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Welcome to A Foreign Language Service - AFLS!

As a trusted leading language service provider, AFLS provides document translation and language interpreting to clients around world. We offer services in 400 languages including high-demand ones such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, French, and American Sign Language (ASL). We also provide support in rare, endangered, and emerging languages like Basque, Irish Gaelic, Ojibwe, and Quechua.

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We Have Your Language!

Certified Interpreting and Translation Services in 400 Languages

Why Work With Us?

Lets Talk
Smiling woman in conversation at table illustrates how AFLS offers language interpreting services.
Let’s Talk About Your
Language Needs

Every Language Matters!

Ask us today about how our interpreting and translation agency expertise and services can help you and your customers and clients with your language needs! We provide free quotes for services in 400 languages across government and business sectors around the world.

Our Partnerships

We partner with a variety of professional associations, government agencies, medical and legal organizations, and small and large businesses to provide the best possible language solutions for our clients.

Professional Interpreters & Document Translators

Since our founding in 1993, A Foreign Language Service (AFLS) has broken the communications barrier by providing professional interpreters and document translators in over 400 languages including American Sign Language (ASL) - and counting. Our contracted linguistic talent combined with dedicated customer service has made us the premier provider of interpreting, translation, and localization services to the greater Metropolitan Phoenix area, around Arizona, and across the United States.

We Have Your Language!

As the "400 Language People,"  we provide exceptional contract services in a variety of languages including those that are rare and emerging.  What sets us apart from similar type of companies is the sheer volume of languages coupled with our unique ability to always customize a communications solution unique to each client! Please use our "Language Search" tool to see if your language is listed or you can view our list of the most commonly requested languages.Whether you are an individual who needs help filling out a government form,  a large hospital requesting an interpreter for a medical exam, or a small business who needs to have marketing materials translated for a multicultural audience, AFLS is there for you. Browse through our website or give us a call at (480) 813-4242 or (844)-813-4242 to let us know how we can help you with your communication needs. Or you can simply contact us via email with any questions that you may have.

How To Know When You Are Fluent In A Foreign Language

So you have decided to learn a new language. You bought and read through a grammar. You started one of those free language apps that promises you will be fluent in three weeks. You’ve lined up a conversation partner to practice with. Things are going great! After a few weeks, you have a fairly expanded vocabulary. A couple of months in, you can put more complicated sentences together and have started venturing out into the world with your new language, starting conversations with native speakers and holding your own. But does all of this mean that you are fluent in a foreign language. Suddenly, you may start to wonder, Am I fluent in this language? Is comfort the same as fluency? How will I know?

Anyone who studies languages wonders this, and there are many theories surrounding language fluency. Most language fluency tests in school rely on rote memorization; but of course, we all know that not everyone who memorizes a paradigm or 500 phrases feels comfortable in their language of study. So what are some indicators that you are becoming fluent in a learned language?

You Begin To Dream In Your Second Language

Chances are, we’ve all heard someone jokingly ask, “Are you dreaming in ‘x language’ yet?” of a foreign language learner. This is usually viewed as the pinnacle of language acquisition: once you have dreamed in it, you are proficient. Sadly, however, this is probably more anecdotal than scientific. Since many dreams are focused on recently learned information, and the brain transfers short-term memory into long-term during REM sleep, it is only natural that your brain would use this time to review and lock in memories of learned language.

When you find yourself dreaming in the new language you are learning, then you know that you are closer to becoming fluent in this language. Photo by I love simple beyond on Pexels.

Why Dreams Show You Are Becoming Fluent In A Foreign Language

In fact, dreaming in this new language is one way to know you are becoming more fluent in a foreign language. Whenever I am studying a new language, it will usually infiltrate my dreams early on, as my brain sorts through what it’s learning. In fact, I’m usually speaking the language much better in my dreams than I ever could in my waking hours, since my brain is not muddled with other things like it is during the day. While dreaming in a foreign language may not indicate any particular skill level, it does show that your brain is successfully retaining language while you sleep, so make sure to get plenty of rest between language sessions!

You Can Rephrase While Talking With Others

The ability to rephrase is another way to tell if you are becoming fluent in a foreign language. One easy way to check your proficiency in your new language is by testing your ability to express one idea in many different ways. Have you ever forgotten a word or phrase in your native language and had to find another way to express yourself? This is bound to happen even more often in a foreign language! A friend of mine was once telling a story in Russian, and could not remember the word for rooster. Instead, she had to figure out how to describe a rooster, while not completely derailing the story. In the end, she settled on “a chicken’s husband,” which made the story a bit more comical, but still understandable.

Even if you cannot remember the correct word for rooster and instead call the bird “a chicken’s husband,” your ability to do so shows you are learning to rephrase in your new language. Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash.

Becoming Fluent In A Foreign Language Reflects Comfort With Rephrasing

While it can sometimes turn out funny, using different ways to explain the same idea is actually more complex than you may realize. You may need to switch from a simple noun to a noun phrase, like my friend’s solution. Or perhaps you pepper your sentence with more adjectives. At times, you might have to change from one speech act to another (perhaps from a question to an exclamation). This requires more than just a healthy vocabulary. It takes an understanding of grammatical structure, a fair amount of intuition, and relative comfort in the target language. If you are able to explain yourself in several different ways in your new language, you are well on your way to fluency!

You Share Humor And Enjoy Its Nuances

Understanding comedy in another language is one of the most sought-after milestones in language acquisition. In fact, if you can enjoy and share humor, you have likely become fluent in a foreign language. I had been living in Russia for about seven years and speaking Russian rather well for five of those years before I finally watched a Russian comedian on TV and realized I was understanding his humor! It was even a few months longer before I could replicate the style and make my friends laugh at decidedly Russian-sounding humor. Humor is such a subjective thing that it may take longer to gauge than other marks of fluency, but when it happens, you can’t miss it.

One of the most significant milestones of language acquisition is that of enjoying humor. When you can make your friends laugh, then you know you have become fluent in your new language. Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash.

Becoming Fluent In A Second Language Shows Greater Cultural Understanding

In order to understand humor and create comedy in another language, you have to know enough of the rules to be able to break them, or understand the irony of a broken rule. This takes a strong understanding of vocabulary and complex sentence structure. Even more importantly, you need an intuition to feel the pulse of the language. If you can use another language to make someone laugh, you have learned enough of the culture behind the language to know what will produce the best response.

Language and culture are intrinsically linked. As a result, you cannot become fluent in any one language without also becoming fluent in the corresponding culture. If you want to test this third level of proficiency, try telling a joke in your learned language. If it goes over well, be proud! You have achieved a unique ability to speak in and to another culture. You have arrived!

Language Services Support Healthy Families And Communities

As a trusted leading language service provider, A Foreign Language Service – AFLS provides OPI/ VRI interpreting and on-site interpreting, certified document translation, and localization services to clients around the world. We offer services in up to 400 languages, including high demand ones such as Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, and American Sign Language (ASL). Depending on your needs, we can also provide support in endangered languages like Basque, Irish Gaelic, and Quechua.

In this vital work, we collaborate with a network of 1500-strong passionate, licensed professional translators and interpreters based throughout the world. Our clients include global brands and government agencies, as well as the medical, legal, business, and education communities. At AFLS, we understand the power and importance of language. We know that every language matters. Your language matters. Contact us today for a free quote!

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How To Know When You Are Fluent In A Foreign Language
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