I haven't been born or raised in an English-speaking country, so I feel like saying that I'm a native speaker would be deceptive. On the other hand, saying that I'm proficient is an understatement.

English is dominant in my day-to-day life, I'm very much immersed in the American media, I get all the cultural references and jokes. I feel as comfortable when I speak in English as when I speak in my native language. Non-natives never suspect I'm not a native, though natives do sometimes pick up on something after we talk for a while.

I'm writing a CV and I'm looking for a suitable label. Usually I simply stated that I have a C2 language certificate but since I've gotten the certificate I've improved and - as I said - now it kind of seems as an understatement. Any suggestions?

  • Welcome! This may better fit on the workplace Stack Exchange. For instance, here's a similar question there: workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/10006/… Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 18:37
  • And for an answer relevant to usage, I recommend the approved answer here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/10335/… . According to that, you sound fluent. Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 18:38
  • You'd better be specific and clearer even if you need to use a longer expression: "fluency level close to native speaker or ILR5" because that's the only way it gets understood correctly by CV readers. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 8:38

1 Answer 1


I think that Fluent is the word to use.

The Oxford English Dictionary online has the following relevant entries for fluent:

1.1 Able to speak or write a particular foreign language easily and accurately.

‘she became fluent in French and German’

1.2 (of a foreign language) spoken accurately and with facility.

‘he spoke fluent Spanish’

  • 1
    I see now that @TaliesinMerlin has referred to fluent in relation to another question. However, unless this is considered a duplicate, I feel answering is valid. Further, although the question is asked in the context of the workplace, I consider it a single word request with context, and therefore valid on EL&U.
    – David
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 19:21
  • I have no issue with that. :) Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 19:23
  • Roger Federer speaks fluent Swiss German, German, French, and English. He also knows some Italian, Spanish, Swedish, and Afrikaans. It's bad enough that he's such a ridiculously talented tennis player. His ability to speaking so many languages fluently as well (I'm lucky to know the one) just adds even more to everybody else's feelings of inferiority. ;) Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 21:27
  • @JasonBassford — Completely off-topic, but linguistic fluency is partly talent or ability, but partly necessity, education and opportunity. If you are a native of a country with a minority language (Dutch, Scandinavian languages) that trade with other countries, the education system of your country prepares you to speak the language of the countries you trade with, as well as the international language, English. If you spend a lot of time in other countries you have the opportunity/necessity to use those languages. If your native language is English you don't have to, but think yourself lucky.
    – David
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 21:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.