Originally Posted by WoodDraw
I was in Portugal recently. I know enough Portuguese to get by - meaning I can buy food and get coffee, and tell a taxi where to go. But in any conversation, I break down pretty quickly. Which is fine, because almost all there are very willing to speak English (more so than Spanish, weirdly enough). But at what point should I be allowed in? What level do I need to reach to be accepted?
Languages aren't learned on a "you know it, or you don't". Most of the exams are very theoretical as well. In one of the Spanish exams I've taken, I had to (on the spot) discuss the benefits of public vs. private high school education. Is that really something some guy coming over to work a minimum wage job needs to give a **** about?
Heh! I know what you mean. I studied French for a total of 12 years. In parochial school I learned how to pray in it. Say hello, how are you and good day. In high school a bit more such as conjugating a lot of verbs and learning nouns. Rarely speaking it except for canned language learned rotely. Then in college it was culture, novels and philosophy. I thought I had finally become fluent and pretty much was thinking in the language...until I went to France and didn't know how to ask where the bathroom was. Daily things like that beyond good day, how are you, what's your name then lurching to the grand infinity or the small infinity ( Blaise Pascal's Philosophy).
It was tough getting around and they spoke so fast, but so many spoke English.