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Questions tagged [multilingualism]

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18 votes
4 answers
4k views

Introducing 1 more language to a trilingual baby at home

I am a French mum who has a 2 year old baby. My husband is Swedish and at home we speak English. Our son is already speaking French and Swedish and some English. We speak a bit of English with him ...
GEM's user avatar
  • 181
13 votes
1 answer
340 views

Selective fluency - is it a thing?

I speak 4 languages, and I have the least exposure to my native language, since I have never lived in the region where it's spoken. My only exposure to it is speaking to my parents, and some TV. I ...
insanity's user avatar
  • 233
11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Are the vast majority of Ukrainians more proficient in Russian than Ukrainian?

An answer to a different question pointed out that the vast majority of search engine queries coming from Ukraine, before the invasion, seemed to be in Russian. That was despite the fact that the ...
MWB's user avatar
  • 1,112
10 votes
4 answers
5k views

When is the end of the critical period?

At what age, approximately, is the end of the critical period for native language acquisition? Of course, I understand that many details surrounding the critical period are up for debate. I want to ...
JoFrhwld's user avatar
  • 1,856
8 votes
1 answer
677 views

Term for conversation where each person speaks a different language, while understanding each other

I would like to know if there is a technical (or common) term for the type of bilingual (or multilingual) conversation described in the title. For example, one person could be speaking French, while ...
Igor Khavkine's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
2k views

Do native speakers of different languages make different mistakes in English?

Do native speakers of different languages make different mistakes when speaking in English? For example, do native speakers of Japanese make different mistakes than native speakers of Russian when ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 1,238
6 votes
2 answers
239 views

I don't know what my L1 is and want to find out

I've been doing personal research in Second Language Acquisition by reading a book on the subject (Understanding Second Language Acquisition -- by Lourdes Ortega) and I've become convinced that the L1 ...
Yon Kornilov's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
5k views

Determining my native language

The other day I was filling out a form where I had to state my native language and I simply couldn't seem to find an answer to that question. I guess it had never come across me, but I simply had ...
Walker's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
3 answers
319 views

A multilingual home, a pro or a con?

My question is about the appropriate number of languages for a child to learn at home. I'm Finnish and me and my husband recently moved to Finland after living in Spain a few years. My husband's first ...
Laura's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do natively bilingual people have accents in one or both of their languages?

Do people who grew up speaking multiple languages typically have a discernible foreign accent in one or more of their primary languages? Also do they tend to make the kinds of mistakes that non-...
MWB's user avatar
  • 1,112
6 votes
0 answers
657 views

Do we know how common it is for ethnic Chinese and Tamils in Malaysia to speak each others language?

Here in Malaysia there are three main ethnicities, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and most people speak more than one language. There are four main language groupings: Malay - national language and language ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do bilinguals and multilingual native speakers make language mistakes?

Suppose a person speaks several languages, occasionally making mistakes in grammar(s), using untypical patterns, clichés and/or calques. Can such a level of language competence be defined as ...
Manjusri's user avatar
  • 2,781
5 votes
0 answers
595 views

Are there any recordings of Emil Krebs?

The German polyglot Emil Krebs allegedly mastered 68 languages. Which, frankly, I find unbelievable. I cannot find any reliable source that is well documented, but perhaps recordings of Emil Krebs ...
Mathias Müller's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
650 views

Is grammar the main barrier to Japanese people understanding English?

Although a much higher proportion of Japanese people understand English than people from English-speakering countries understand Japanese, it isn't as high as the Scandinavian countries. I wouldn't ...
Golden Cuy's user avatar
  • 1,238
4 votes
6 answers
708 views

Do multilinguals have one language they predominantly think in?

For those who are bilingual or able to master three or four languages, is there a ruling langauge by which they mainly use to think and study? For instance, A person who was born and lived in the ...
Bruklin's user avatar
  • 57
4 votes
1 answer
371 views

What is the best way to accurately translate slang?

It may not even be accurate to call it "slang"... I am working on a filtering system that blocks pornography. I have a set of key words and phrases in English. Essentially, I would like to have the ...
user548971's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
270 views

Can learning a lot of languages hurt your native language communication skills?

So I’m currently learning two languages, aside from English and my native language, Portuguese. I’ve been noticing I forget words mid-sentence, or I get stuck in conversation with a foreign language ...
Henrique's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
194 views

Can word embeddings between any two languages be transformed in a linear way?

In this paper: Word Translation Without Parallel Data researchers from FaceBook found that using a matrix and adversarial training the word embedding in one language can be transformed into(or ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
122 views

Frequent use of the pronoun "We" in "I" stead

Does any language have a word for the situation when somebody frequently uses the pronoun "We" in "I" stead in his speach? By analogy with the german pronoun du(thou) -> duzen (use the informal form ...
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
560 views

Critical Period for reading, writing, and listening?

I have heard about about the critical period hypothesis and how that applies to things like accents and stuff, but is there a critical period for reading, writing, and listening? After a certain age ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
112 views

Which papers exemplify the attrition of the L1 in the interface of language modules?

I’m intending to write my BA thesis on language attrition and I have a problem finding info. So I’m looking for papers that exemplify the attrition of the L1 in the interface of language modules (...
Vaggelis Antoniou's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
3k views

How similar are phonemes across different languages?

As a side thought to my current efforts looking at types of minimal-pairs, the similarity between sounds across other languages has occurred to me. After some searching, I failed to find an answer to ...
often frustrated's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
564 views

How to distinguish multilingualism from polyglotism?

What are defining criteria, and how can we decide whether a person speaking, say, ten languages is a multilingual or a polyglot?
Manjusri's user avatar
  • 2,781
1 vote
1 answer
200 views

How to cope with many languages at the same time [closed]

I am a student who knows English, and whose mother tongue is Russian. I started studying English around 15 years ago and never put any effort into it. I just grew organically and managed to get to ...
Artem Moskalev's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Are there any studies on vocabulary loss and/or simplification of "thought structures" due to multilingualism?

(I am not a linguist, so please forgive any wrong term or concept) This question comes from personal experience. I have studied in a trilingual university, so that each student knew at least three ...
Luchs's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
0 answers
65 views

Does high-context manifest in Japanese grammar and syntax?

Supposedly being a high-context culture, do modern Japanese text genres also sport a higher prevalence of ellipsis? Do Japanese texts, by and large, sport more kinds of high-context manifestations ...
matanox's user avatar
  • 299
1 vote
0 answers
85 views

Is it possible to not only lose/gain an accent, but also lose some fluency in native language? [duplicate]

Pardon the awkward phrasing in the title, but I am essentially wondering about the following scenario. A person, Alice, grows up bilingual, speaking languages A and B. She lives in a country C in ...
Derek Allums's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
260 views

Is there a list of multilingual rhymes?

I'm searching for multilingual rhymes like: Star - far / Stern - fern (German) Unfortunately I only have this one so far.
LostPhysx's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
521 views

Reasons for code switching absence

In bilingual regions often there's a phenomenon known as code switching, when people swap codes when confronted with a person that uses a different language of their own, even when both people are ...
Pedro Montoto García's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
83 views

Svelte as a product name, are there any similar sounding negative words in other languages? [closed]

We have decided to call our product "svelte", we want to sell it worldwide. We want to make sure that other languages don't have a similar sounding word with a bad connotation. (I am not a linguistic ...
Barbara Binder's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
192 views

Polyglot Fluency Debunkers

There are people who can speak 4-6 languages well because they grew up in multilingual environments. When people claim they speak 10+ languages fluently, it's frankly unbelievable. Professors who ...
anonymous_pigeon's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

What is the term/word for using/mixing words from multiple languages at the same time?

The word or term I have seen before. It is an older term. Not sure if it is a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. It is not the modern term "code switching".
Gill10001's user avatar