Multilingualism

use of multiple languages

Multilingualism is the ability to speak more than one language. The ability to speak two languages is "bilingualism," a type of multilingualism. Many immigrants are bilingual and speak languages of both their old and their new country. Multilingualism is useful in many kinds of work, partly because international trade is more common than in past centuries. Some countries and organizations having more than one official language hire people who speak more than one, so they can work with more people.

Most people have a first language that they learned as babies. Other languages are usually learned much later.

People who learn many languages can find it easier to learn more languages if the new language is like the ones they already know. But sometimes, learning a new language can be hard if the person remembers old languages they learned before.[1] Sometimes, learning a second language can make it hard to remember words.[2] People used to think that speaking two languages made you better at certain thinking tasks. But some new research says this isn't true. Those who speak two languages are better are not better at learning languages than those who only speak one.[3] [4] People who are very good at speaking two or more languages were once thought to have better thinking skills and get certain diseases like dementia later in life. But recent studies don't agree with this.[5]

Some linguists think there are more multilingual people in the world than monolingual people, who speak only one language[6][7]

People who can speak several languages are called "polyglots". Those who can speak many, such as Heinrich Schliemann and Ghil'ad Zuckermann, are called "hyperpolyglots".[8]

As a result of wars, boundaries change. That may put some people in a country which uses a different language from theirs. For example, as a result of being in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Hungary was on the losing side of WWI. Much of the eastern part of their country was given to Romania after the war. Hungarian is not just a different language, it is in a completely different language category from most other European languages.

Related pages Edit

References Edit

  1. Pavlenko, Aneta (2 June 2015). "Can a second language help you learn a third?". Psychology Today: Life as a Bilingual. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  2. Bylund, Emanuel; Antfolk, Jan; Abrahamsson, Niclas; Olstad, Anne Marte Haug; Norrman, Gunnar; Lehtonen, Minna (2023-06-01). "Does bilingualism come with linguistic costs? A meta-analytic review of the bilingual lexical deficit". Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 30 (3): 897–913. doi:10.3758/s13423-022-02136-7. ISSN 1531-5320. PMC 10264296. PMID 36327027.
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  6. "Multilingual People - Are you a polyglot?". ilanguages.org. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  7. Tucker, G. Richard (August 1999). "A Global Perspective on Bilingualism". Carnegie Mellon University.
  8. Are You a Hyperpolyglot? The Secrets of Language Superlearners, The author of Babel No More explains what it takes to become super-multilingual. By Katy Steinmetz, Jan. 30, 2012.