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I speak 3 languages fluently, and can speak French just barley, how would they know I can't really speak proficient French?
 
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Goro

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You really want to take the risk that your interviewer speaks fluent French? Really?

I have at least four Faculty colleagues who do.

Just sayin'
 

blackroses

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It's kind of a dead giveaway if an Adcom member asks you a question in French, such as "How do you like this school so far?" and your answer is the French equivalent of "The sky is orange and potatoes smell funny."
 

blackroses

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22031 Alum

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I speak 3 languages fluently, and can speak French just barley, how would they know I can't really speak proficient French?
In my app I mentioned that I spoke basic HUNGARIAN.

Guess which language I was greeted in by my very first interviewer at my very first interview?

Do not lie about your skill level in any language, point blank and the period.
 

Chelsea FC

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Do you guys consider creole as a language ? The country which I come from we truly and honestly believe our creole is a unique language. So lets say I was Trinidadian or Jamaican our official language is English but our creole language which is English based is a huge part of our culture and I have witnessed first hand speaking it to native individual who are patients make them more responsive to you and your request. Would a ADCOM look at this and think thats its padding .?? Right now I wouldn't want to take the chance and will probably not put it ...
Sorry for the Hijack
@Goro @gyngyn @LizzyM
 

22031 Alum

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Do you guys consider creole as a language ? The country which I come from we truly and honestly believe our creole is a unique language. So lets say I was Trinidadian or Jamaican our official language is English but our creole language which is English based is a huge part of our culture and I have witnessed first hand speaking it to native individual who are patients make them more responsive to you and your request. Would a ADCOM look at this and think thats its padding .?? Right now I wouldn't want to take the chance and will probably not put it ...
Sorry for the Hijack
I've worked at a hospital where they specifically asked about proficiency in Haitian Creole. Depends on the demographics of the area how useful it is, but I don't think anyone would call it padding.
 

blackroses

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In my app I mentioned that I spoke basic HUNGARIAN.

Guess which language I was greeted in by my very first interviewer at my very first interview?

Do not lie about your skill level in any language, point blank and the period.
Assuming you were not born in Hungary/your parents did not move to America from Hungary, learning Hungarian was very brave! That is one tough language!
 

GrapesofRath

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The biggest question of all is why would you want to highlight something that isn't even an accomplishment. What value do you think barely speaking French and not being able to speak it fluently has for your application when you can already speak other languages fluidly?
 
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Tbh I wasn't gonna do it, I just wanted to initiate an interesting "what if I lie" thread
 
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blackroses

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gyngyn

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The biggest question of all is why would you want to highlight something that isn't even an accomplishment. What value do you think barely speaking French and not being able to speak it fluently has for your application when you can already speak other languages fluidly?
Barely speaking a language is still useful. Overstating one's skill is not!
I estimate that most of the applicants who indicate that they speak Spanish have rudimentary skills at best. I'm still glad they made the effort.
 

Chelsea FC

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I've worked at a hospital where they specifically asked about proficiency in Haitian Creole. Depends on the demographics of the area how useful it is, but I don't think anyone would call it padding.
thanks! From my knowledge Haitian Creole is really difficult for even a french speaker to understand and you wont have much french speakers around anyway .. But the English creoles like Jamaican , Trinidadian is so similar to English a ADCOM would see that and roll their eyes at me putting it down .. Even though our culture takes great pride in our language which is way I feel so strongly about putting it.. But when it comes to the game of medical school pride will have to wait :)
 
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Barely speaking a language is still useful.
Overstating one's skill is not!
Interesting point…so you would suggest we still list all languages in which we have very basic proficiency in? Or maybe languages that we can understand but not really speak properly in?
 

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Assuming you were not born in Hungary/your parents did not move to America from Hungary, learning Hungarian was very brave! That is one tough language!
In high school one of my neighbors was an elderly Hungarian lady. I would help her with chores and stuff for pocket change, and picked up some things that way. Now I don't have much more than "köszönöm" and numbers... but the counting was good enough to help a patient push a few weeks ago!
 

GrapesofRath

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Barely speaking a language is still useful. Overstating one's skill is not!
I estimate that most of the applicants who indicate that they speak Spanish have rudimentary skills at best. I'm still glad they made the effort.
Well there are plenty of things that are useful and are worth making an effort to pursue that aren't worth putting on an application for medical school! I guess I classified barely speaking a language that so many people know as something that's useful but doesn't belong on a medical school application, particularly when the OP can speak other languages fluently.
 

gyngyn

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Well there are plenty of things that are useful and are worth making an effort to pursue that aren't worth putting on an application for medical school! I guess I classified barely speaking a language that so many people know as something that's useful but doesn't belong on a medical school application, particularly when the OP can speak other languages fluently.
Language skills are among the most important in medicine (and sadly uncommon in the US, actually).
 
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Cotterpin

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So on AMCAS, it allows you to say that you speak a language at a "basic" level. If you say you speak basic French, will an interviewer think you're lying if you can only manage a few sentences?
 

Cotterpin

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I hope not because the amcas description of basic says that you barely speak the language
Right? I put down the languages that I studied in school (many years ago) that I certainly do not feel fluent in. But if pressed, I could cobble together a few phrases.
 

blackroses

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In high school one of my neighbors was an elderly Hungarian lady. I would help her with chores and stuff for pocket change, and picked up some things that way. Now I don't have much more than "köszönöm" and numbers... but the counting was good enough to help a patient push a few weeks ago!
You've got me beat! I know exactly enough Hungarian to know what to say right before taking a shot, and no more!
 

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Did they actually carry out the interview in hungerian though
No. he rattled off a bunch of stuff, of which I caught only "Hello, how are you?" and "rain" (it was a wet day). So I answered essentially "Hello, thank you good I am doing. Yes, many much wet." Of course he laughed. Got the interview off to a great start. And now I am a proud alum of that medical school.
 

nwts

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So on AMCAS, it allows you to say that you speak a language at a "basic" level. If you say you speak basic French, will an interviewer think you're lying if you can only manage a few sentences?
They certainly shouldn't expect more than a few sentences out of you if you say that you have a basic proficiency. Additionally, I feel like basic proficiency in a very common language is not tested much in interviews. This is only n=4, but I have basic proficiency in a common language, and none of my interviewers at either of the schools I've interviewed at have spoken to me in that language. If they did, I would be able to have a simple conversation, but I'm thinking they probably don't bring it up because it is extremely common to have my level of proficiency in that language, so they probably just assume I'm telling the truth.
 

LizzyM

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thanks! From my knowledge Haitian Creole is really difficult for even a french speaker to understand and you wont have much french speakers around anyway .. But the English creoles like Jamaican , Trinidadian is so similar to English a ADCOM would see that and roll their eyes at me putting it down .. Even though our culture takes great pride in our language which is way I feel so strongly about putting it.. But when it comes to the game of medical school pride will have to wait :)
Just so long as you are comfortable conversing in the language if your interviewer happens to be Jamaican (it can happen).
 
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piii

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OP is assuming that listing 4 fluent languages over 3 actually bumps his app and is worth lying about lol
 
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Chelsea FC

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Just so long as you are comfortable conversing in the language if your interviewer happens to be Jamaican (it can happen).
lol I hope I can, I lived their most of my life, Thanks so I will list it as a language !
 
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Chromium Surfer

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@gyngyn @LizzyM So I 've been wondering this for a while and was hoping one of you could provide some insight about this please. I am a first generation immigrant and moved to the US when I was a young child. So although I can't speak my language fluently I understand what people say 90% of the time even if the sentence is complex. But since my speaking skills are not on par with my understanding would I still put basic, or intermediate proficiency? Thanks!
 

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I speak 3 languages fluently, and can speak French just barley, how would they know I can't really speak proficient French?
I am an Intermediate Elfish speaker and somewhat proficient in Dothraki. Does that count?

@gyngyn @LizzyM So I 've been wondering this for a while and was hoping one of you could provide some insight about this please. I am a first generation immigrant and moved to the US when I was a young child. So although I can't speak my language fluently I understand what people say 90% of the time even if the sentence is complex. But since my speaking skills are not on par with my understanding would I still put basic, or intermediate proficiency? Thanks!
Native. Your skills may be rusty, but you'll be able to pick it up again within 1-2 days since it's hardwired in you.
 

Chromium Surfer

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I am an Intermediate Elfish speaker and somewhat proficient in Dothraki. Does that count?



Native. Your skills may be rusty, but you'll be able to pick it up again within 1-2 days since it's hardwired in you.
I'm tempted to put this down but my speaking skills could use a lot of work that 1-2 days would not fix haha. I've lived in the US for the majority of my life, but my parents spoke it occasionally while I was growing up. I think if I went back for a summer I might be able to get back to a respectable level but who knows. It fascinates me how well I can understand it, and other people from my home country are always very surprised by my comprehension. I wish I knew why lol
 

gyngyn

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@gyngyn @LizzyM So I 've been wondering this for a while and was hoping one of you could provide some insight about this please. I am a first generation immigrant and moved to the US when I was a young child. So although I can't speak my language fluently I understand what people say 90% of the time even if the sentence is complex. But since my speaking skills are not on par with my understanding would I still put basic, or intermediate proficiency? Thanks!
Intermediate.
 

LizzyM

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I'm tempted to put this down but my speaking skills could use a lot of work that 1-2 days would not fix haha. I've lived in the US for the majority of my life, but my parents spoke it a lot at home when I was younger and now speak it occasionally still. I think if I went back for a summer I might be able to get back to a respectable level but who knows. It fascinates me how well I can understand it, and other people from my home country are always very surprised by my comprehension. I wish I knew why lol
I know the feeling. I learned a language through immersion as a teen and although I don't feel as if I can speak as fluently as I did decades ago, when I visit native speakers who do not speak English, I find I can follow the conversation quite easily. I believe that comprehension develops first (even in infants and children) before fluency in speaking develops and I wouldn't be surprised to find that different parts of the brain are involved.
 

Chromium Surfer

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Intermediate.
Thank you for your response! If I put that down would I be expected to be able to converse for an extended amount of time with someone? I would be able to respond back in English to anything that was spoken to me, but I am unsure if I would be able to consistently reply in my native tongue.
 

gyngyn

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Thank you for your response! If I put that down would I be expected to be able to converse for an extended amount of time with someone? I would be able to respond back in English to anything that was spoken to me, but I am unsure if I would be able to consistently reply in my native tongue.
That's pretty close to intermediate.
 
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Chromium Surfer

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I know the feeling. I learned a language through immersion as a teen and although I don't feel as if I can speak as fluently as I did decades ago, when I visit native speakers who do not speak English, I find I can follow the conversation quite easily. I believe that comprehension develops first (even in infants and children) before fluency in speaking develops and I wouldn't be surprised to find that different parts of the brain are involved.
Yes I would definitely agree. Hopefully some day I'll know why maybe after med school:D. It makes me a bit wistful because I would love to just jump right into conversation when I hear people speak it around me since the language is very uncommon in this part of the world. But I don't want to appear foolish haha. Would you agree with gyngyn in putting down my proficiency as intermediate?
 

LizzyM

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I'm really not familiar with the definitions in the AMCAS instructions. Refer to them and respond accordingly.
 
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gyngyn

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Thank you for your input I appreciate it! When I'm back home during the summer I'll make an effort to speak to my parents in our native tongue haha.
It's hard after building up a lifetime of habit.
Another under-recognized challenge of generation 1.5!
 
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cryhavoc

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I said I planned on learning basic French as part of the "what sort of things are you doing this year" question because I want to travel to Paris next summer.

I really hope they don't call me out. I have been practicing but I don't think one month has made me anywhere near fluent...
 

Spector1

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French is a language commonly taught in American high schools and colleges so it is not unlikely your interviewer will be able to speak french and might test you on it.
 

Chromium Surfer

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It's hard after building up a lifetime of habit.
Another under-recognized challenge of generation 1.5!
I agree! generation 1.5:laugh: I hope I can meet another member of generation 1.5 so that my kids will be generation 1.75 rather than 2:p
 

Goro

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In addition, medical schools have international Faculty members, as I pointed out above.


French is a language commonly taught in American high schools and colleges so it is not unlikely your interviewer will be able to speak french and might test you on it.
 

nwts

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I said I planned on learning basic French as part of the "what sort of things are you doing this year" question because I want to travel to Paris next summer.

I really hope they don't call me out. I have been practicing but I don't think one month has made me anywhere near fluent...
If you said you planned to learn basic French, I don't think you should have a problem. It would not be fair to expect someone who claimed to have a basic proficiency to carry on an extended conversation.
 
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I speak 3 languages fluently, and can speak French just barley, how would they know I can't really speak proficient French?
lol first thing every international person who meets me and wants to know me in any capacity begins by region. Then they subsequently begin asking questions in that language. Everything is up in the air even if you look as french as any native.
 
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French is a language commonly taught in American high schools and colleges so it is not unlikely your interviewer will be able to speak french and might test you on it.
it's not a test, it's more like a way of recognizing and getting to know someone who might have the same background as you. The moment you trip is when it becomes a test and one where you didn't do so well at either.