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What do the fluency levels really mean? (A1, B2 etc)

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I know you can take tests for different fluency levels, and many jobs require certain levels. But what does each level actually mean? For example can someone at the A1 level usually speak and understand enough basic German to get around? At what level would you expect to be able to carry on a dinner conversation or write a basic email?

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@KayleighNC Here is the source document in fairly plain academic English. Once you've had a chance to read it over, please post any follow-up questions you might have. I would say dinner conversation would begin at B1 and write a basic email is A2, but it depends on how basic and what the topic of inner conversation is. Furthermore, it all depends on the level of acceptance of error on the part of the native speaker with whom you are talking. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that Germans are rather unforgiving of minor pronunciation errors and refuse to hear past the problem.

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4 minutes ago, AlexTr said:

I would say dinner conversation would begin at B1 and write a basic email is A2, but it depends on how basic and what the topic of inner conversation is.

That is valid only for BAC < 0.5‰!

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@yourkeau and @MikeMelga, I would probably agree with you that your assessment is correct in the presence of an unsympathetic audience, but, if you take a look at the screen shot I made of the basic elements of CEFR, the standardization folks at COE disagree with you. I could manage about four hours of German conversation over dinner on topics with which I was very familiar at the B1 level. However, at the B2 level I used the word "dibbelschisser" in front of my Schwabisch in-laws and got a blank stare. The problem with comfortable spoken German is that it depends highly on everyone understanding the same German, of which there are a minimum of 38 major variants.

cefr.GIF

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Here are a set of answers to the question "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?", according to the proficiency level. B)

 

A1: Ich, Deutsch? ein bisschen. :wacko:

 

A2: Ja kann ich, aber nur ein bisschen. :(

 

B1: Ja, aber mir fehlen manchmal die richtigen Wörter. :unsure:

 

B2: Ja, ich bin fast eingedeutscht. -_-

 

C1: Aber natürlich. Schießen Sie mal los. :D

 

C2: Ja. :mellow:

 

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18 minutes ago, Erdmann said:

Here are a set of answers to the question "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?", according to the proficiency level. B)

 

A1: Ich, Deutsch? ein bisschen. :wacko:

 

A2: Ja kann ich, aber nur ein bisschen. :(

 

B1: Ja, aber mir fehlen manchmal die richtigen Wörter. :unsure:

 

B2: Ja, ich bin fast eingedeutscht. -_-

 

C1: Aber natürlich. Schießen Sie mal los. :D

 

C2: Ja. :mellow:

 

Level D: Deitsch? Wos is des?

:D

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I already posted this before on another thread, but couldn't find it anymore due to the migration. I explained the levels in a bar when you order a beer.

 

A1: Bier.

A2. Ein Bier.

B1. Ein Bier bitte.

B2. Ich hätte gerne ein Bier.

C1. Ich hätte gerne ein Bier, wenn es Ihnen nichts ausmacht.

C2. Oans, zwoa, drei. Gsuffa!

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Wow thank you this is far from what I expected. I thought you had to be somewhat fluent for any level but that doesn't seem to be the case

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On 13.03.2017, 14:48:49, Erdmann said:

Here are a set of answers to the question "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?", according to the proficiency level. B)

 

A1: Ich, Deutsch? ein bisschen. :wacko:

 

A2: Ja kann ich, aber nur ein bisschen. :(

 

B1: Ja, aber mir fehlen manchmal die richtigen Wörter. :unsure:

 

B2: Ja, ich bin fast eingedeutscht. -_-

 

C1: Aber natürlich. Schießen Sie mal los. :D

 

C2: Ja. :mellow:

 

 


It's really funny! :D

 

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I think it's difficult to say, especially when you consider that different aspects of your German could be different levels.

 

My speaking is probably at B1 level, listening at B2-C1. Where as my writing is dreadful and probably at A2.

Where does this put me at an overall grade? No clue :rolleyes:

 

 

On 3/13/2017, 11:14:20, AlexTr said:

@KayleighNC Here is the source document in fairly plain academic English. Once you've had a chance to read it over, please post any follow-up questions you might have. I would say dinner conversation would begin at B1 and write a basic email is A2, but it depends on how basic and what the topic of inner conversation is. Furthermore, it all depends on the level of acceptance of error on the part of the native speaker with whom you are talking. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that Germans are rather unforgiving of minor pronunciation errors and refuse to hear past the problem.

 

Does this differ from region to region?

I have never had the experience that someone was voluntarily correcting me (NRW).

In most case it's myself asking for people to correct me when I say someting wrong. 

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It happens to me sometimes that I pronounce something slightly off and people pretend not to understand and then say oh, you mean x.  I don't really care though.  It's not my main goal in life to speak perfect German :)

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Perhaps I should change the way I got about it ha ha.

Usually I am not sure of the 100% word, so i'll say word suggestions out loud until someone tells me the correct one. The problem with this is that it breaks up the rhythm of the conversation :)

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Beware the dangers of cognates - words in different languages that look alike and which share an origin but whose meanings may not be related.
In attempt to praise German bread and trash American bread, my husband announced to a table full of Germans that German bread was pure and that American bread was full of "Praeservativen".  There was silence, because instead of saying that American bread was filled with preservatives, he'd said it was full of condoms.

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On 3/13/2017, 1:52:14, HEM said:

I guess I'm between C1 & C2 but with lousy grammar.

 

yeah.  Its a complicated question for me.  My grammar is awful.  I have a lot of problems writing basic emails to my kids teachers. I can get the point across, but the word order is ALWAYS wrong and i barely can grasp der die das.  By definition, with just grammar, I bet I am like, A2. I can pass the B1 test, but only because of the non grammar portions of it.  But i totally can grasp complicated topics and summarize them back (C2).  Just with bad grammar.

 

But I've been living in this village for 15 years and no one here gives a rats-ass about grammar (they all just say "duh" for their articles).  The one school teacher that both my kids had over the last four years has waived me off with a "oh QUATSCH" when i second guess my german, which more illustrates the low standards i am meeting, rather than my own abilities (she's never seen any of my emails).  When i tell people I am looking for a german course, they act surprised and say "but you are fluent". Again, they have never seen me try to write a letter.  They also underestimate how strong their own dialect is.  I can "babbla" with the best of them around here but send me to Berlin and i am completely out of my zone. 

 

This is the kind of dichotomy I am working with.  I took a course in B1 last year thinking it would help fill the grammar gap but it was painfully too slow.  The other people could barely utter out a sentence whereas I spoke quickly.  The other people thought i shouldn't have been there, but the teacher was the only one in the class that knew that pretty much every sentence i was saying, I was saying wrong. But i have gotten so used to speaking my wrong german quickly and i have a much bigger vocabulary than most B1/B2 people, so I am now in no-mans land.

 

I saw there was a course offered recently JUST for grammar, so i am going to be on the look out for it next year and hope it is offered again.    personally i would love a one-on-one course where i try to write a letter and someone tells me everything that i did wrong grammatically in it.

 

oh yeah and here in the south, no one would ever blink at an "off" pronunciation or pretend to not know what you are saying.  It's pretty damn chill, which might have spoiled me.

 

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9 hours ago, Jimmy Mac said:

Does this differ from region to region?

I have never had the experience that someone was voluntarily correcting me (NRW).

In most case it's myself asking for people to correct me when I say someting wrong. 

 What @LeonG said.

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8 hours ago, Joanie said:

 

...  personally i would love a one-on-one course where i try to write a letter and someone tells me everything that i did wrong grammatically in it.

 

 

 

- have you thought of approaching wherever it was that you took the last course, and simply asking if the teacher also gives private lessons?

I knw that VHS teachers often do, and that there tends to be a lull over the school holidays, so you might get lucky!

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