary and several online translation sources I narrowed it down to:

  • Characteristic
  • Profoundness
  • Degree
  • Peculiarity

In my opinion, in my ears "degree" sounds best, but I am not 100% happy with it. If it helps you, the native word we use in German is "Ausprägung".

  • 6
    Proficiency perhaps. It's hard to tell exactly what you want though with just words out of context (considering that you aren't happy with those words, yourself). Could you show a sentence that attempts to use it? – Jon Hanna Jan 12 '15 at 11:54
  • It's not used in a sentence, but as a label for a dropdown box, where a user can choose how proficient he is in a skill. – Marco Jan 12 '15 at 11:56
  • So, what are the choices in the drop-down? – Brian Hitchcock Jan 12 '15 at 12:00
  • It depends on whether we are talking about language, professional experience or anything else. In general it is a scale from 1-5 where 5 is the highest rating you can give yourself in anything. – Marco Jan 12 '15 at 12:02
  • What does 'The user can enter a skill / prof. experience' mean? – Edwin Ashworth Jan 12 '15 at 12:04

Proficiency, the degree to which someone is proficient in something.

  • while proficiency is the "correct" term,
  • level is frequently used in these drop-down boxes, too.
  • 2
    The level refers to the level of proficiency. – Kris Jan 12 '15 at 13:23

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