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Should I mark "proficient" in spanish?

spongebobiscoolspongebobiscool Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
edited August 2010 in Common Application
My primary and first-known language is English. As for "proficient in any other languages", how proficient are they talking? I've taken three years of spanish and had A's in all of them. Would that be proficient, or are they talking about a speaker who is as talented as a natural-born speaker?
Post edited by spongebobiscool on

Replies to: Should I mark "proficient" in spanish?

  • Jersey13Jersey13 Registered User Posts: 4,622 Senior Member
    ^ The CommonApp is probably referring to the latter when they say "proficient".
  • Sidneyv4Sidneyv4 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    anyways, since you've taken the courses they'll see it anyways on your transcripts so it's probably the same effect
  • jhwu928jhwu928 Registered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    'Proficiency' is misleading...I'm not sure whether I should say I'm 'proficient' in Chinese and French. My parents have spoken Chinese to me since I was born, but I'm not very good at it (which is why I didn't take the SAT II...). I actually think my French is better than my Chinese because I've studied it for six years. AARGH. THIS APPLICATION IS SO CONFUSING.
  • impetuousimpetuous Registered User Posts: 978 Member
    I don't think simply taking 3 years of a language and getting A's on them means you are "proficient" in a language. That part of your academics goes into your transcript, and says that you did "well" on your foreign language classses. (Most people do take at least 3 years of foreign language in highschool. It DOES NOT mean they are all proficient in at least 2 languages)

    Are you able to converse comfortably in that language? For example, I've lived in France for 5 years and can converse comfortably in the language, and I also have a 800 on the French SAT II. I consider myself proficient in French.

    This is not about what foreign language you take at school. It's about how comfortable you are using another language as a form of communication. Imagine you did put down "proficient" on the application and your interviewer asks you to say things in Spanish, or worse, to converse in Spanish. If you are unable to communicate effectively, which I think is possible if your classes were simply beginner's level, they will think you lied or manipulated some parts of your application.

    (I've actually heard of quite a number of people who said they were proficient in several languages on the app, but got caught in the interview. Needless to say, they didn't get into those colleges)

    Think of it like this. If you are proficient in Spanish, if a Spanish person came up to you and spoke in fluent Spanish, you should be able to understand pretty much everything and also should be able to converse.
  • LAXer25LAXer25 Registered User Posts: 439 Member
    if you are proficient in spanish, then you should be entirely comfortable doing your college interviews in spanish as well
This discussion has been closed.