There are so many misconceptions about the concept of fluency that it’s not even funny, but the one that most hurts people’s chances at feeling some sort of satisfaction with their language skills is this: if you don’t sound like a native, you’re not fluent and your language skills are crap.
This, ladies and gents, is a load of crock.
The idea that one has to learn a language to perfection is exactly what holds so many people back from unleashing their full potential. By this I do not mean to imply that inversely, imperfect language should be your ultimate goal. But, really, do you want to know what your ultimate goal should be?
Your own satisfaction.
Learning a language is a game where realistic goal-setting is a key factor, and motivation your fuel; too little, you stay where you are. Too much: up you go in flames. What I’m trying to get at is that you don’t have to sound like a native to be good at languages; you just have to know how to handle what you already know while you amplify your knowledge base. Fluency and ability are two very different things, and while fluency is like a beautiful golden medal you get at the end of the road, ability is the set of wheels that gets you to the end of the road, to start with. Which one would you rather have?