I have searched and found "influent" and "unfluent", but I cannot find both of them in Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Collins. Or maybe there isn't a word adding a prefix to fluent that is the opposite at all? Which words can be alternates then?

1 Answer 1


If you are speaking about fluency in a language, we would not likely say 'unfluent'.

Antonyms of words usually take something to a negative degree, rather than a reduced one. For example, 'unsafe' can actually mean something is dangerous, so you wouldn't use it to simply mean something didn't have the highest degree of safety.

Someone who has some grasp of a language might not be "fluent", but we would probably just say they were "not fluent" or, if they were progressing, "not yet fluent".

Other terms do exist for language spoken in a non-fluent way, such as "broken [language]", eg "they speak broken English". Sometimes the word "conversational" is used to describe a level of language competence at which you can hold a conversation with a native speaker, so you could say "I speak English but I am not yet conversational". Borrowing from the name of this site, you could also say "I'm learning English" to indicate you might not yet be fluent.


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