Fluency is defined as the ability to speak a foreign language easily and effectively. Every language learner dreams of achieving this level in their target language, but many individuals feel discouraged by the amount of time they need to invest in their quest of fluency. They are aware that they need to nourish their languages long and hard before they see any noticeable advancement. If you choose to learn a language through structured lessons, the minimum amount of time it will take you for the easiest rated languages on the FSI scale is 600 hours over the course of 6 months, and the hardest rated languages will take almost 2 years and 2200 hours to master. Learning to express yourself easily and articulately in a foreign language therefore requires so much motivation and cannot happen overnight, but we can give you a few tips on how to sound more fluent in English.
Techniques to sound more fluent in English
There are some simples changes English learners can make in order to exhibit more confidence and ease while speaking English. These are some techniques that allow you to give the listeners signals that you are fluent in English too.
- Always contract:
Contractions are two words merged together and typically separated by an apostrophe to shorten the expression and speak more quickly. Some examples of contractions are:
He has → He’s
I would → I’d
We are → We’re
Instead of saying “what is your favorite movie?”, say “what’s your favorite movie?”. Contractions are a very important feature of natural-sounding English and an effective way to sound more fluent in English. More examples of contractions are:
|I am sure about my decision||I’m sure about my decision|
|I will eat when I am hungry||I’ll eat when I’m hungry|
|I would not recommend this restaurant||I’d not recommend this restaurant|
|They are always on time||They’re always on time|
|I wish I had listened to you||I wish I’d listened to you|
- I hope so/I think so:
A very common mistake newbie English learners make is using “I think” and “I hope” without the adverb “so”. Even though the choice of verb and the use is correct, omitting “so” sounds very unnatural for an English speaker.
|I hope||I hope so|
|I think||I think so|
- You know…
Sometimes native English speakers add some words mid-sentence to let the listener know they’re still thinking about their answer. So it’s good to make some sort of sound to signal that you’re just thinking and that you’re going to finish that sentence and to sound more fluent in English. You can use “you know…”, “umm…” and “err…” to keep the conversation from ending too soon.
- Kind of/sort of…
These terms don’t necessarily add a strong meaning to a statement. However, instead of using phrases like “similar to,” the speaker could say, “kind of like…” or “sort of like…” instead. (These are often pronounced as “kinda like” and “sorta like.”)
It adds authenticity to your English as it mimics the way native English speakers very well.
|The movie was similar to Star Wars||The movie was kinda like Star Wars|
|It’s similar to meat||It’s sorta like meat|
Final thoughts on how to sound fluent in English
Although mastering a language can take months and even years, we can see from the techniques above that you can make some small changes to the way you speak to sound more fluent in English starting today.