Template talk:User en-4

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Native and near-native[edit]

Whoever changes "near-native" to "native" please explain what's wrong with "near-native" wording. Thanks. --Irpen 06:53, July 30, 2005 (UTC)

How is "near-native" different from the advanced level? I feel this template is more useful for those of us who aren't actually native speakers, but might as well (or actually have) passed as one.
Peter Isotalo 11:06, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
See the Template:En talk page. Angr, a linguist, was the one to introduce the expression "near-native" as the correct one for this template. If it is correct in theoretical linguistics, then that's the expression our template should carry. Regards, Redux 06:06, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Peter in that this template should say 'native' instead of 'near-native'. I've asked about this on Angr's talk page, stating my justification, but he hasn't replied yet (he seems to be on a Wikibreak). - ulayiti (talk) 12:07, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
I read your reasonig in Angr's talk page. I don't know...I mean, if one can speak English at a level absolutely indistinguishable from a native speaker's command of the language, then one might as well use the en-N tag. Maybe it's not ideal, but being that one such condition would be rather rare (returning to the original argument, that even if one masters the language completely, for the vast majority there will still be at least some difference to a native speaker), our scheme should match the reality of the vast majority in the community, as it is unpractical to accommodate the few exceptions to the rule. It would be possible, as an alternative, to have the tag read something like This user speaks English at a level comparable to that of a native, but this would make the text longer, maybe too long, as it is preferable to keep it as concise as possible in those tags. Regards, Redux 06:45, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't know what's gotten into Angr, but he's definetly over-theorizing this. This is not article content and applying theoretical linguistics to a purely practical language template serves absolutely no purpose. No serious scholar would ever use these templates for any kind of research. Also consider that this is a community where all communication is written, making it virtually impossible to tell a lot of the non-natives from natives. One could only tell the difference when actually speaking to that person. Since Angr hasn't bothered to respond to my critcism, I'm taking the liberty of changing it back to "native level".
Peter Isotalo 23:05, 1 September 2005 (UTC)

In case a definitive consensus is reached on this matter, please contact me. At the moment I have protected the template semi-permanently in order to avoid incidents such as the penis-vansalism, but I will gadly edit the tempalte in case it is needed. Also feel free to contact another admin. Regards, --Sn0wflake 21:25, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Hey everyone, sorry about my extended silence. I was on an involuntary Wikibreak for the entire month of August when I was between service providers. (It's a long story, but basically I switched providers and the old one turned off my phone and therefore internet service without telling the new one what they were doing, and it took a month to get it all straightened out.) I still object to the template saying "at a native level" when what is meant is "at a near-native level", because for those of us who know the technical meaning of "native speaker", it's misleading, and for the people who don't, it doesn't make a difference either way. Why not be accurate when it doesn't hurt or confuse anyone? As for "no serious scholar ... ever us[ing] these templates for any kind of research", I beg to differ. I can easily imagine Wikipedian linguists browsing Category:User xx-N to find a native speaker of language xx whom they can ask for grammaticality judgments and the like. And for us, it's very important to make a clear difference between a native speaker and a nonnative speaker, no matter how fluent and nativelike the latter may be. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 17:44, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Angr - welcome back from your "forced" wikibreak! I never took part in the discussion about "native" or "near-antive" - but I was the one who asked for protection of the template because of penis vandalism... I use the en-4 template myself. I studied English, my third language, for six years in school, and have used it frequently ever since, even written articles for a US magazine, and they were accepted with practically no corrections to the text - so I'd say I'm pretty fluent in written English... However, I would personally prefer "near-antive", because this gives some leeway - many people can hear that I'm not a native speaker. (I'm usually "accused" of being an American by those who speak the Queen's English, and vice versa!) As you say, I wouldn't be the one to give advice regarding English grammar, since my language knowledge is more intuitive than theoretical. (See my user page for my "writing rules" ;-) I hope we can reach a consensus, so you can change it back. PS: To all those who oppose "near-native": How near do you need to get? If you're not native, you're not speaking English as a native, even if you speak it perfectly... --Janke | Talk 07:24, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. Can an admin change it? --Celestianpower hab 14:50, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, I'm an admin, but it'll look less like a conflict of interests if I let someone else do it! --Angr/tɔk tə mi 15:35, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Angr has asked on my Talk page for me to help build consensus on this issue, so I will try my best to help, but please let me state that I am not siding with one person or another, I am merely describing the facts as I see them. To me this issue is quite simple, because the fact is that we already have a template for native speakers of English, we don't need another one. If English is not necessarily your mother-tongue but a native speaker wouldn't be able to perceive that, simply use the native English template, nobody is going to conduce a background check on you to see whether you've learnt English at the age of 2 or 13 or 30. If you can write in the same way a native speaker would, but at times your English fails a little or you get your languages mixed, use EN-4, for near-natives. I am changing the template text to near-native and I hope that all will understand that having the template say "native" is merely duplicating the main template, and thus makes this template obsolete, also — quite interestingly — qualifying it for deleteion under the criterion of "duplicated content". Best regards, --Sn0wflake 22:36, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, it appears to me that you are taking sides. These changes do not in my opinion enjoy consensus, and they devalue from non-native English speakers who do actually speak English at a native level. Therefore, I am reverting to the less confusing original. If you want to change advanced into near-native, or add an en-5, that's fine. But I wager that most people who place en-4 did so originally with native, not near native in mind. El_C 20:00, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

How do they "devalue from non-native English speakers who do actually speak English at a native level"? The term "near-native" is not an insult. Either you're a native speaker, or you aren't. If you aren't, the best you can ever become is near-native. There's no such thing as "non-native but speaking at a native level". To try and get more input, I'm taking the issue to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Language and linguistics. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 20:21, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Angr, El C and Sn0wflake: The three of you are highly respected editors, conducting what amounts to a highly-visible edit-war. Behaviour such as this tarnishes our reputation, and makes it that much more difficult to be taken seriously when trying to stop other edit wars. I beg you, please reach a consensus, and only then make any agreed changes to the template. I have an "en-4" on my User page, and will gladly accept whatever the three of you settle on, as I'm sure most would. Owen× 21:24, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
I made a total of two edits, one yesterday and one today. To reiterate, at a native level implies at the level of a native, whereas near-native, implies less than that. But I shouldn't care that strongly, either way. I just wanted to make this (seemingly simple?) near-logical point :), though I ended up doing so earlier in a stupid and unhumble way, esp. seeing how it's probably more accurate of myself, in the sense I'm speaking of(!). Okay, near-native it is, but I still would like to read some basis for the level. That the scholarly consensus leans toward this direction, prefering near-native to a measure of actual equality. Give me something not to save face over, please. El_C 22:54, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

We held this discussion a few months ago over at the Talk page of the main template and, according to a linguist, you can only speak at native level if you have learnt the language during your childhood. But explaining that in a small template is not incredibly useful. So the current wording tries to say in a neutral manner that the person does not fulfil that requirement, but as I said, it does not really matter, does it. What matters is creating a difference between the language(s) you have as your main and the ones you don't. A solution could be changing the text to something entirely different, such as "This user can speak English fluently, despite not having it as a mother-tongue." but I don't know about the usefulness of that, either. So if anybody feels that consensus discussion needs to take a specific direction now, please say so. Regards, --Sn0wflake 23:12, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Ah, I didn't know about that discussion. It would probably be useful to have that referenced somewhere on this talk page. At the very least, I preassume that this linguist wasn't Angr! Following your point, though, some people experience childhood with more than one language. But hey, if I'm way out of my depth and/or made an ass out myself here (both highly likely), so be it! Thanks for all your patience. El_C 23:43, 27 September 2005 (UTC)
If you experienced childhood (before the age of about 8) with English and have been using it ever since, then for linguists you are considered a native speaker, and should use the {{User en}} template, not {{User en-4}}. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 05:14, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I find the xx-4 templates very useful, personally. I'm a Finland-Swede, thus I'm a native speaker of a language that doesn't even exist in the WP language list! (But I use the sv-N template, anyway.) In addition, I've spoken Finnish since childhood, but since I was not raised in a Finnish-speaking family, I feel I cannot use fi-N, even though I pass as a native speaker. The fi-4 template is worded very cleverly, thanks to the compact structure of the language; it says (direct, unwieldy translation): "This user knows Finnish in the way he would if it was his mother tongue". I discussed my en-4 above, and I prefer "near-native", even though I don't take a strong stance in this matter. Regards to you all, and thanks for your enlightening input! --Janke | Talk 07:07, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Again, I think as far as linguists are concerned, if you've spoken Finnish continuously since before the age of about 8, {{User fi}} would be more appropriate to you than {{User fi-4}}. Be that as it may, I should say that although I object to El C's wording "at a native level", I do not insist on "at a near-native level". El C, what do you think of the wording "This user speaks English at a level comparable to that of a native speaker"? This makes it clear that the user is not a native speaker, while avoiding the phrase "near-native" that you seem to find objectionable. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 08:34, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
It's fine, but it's too lengthy. I don't really object (nor care, for that matter) about it anymore, and I take your point. I should have brought my concerns here to begin with instead of the knee jerking, arrogance, and misdirected energy. My apologies for those shortcomings on my part to both Sn0wflake and yourself. Writing to you at near-native level :), yours, El_C 08:58, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
Angr, I still feel that this very narrow linguist's perspective is irrelevant to a discussion about a user tool (rather than article content). According to your reasoning I should be using the en-N template, since I got over a year of tutoring in English when I was around 8-9 and have been speaking English ever since. Most users would most likely balk at your conclusion and I would certainly support their protests, even if I can easily pass as a native American English speaker and have done so on numerous occasions. And, again, accoring to your very precise definitions, I would not be a native speaker of Russian (which I grew up speaking alongside with Swedish) since I have barely used it after moving to Sweden permanently 15 years ago. While I'm using the ru-2 template to indicate the rustiness of my Russian, I would consider it pretty bizarre if anyone protested about my Russian pronunciation files being labeled as native.
Peter Isotalo 08:41, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
I have no intention of arbitrating who uses what template. What's important to me is that the en-4 template makes it unambiguously clear that the user is not a native speaker of English (by his own criteria of "native speaker"; if you don't consider yourself a native speaker, don't use en-N) but rather a nonnative speaker whose English is even better than that of an advanced learner (en-3). Saying "This user speaks English at a native level" doesn't make it clear enough that the user in question isn't (or, if defining isn't in this context is too problematic, doesn't consider himself) a native speaker, while saying "This user speaks English at a near-native level" or "This user speaks English at a level comparable to that of a native speaker" does make that clear. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 10:16, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Angr here. It would be redundant to have en-N plus en-4 as "native". Anyone who speaks perfect English is free to use the en-N template! However, I personally like the (small) distinction between native and near-native. --Janke | Talk 13:03, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
I believe Janke has said exactly what I would like to say. --Sn0wflake 17:56, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Considering myself to be something of an amateur linguist (though I daresay some of my writings may convince people otherwise), I have a differing opinion on this to that of Angr. I wasted time laying it down at Category talk:User en-4 but for those of you who care not to look, the summary is this. "Near-native" implies a level of skill less than that of the average native. For many speakers, this is simply incorrect - indeed I know a number of non-native speakers who have a mastery of the language beyond that of the average native. To claim that these people cannot ever be considered to be on anything more than a 'near-native' level is misleading. Next, the phrase, "native level" is clearly different from "native speaker" and I call into question the reasoning of any 'linguist' who says otherwise. "Native speaker" gives no direct mention of a level of ability, though it is generally assumed to equate to a high level of competance. "At a native level" is very specific in that it defines the wikipedian's level of proficiency. Because of this, my vote would be to have this template read, "This user speaks English at a native level." As it is, the implication is that non-native speakers cannot ever hold the same level of proficiency in a language as natives. This is a ridiculous stand-point and inaccurate. Whilst I am not offended by the misconception, it is understandable how others could be. - Hayter 15:50, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Once again, "native speaker" is a technical term of theoretical linguistics. Native speakers are competent to make grammaticality judgments about a language, for example. Nonnative speakers, no matter how well they speak the language, aren't in every case. When you say you know a number of nonnative speakers who "have a mastery of the language beyond that of the average native" I can only assume you mean their ability to speak and write the standard language is very impressive, and prescriptively better than that of native speakers who are less well educated. That's great, but they remain nonnative speakers and to say they use English "at a native level" is confusing and misleading. To say they use English "at a near-native level" is not confusing, nor misleading, nor insulting to them. --Angr (t·c) 16:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
No, they're not "in every case," and I hope you'll notice I didn't make this claim. By the same note, not all native speakers are equipped to make (sound) grammatical judgements about a language. And you continue to mis-interpret "at a native level" as equating to "is a native speaker." It does not mean the same thing. - Hayter 16:17, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
By "in every case" I meant there are certain grammaticality judgments no nonnative speaker can make. I know that "at a native level" is not completely synonymous with "is a native speaker", but the use of the term "native" when describing a nonnative speaker is misleading. "Near-native" is the term generally used by linguists to refer to nonnative speakers whose command of the language is essentially free of "foreigner's errors". --Angr (t·c) 16:22, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Please provide an example of such an anomoly - a "grammaticality judgement no non-native speaker can make." And in providing it, please prove that the average native speaker of the language would be able to make it. This is an idea I find intruiguing, however I also find it to be completely without merit as things stand. Your position as you state it, is that a non-native speaker can never achieve the same level of proficiency and knowledge of a language as the average native. This is incorrect. You claim that linguists use the term "near-native" to define "nonnative speakers whose command of the language is essentially free of foreigners errors." (emphasis mine.) Now I disagree with this, but even assuming you're right, what then, do linguists use to refer to non-natives whose command of the language is completely free of errors? Logic dictates that there is such a phrase; to claim that no such examples exist is nothing short of unfounded elitism. I look forward to learning this so far unidentified phrase. - Hayter 18:04, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It is extremely difficult if not impossible for nonnative speakers of English--even highly fluent ones--to judge whether sentences like Which man do you wonder when to meet? or This is a paper that we need someone who understands are grammatical or not. Native speakers, on the other hand, can tell you instantly. Or, having learned that a variant of Three students came to the party is There came three students to the party, even a highly fluent nonnative speaker might believe that There slept three men in the room is a grammatical variant of Three men slept in the room; a native speaker wouldn't make that mistake. Linguists would consider anyone capable of correctly making such grammaticality judgments to be a native speaker of English, even if English was not the first language they learned. The charge of "elitism" is absurd; there is no panache in being a native speaker, nor stigma attached to being a nonnative speaker. A further reason to keep the word "at a near-native level" instead of "at a native level" is that the latter does not exclude native speakers. If the template read "This user speaks English at a native level", native English speakers would be completely justified in having it on their user pages, thus obviating the need for both {{User en}} and {{User en-4}}. --Angr (t·c) 20:09, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
No panache? Au contraire! By your logic, native speakers are always more proficient in a language than non-native speakers, meaning that to be a native speaker is to be the best. A deal of panache there it seems. Again adhering to your logic, to be a non-native speaker does not allow for a full grasp of the language - quite a stigma when advertised on an encylopaedia based upon written contributions in said language. Your first remark is disrespectful and betrays your former veils of open-mindedness. You are saying that non-native speakers simply cannot reach a native level of proficiency. This is as ridiculous as saying someone who has lived in rural Africa for the first ten years of their life cannot learn to play the piano. And with your second example, I know a great many native speakers who likely would make the mistake you mention.
For a self-proclaimed linguist, you seem to have a strange understanding of words. Your suggested theoretical linguistic designations aside, there is a practical difference between "near native," "native level" and "native speaker." They cannot be interchanged without creating errors of description. Given that the purpose of these templates is to demonstrate proficiency and not the method of learning (which you have failed to prove does not allow non natives to acquire a native level of proficiency), I am surprised the suggestion to delete the "Native speaker" template has not arisen. It makes more sense than the description of this template being "near native." - Hayter 21:26, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Native speakers always have native-speaker competence in their native language; nonnative speakers don't. That's the definition of what "native speaker" means. It's not "disrespectful" to a nonnative speaker to describe him as such, any more than it is disrespectful to animals to say that they are not plants. I'm not a self-proclaimed linguist; I'm a trained linguist. University faculties have agreed that my study of linguistics is sufficient to warrant awarding me degrees in linguistics. And one thing that every student of linguistics learns early on is the critical period hypothesis: that if you have not begun learning a language by the age of about 8 or 9, you will never reach native-speaker competence in that language. You can read more at Language acquisition and Second language acquisition. It is not disrepectful to anyone to say that if they start learning a language in their teens or later, they'll never reach native-speaker competence. It's just a biological fact. --Angr (t·c) 22:00, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Linguists learn the theory, yes. But this is what it is at present, a theory. In the very article you provide, it is stated that the evidence of the existance of such a period is thin, and based largely upon conjecture and comparisons to other biological critical periods such as visual development. You yourself, throughout this talk page and others repeatedly refer to "theoretical linguistics." I am not opposed to such theories, indeed I find them interesting, but to present them as undisputed fact is misleading. The critical period has not been scientifically proven for language acquisition, and is disputed by many pshycologists. Even the provided supporting statement of Pinker simply says that acquisition of a languange after puberty is rare, not impossible. So for linguists, the logic you propose is disputed, and for lay persons, it is incorrect. Surely a change is in order. - Hayter 23:36, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest that you both presented evidence of your respective points-of-view, in that manner, this dispute can be settled much more easily. Also, as the enforcer of the block, I will ask that the template is kept as such until a new consensus is archieved, as the old consensus was pro the current wording. --Sn0wflake 00:29, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Having read the previous discourse on this subject, I would dispute that any kind of consensus was reached, but regardless, since it is Angr who has suggested the existence of such a critical period, and by extension that post-puberty subjects cannot learn a second language to the degree of a native (ignoring the point that someone who learned to speak English as a second language before or during puberty in Germany is clearly not a native speaker), I would submit that it is his duty to prove this theory. Since the linguistic, phsychological and other concerned scientific groups have been unable as yet to do this, I doubt that he will be able to. Since my position would be supported by logic, common sense and proven theories of operant conditioning, surely the default must be the version I propose. - Hayter 11:26, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
The theory is not mine, nor is this talk page the place to discuss the merits of the critical period hypothesis. Your argument that it's just a theory, not a proven fact, so it isn't credible is familiar to us all from the statements of creationists and tobacco companies, and just doesn't hold water. --Angr (t·c) 12:00, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
Your reasoning is flawed. Having presented the theory of critical periods as the crux of your position on this matter, you must expect that this position will be criticised. To compare such criticisms to those directed at the theory of evolution and reports that conclude smoking causes cancer is disengenuous at best. Aside from the differences in available evidence, no one who is educated on the subject has ever claimed evolution to be a hard fact, to my knowledge. How you can make the same claim regarding an anecdotal theory is beyond me.
Clearly, we will not agree on this matter until you provide evidence of a critical period; as such I have nothing more to say on the matter for the time being. Though clearly, having written it, my view may be skewed, I believe that my reasoning above is superior in content to that of yours on this issue. I darsay you hold the same view of your own points. As such, I am content to let what is written stand for now, in the hope that newcomers will read and make their own opinions, in part based upon the arguments presented. Though I guess you will dismiss the idea as unneccesary, I suggest you attempt to re-read the above sans your own bias on the subject, paying paying particular attention to your presented reasoning (perhaps based in more fact than shown) , and the points that refute that. This is no more than I have attempted to do. - Hayter 12:45, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

I think most people, like me, place themselves in the near native level both to be modest and safe. As you never know whether your english is as good as the average native speaker. "Native level" is very broad, not to mention confusing term. The average Usian native level, I imagine, would be very different from the British native level. Saying that you speak english at a native level or professional level is somewhat boastful. So its better for one to simply state that they are at a near native level to be like I said both safe and modest. On another note, such indications doesn't matter practically. One can always tell whether another is proficient or not by their edits. Pseudoanonymous 03:13, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Comments. The difference between native, near-native and advanced is about the following in my mind:

  • First off, native speakers can freely call themselves native speakers, because they were raised in a native language environment, while non-native speakrs were not, hence they lack the cultural knowledge that native speakers gain by default. Differences can be noticed in use of language, style, etc. Non-native and proficient speakers might be more formal owing to their training, more likely to dismiss details and intricacies of a native language and they might not have a comprehensive overview about how things are called — since the richness of the English language and its wide spread has contributed to there being many synonyms to one meaning, with regional uses of words and phrases that exclude all others.
With English, though, its being a native language is quite tricky, as the language has spread over many territories and hence the meaning of native speaker has broadened considerably. A North American or someone from the British Isles would not consider speakers of Indian English as native speakers of their accent/dialect.
  • My idea of having a near-native proficiency of English is not just about having a high proficiency in the language, but also being culturally immersed enough that the person with such a proficiency level would not exhibit gaps in linguistic and cultural knowledge compared to a native speaker (one such example can be had with measurements, where one must be able to tell Imperial or metric values). Near-native speakers are most likely long-term expats or those who use the language in the native environment so much so (such as spending summers in another country) that they become immersed in another country's culture enough to pass off as a native speaker.
  • Despite being able to write English quite passably, I still have an accent when speaking (sometimes feeling a linguistic bubble in the mouth) and I very likely have several foreigner's mistakes of which I am just not aware both when speaking and writing, at least in part because of my intuitive use of English as opposed to those who diligtently apply what they acquired in training. In addition, I have never been to an English-speaking country and I have gotten linguistic influences from two of the most influential English-speaking regions, which means that down the line time-wise, I might encounter a situation where I might pass off as a North American to someone from the British Isles and vice versa. Hence en-3.

The issue in the box appears to be with near native, because I keep questioning the phrase in terms of near native to what — since there are more than a handful varieties of native English anyway.

One solution would be to use sentences like "This user speaks English fluently" or "This user speaks English very fluently.". Then again, who is to tell with credible authority that the person speaks English fluently? __User en-4__ is the only English language template (apart from en-N) to omit a user's ability to contribute phrase, AFAIK.
-Mardus 06:07, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

I think there should be a guide, defining the exact meaning of each of these language levels. I'm deeply interested in everything language- and linguistic-related, but the meanings of both fluency and "nativeness" remain completely obscure to me. My grandfather was born in Italy and came to Brazil as a teenager. He speaks both Italian and Portuguese as a native. But, having been raised in the countryside and lived in the countryside to this day, he would probably fail any advanced test of "fluency", especially in written language. I'm not able to draw grammatical conclusions about some complicated sentences in English, and sometimes I forget the meaning of this and that word or just can't find the right one to use. But it happens with Portuguese, all the same. People tell me I "speak" English really well, to the point of using "complicated language". But that's probably because: 1. I'm not actually speaking, I'm typing; 2. I'm mostly used to technical texts; and 3. I tend to use Latin words, as Portuguese, my mother tongue, is a Latin language. So, after all, am I fluent? Am I "(near-)native"? I still have no clue. That's why I think a guide with precise explanations is much needed. (The articles on Fluency and Language proficiency don't help much, by the way.) Eumedemito (talk) 23:21, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with making a guide, and I think the levels should be reworded a bit. I am appalled at the lack of acceptance that non-native speakers may achieve the level of fluency equivalent to a native speaker. I've seen many "native speakers" who speak worse, often much worse, than "non-native speakers". Having cultural knowledge does not affect contributing to an encyclopedia if you can't assemble a coherent statement. To say that having a separate category for native speakers, and to make it so that non-natives can only reach "near-native", does not offend anyone is laughable. Near-native implies that it is near but not at the level of [proficiency] of a native. While I'd love to interpret the statement in the same way as the centaurs did in Harry Potter, the implications are very much offensive. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 06:39, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Protection needed![edit]

This template was penis-vandalized today, and ought to be protected. See Template_talk:User_en for discussion. --Janke | Talk 20:57:04, 2005-09-02 (UTC)

This template has been protected indefinitely in order to deal with vandalism. For the discussion on the issue, please see Template talk:User en#Protected. If you would like to make any changes to this template, please propose them here and an Administrator will then be able to implement them. Thank you, Redux 19:39, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
"penis-vandalized", hahahaha, hilarious. --Taraborn (talk) 20:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


I've downgraded the protection from full to semi. The template's been protected for over six months now. Angr/talk 13:49, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

This is the correct thing to do. --Meno25 04:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

New color[edit]

This template recently received a new color. Personally I like the new one better, but it would be a good idea to change the color of all the xx-4 templates, so as not to create a hotchpotch of styles. --JorisvS 18:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

You should not change the color because you like it. Your change must reflect consensus. Taric25 19:35, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

"native or near-native level"[edit]

This user speaks English at a native or near-native level.

Why can't we say just that? That message accomplishes its purpose by explicitly stating the user is not a native speaker of English but, on the other hand, doesn't assume a foreigner can't achieve native-like proficiency. This wording also warns other users that, despite the user's mastery of the language, he/she may or may not be aware of certain local jargon (he may be "native" at certain areas, but just "near-native" at others). --Taraborn (talk) 17:33, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

If anyone's interested, I've created my own variation of the template here for those who's english is at par, or above "native" level, but are "non-native" to the language. ηoian ‡orever ηew ‡rontiers 06:52, 14 January 2009 (UTC)