I was filling in a form yesterday and there was a language section.
- Native language: __________
- Additional language:________
I was unhappy about this and reluctantly filled in my mother tongue. I prefer it when people just provide blanks for language and let you choose your proficiency for spoken/written/reading.
- Language:____________ Proficiency:_____________
- Additional language:________ Proficiency:__________
It is quite easy for a person coming from a monolingual country to provide this and helpful, especially if one is from an English speaking country but I feel it puts non-native English speakers at disadvantage.
My native tongue may be Tamil but I am most proficient in English. When I put my native language as Tamil, it makes people assume that English is my second language which it is not. My Tamil is nowhere near native levels and technically I am lying when I put it as native but that’s what it says on many of my certificates.
I express myself the best in English. Of all the Indian languages, I believe I am most proficient in Hindi which again is not my native language. I speak Tamil without a Tamil accent which makes people laugh and I quickly switch back to English. Often, I tend to substitute Tamil words with Hindi when I cannot remember the exact word in the spur of the moment.
I read almost everything in English and have been doing so for years and struggle to read (or read slowly) in Tamil. I even read Hindi faster than Tamil. I make myself read Tamil to improve my reading speed but there are times I am not motivated and use Google Translate ha ha. Yes, I really do that for my mother tongue.
I watch only American TV series and mainly English movies. There are times when I watch Telugu/Hindi/Tamil movies though I prefer watching Telugu movies because I lived in Hyderabad.
Add to that my French textbooks and book.
Overall my language skills would rate as:English>Hindi>Tamil = Telugu (I can’t read or write Telugu)>French
My favourite language is English of course because I do everything and have benefited the most from this language.