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How to Talk about Your Spanish Proficiency Level

In this post, you will learn how to describe your level of proficiency in Spanish. How do you describe your language knowledge? 

If somebody asks you questions like “¿Hablas español?” or “¿Habla bien español?” or ¿Qué nivel de español tienes?

You can:

  • Tell about your native language
  • Describe your level according to DELE
  • Describe your level according to IRL
  • Describe your level according to ACTFL

Telling about your native language

Mi lengua materna es ingles…

  • El primer idioma de ella es español.
  • Hablo ingles.
  • Ella habla español. 

If you can speak two languages at the same native-like level of proficiency, you are bilingual.

  • Yo soy bilingüe.

If you know 4 or more languages you can call yourself a polyglot.

  • Males say: Yo soy polígloto.
  • Females say: Yo soy políglota.
cheerful woman having video call via laptop

Describing level according to DELE

There are six levels: 

Nivel Acesso / Principiante (A1)

Nivel Plataforma / Principiante (A2)

Nivel Inicial / Intermedio (B1)

Nivel Intermedio / Intermedio (B2)

Nivel Avanzado / Advanzado (C1)

Nivel Superior / Avanzado (C2)

Learn more about DELE here.

Describing Level according to IRL

There are six levels:

0 / No proficiency

1 / Elementary proficiency

2 / Limited working proficiency

3 / Professional working proficiency

4 / Full Working proficiency

5 / Native or bilingual proficiency

Learn more about IRL here.

Describing Level according to ACTFL

American testing for academic and professional. Recognized internationally

There are four levels:

Novice / Low, Mid and High

Intermediate / Low, Mid and High

Advanced / Low, Mid and High

Superior / Low, Mid and High

Learn more about ACTFL here

You can describe your language skills as Básico, Conversacional, Proficiente, or Fluente.

Phrases to describe your proficiency level in Spanish

Básico – you can communicate on simple topics or know some basic phrases in this language. 

Conversacional – you can communicate on everyday topics with minor vocabulary and grammar mistakes; but you can’t write in this language. 

Proficiente – you have the ability to express any idea without hesitation, with good vocabulary and grammar; people understand you easily. Both your spoken and written skills are good.

Fluente – different from proficient, you now understand the structure of the language and you can explain how this language works to other people. You can also use idioms and understand different accents. 

  • Soy principiante de español.
  • Hablo un poquito de español.
  • Hablo español bien.
  • Hablo español con fluidez.
  • Soy fluente en español.

Now it’s your turn! Please answer the questions in the comments: How is your Spanish? What is your level of Spanish? What can you do in Spanish?

Next Steps

Grab the Free Learning Spanish Guide

The Spanish Alphabet Sounds

Conjugate Verbs

Practice Spanish by Describing Art

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