Questions tagged [native-language]

An individual's native languages (or mother tongues; L1) are those which have been learned by or before the critical period

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How can I improve my native language skills as someone with an immigration background?

My parents immigrated to Germany in the 70's and I was born and raised in Germany. Although I attended German schools like any other German child and even studied in Germany, I do not feel confident ...
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0 answers
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Can we define a Process describing the way we discover and learn new words in our mother tongue?

Can we define a Process describing the way we discover and learn new words in our mother tongue? This could apply to a child who is learning to speak as well to an adult. Consider that you discover a ...
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When native speakers encounter an unfamiliar phrase

Have you noticed that when native speakers encounter an unfamiliar phrase, they might distort their mental grammar to arrive at an interpretation they consider reasonable? This is common especially ...
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1 vote
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the Emperor's New Clothes Effect

If you, a language learner, suspect that a famous yet old work contains an error or some outdated usage, is it a good idea to reveal the source to a native speaker while asking them about it? Are they ...
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4 votes
1 answer
733 views

Is it more difficult for a native Chinese speaker to learn English, or vice versa?

I am a native Chinese speaker, and it was an excruciating journey for me to learn English. My personal belief is that the reason lies in the linguistics, namely the Chinese language may be somewhat ...
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1 answer
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When does a native reach certain CEFR levels?

The language skill is a process that takes time. If you're a native you still don't jump right into C2. I was wondering at what age/education level do natives reach certain language level of their ...
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9 votes
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787 views

How many people in the world can I speak with if I know three languages?

In order to gather some data that can hopefully give an estimate for the correlation between L1 and L2 languages, please take a moment to take this short 2-question survey. The title might be a bit ...
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3 votes
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If you don't speak your native language (e.g. Spanish) can you lose your native accent?

I am practising several foreign languages, i.e. Japanese, Korean, Standard Chinese and Russian (I am A1 in the first three) and my question is what will happen if I don't speak my native language (...
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1 vote
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Child recognizing words by first and last letters; what next?

My child, now 4 years old, seems to recognize a number of written names by their first and last letters. They also recognize some other words seemingly by appearance. They can pronounce individual ...
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7 votes
1 answer
86 views

How to comprehend what we read properly?

I have problems with comprehending sentences. Many times what I understand after reading a sentence or sentences is totally different from what it actually means. I can understand the meaning of each ...
7 votes
3 answers
178 views

Is there evidence that languages with complex grammar take longer to learn as a mother tongue?

This question is about learning to speak a language as a mother tongue (i.e., from birth (L1), not as a second language (L2)). Some languages have more grammar rules than others (number of cases, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
610 views

Can passive speakers of a language gain native level fluency when learning it in their teens?

Many immigrant kids grow up understanding a language fluently, but unable to speak it. This is known as being a passive speaker, as far as I know. If they decide later to actively begin learning to ...
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9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Is it possible to learn a foreign language well enough to be indistinguishable from a native speaker?

Note I don't ask if this is easy. I ask if this is possible, since it is certailny not easy. According to this Quora answer at least, it would seem it is not possible - but Quora is Quora. I am aware ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How did Celine Dion learn to sing in perfect English?

Celine Dion is from Quebec, a predominantly French-speaking province in Canada. English is not her native language, yet in her songs her English is perfect. Is this because she grew up speaking the ...
17 votes
9 answers
3k views

Is it possible for an adult to learn a language without carrying a foreign accent?

As an adult, I'm working on learning French, coming from a background growing up speaking a few languages natively. According to French friends of mine I practice with, I have a "good" accent, but I'...
12 votes
0 answers
142 views

What are the various context clue techniques children use to learn a new word?

Is there any literature that discusses in great detail what the various context clues are that children use to learn a new word? I found myself reading a few papers "The development of a ...
7 votes
1 answer
164 views

What qualities separate those few who acquire native speaker fluency, from those who are only fluent?

Assumptions Abbreviate Native Speaker Fluency: NSF. NSF excludes L2 learners' noticeable, but insignificantly different, accent because native speakers can understand them. But NSF necessitates ...
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9 votes
2 answers
422 views

What is my first and second language?

First, let's take a look at the meaning of first language by Wikipedia: A first language, native language or mother tongue (also known as father tongue, arterial language or L1) is a language that a ...
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9 votes
1 answer
142 views

What are the steps to native language acquisition for children?

I've been trying to find literature that talks about steps taken to typically learn a language. I know that based on what I've read that children start from a one-word stage to multi-word stage. What ...
3 votes
2 answers
564 views

Language Acquisition: What's the very first step (and the steps that come after that) in language learning?

If I need to teach a child English without the use of any other language, how and where should I start? Alphabets* Words Pronunciation? Nouns? Tenses? Sentences? Repeat 2-6? I need an order that ...
4 votes
1 answer
164 views

An article that has no problem, but sounds unnatural to the native speakers. Would non-native readers perceive it unnatural too?

I wrote an article in a L2 (English), with the target in my mind is not a native English speaker. My native English friend proofread it, and after fixing common mistakes like grammar or phrasal verbs, ...
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16 votes
3 answers
270 views

Is "difficulty" an inherent trait in language?

It's quite common to talk about the relative difficulty(1, 2, 3, etc) of languages. But do languages have an inherent difficulty? Put another way, perhaps, are some languages easier or more ...
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12 votes
1 answer
127 views

Do difficult native languages slow down early education?

Do students from countries that teach native languages considered to be quite difficult (e.g. Japanese) generally take longer to master that language? Or does the power of being surrounded by a ...
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does forcing students to speak English in school affect the students' knowledge of their native language?

In places where I live some private institutions are forcing students (of age 6 to 17) to speak only in English, regardless of their native language. This restriction is not only placed in English ...
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28 votes
2 answers
743 views

According to scientific research, which languages take the least time to learn for a native English speaker?

Basically what I'm just asking in the question's title. By learning a language, I mean being able to fluently speak it, understand it, write it, and read it. I would think French or German. Please ...
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