This is a new tip we created about a few months back after receiving an essay from a young man who was quite confident that he was “completely fluent in Spanish” (those are his words, not mine). He decided to write a couple of introductory sentences in Spanish that were his undoing. Rather than sticking to his native tongue, he tried to explain in Spanish that he was a hard worker. “Yo trabajo muy dificil” is what he wrote – which translates to, “I work very difficult.” Not only is he not fluent in Spanish, as he claimed, but he can’t even communicate at the rudimentary level. So he was lying to us.
Long story short: if you speak a foreign language, excellent – it’s a very impressive skill. If you don’t speak a foreign language, then don’t pretend you do.