Fluency: able to conduct conversations on any topic (excluding those on which I can't speak knowledgeably in my native tongue, of course!).KatharineAnn said:I'd love to know what your definition of "fluency" is, and how on earth you are "near it" in about three months....and also that you think you should be able to be near fluent in even less time than three months because Spanish is just so easy.
"Near it": I generally can be fluent, though I lack some more arcane vocabulary (perhaps the words just don't exist in Spanish); I occasionally must puzzle tenses out by context; and some rapid-fire, slurred, or muffled speech may elude me (though it may in my first tongue, too, at times).
Less than three months: one of my younger acquaintances did so in little more than a month.
Easiness: not only my assessment, after having learnt other languages, but that of UNESCO in a survey taken ca. 1990 of a few hundred linguists worldwide (English, for its huge vocabulary, irregular grammar, and complex syntax, and Chinese, for its large vocabulary and tonal variations, were considered the most difficult).
Time and again, I find that foreigners who've never really learnt any language other than their mother tongue find Spanish daunting, and that others tend to pick it up quickly. The key, then, might be the flexibility that comes with exercising anything, be it muscle or patterns of thought. But, I really don't know what makes the difference.