Do you mean human languages? (Sorry, I’ve been hanging out with programmers a bit too much! )Let’s be honest, even the most limited foreign language skills are impressive in their own right. I think fellow Quorians from non-English-speaking countries will agree—English has become an international language. Most recruiters and employers expect their potential hires to be able to hold a conversation in English. Likewise, knowing some Spanish might prove useful for some jobs in the US. However, if your language skills aren’t enough to do your groceries, they’re best left off your resume. Don’t lie about how great you are with French if you haven’t used it since junior high.
Write Define Write at Dictionary com
It’s really easy to verify if the candidate speaks the language during the interview. And you better plan for this to happen if a particular language was listed as a requirement in the job ad! Let’s start with how you should talk about your skills in the first place. You can also use beginner instead of basic if you want to suggest you’re learning the language. (I’m not sure it’s OK for non-native speakers to use this term even if their skills are on par with those of native speakers.
However, you can always say near native. )Note: I would discourage you from using the adjective poor to describe your skills. Go with basic or don’t list the given language. Finally, if you only want to mention a language in passing, you can use visual rating:
Writer the Internet Typewriter
I know, I know. What does a five-point scale mean in terms of language proficiency? I think it’s fairly intuitive: One star is the equivalent of basic/beginner. Five stars would be native/bilingual/excellent.
You can always use visuals and words. E. G Able to read War and Peace in French. Rather than Fluent suggests to me TOTAL proficiency. What’s more, if you want to list more than one language, you’ll be using up too much space.
Also, would you like to write, “Able to read the menu” to be consistent? Clearly, there’s plenty of variation in terms of language skills even among native speakers. Enter the Interagency Language Roundtable Scale  and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages! In general, we all suffer from illusory superiority and assume we are better than we really are. What’s more, it’s really tempting to play it up… maybe… just a bit… Everyone else is doing it, right?
Again: Save yourself the embarrassment and don’t embellish.