First language

language a person was raised speaking from birth
(Redirected from Mother tongue)

A first language (also mother tongue, native language, arterial language, or L1) often means the language that a person learns first.[1] It helps one understand words and concepts in the style of that language.[2]

The monument for the Mother (Azerbaijani) language in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan

Sometimes, first language means the language that a person speaks best (the second language is then spoken less well than the first language, etc.). Since first language, second language and third language then mean how well one speaks a language, a person can have more than one first language or second language.


  1. Bloomfield, Leonard (1994). Language. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 978-81-208-1196-6.
  2. Davies, Alan (2003). The Native Speaker: Myth and Reality. Multilingual Matters. ISBN 978-1-85359-622-3.

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