Talk:First language

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Early unsectioned discussion[edit]

Good skills in eyour native lanaguage are essential for further learning, as native language is thought to be a base of thinking. Incomplete first language skills often make learning other languages difficult. Native language has therefore a central role in education.

--This seems to be a restatement of the discredited Sapir Whorf hypothesis.

The article on Sapir-Whorf hypothesis gives some research results that support it. The hypothesis can't be discredited. -Hapsiainen 19:41, Apr 20, 2005 (UTC)
OK, but it's a minority view. I think that needs to be mentioned.
Detrimental effects of incomplete mother tongue skills can hardly be characterized as "minority views", although the Sapir Whorf hypothesis may be considered controversial. --Johan Magnus 08:35, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Of course, there are detrimental effects of incomplete mother tongue skills (although examples of persons with incomplete mother toungue skills are rare--it's usually the case that the person considered to have incomplete fist language skills just speaks a nonstandard dialect). It's the claim that not having complete native language skills affects a person's ability to think (as opposed to that person's ability to express his thoughts) that is a minority view. -- Temtem 17:44, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If whoever added the part on Altenhofen happens to see this, could you cite the specific work? I'm interested in looking him up for an unrelated project, and would like to know what work this occurs in. this is not rright —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


I have removed vernacular in the brackets after first language, as the two are not the same. A simple look at the vernacular page reveals that. Someone's native language is not automatically a vernacular. JREL 15:41, 30 January 2006 (UTC) how can this be —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

First Language, Native Language, Mother Tongue[edit]

According to the first sentence of this article, these three terms are treated as equivalence to each other, however someone believes there are still subtle differences among these three terms. Could anyone clarify the doubt? -- G.S.K.Lee 09:02, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

I know a girl from Argentina. The first language she learned to speak was Spanish. So that's her native language or mother tongue. However, she's lived in the US most of her life and is now actually more comfortable with English than Spanish, making English her first language, in that it's the one she's most skilled with. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


Linguist SME's and copyeditors needed[edit]

I was just about to link to this article, but it hardly meets start quality status, and has been ignored for a long time. I am not really interested in working on this article - can't we get some volunteers?Vontrotta (talk) 12:11, 20 October 2008 (UTC) justin bieber is so cute

First Language, Mother Tongue and Number of Speakers of L[edit]

The basic premise that only First language speakers can be counted as being completely competent in any language because fluency cannot be accurately measured in second language users is completely wrong. If fluency cannot be accurately measured in second language users, then why should it be measurable in First language users? The point is that any criteria used in measuring language competency may be applied to both First and Second language users. On the other hand, if there are no valid criteria for measuring competency and fluency, then the original premise does not stand. In other words, if we can’t measure fluency and competency, then we can’t do it in either first or second language users.

I know Bengali people in the UK that are totally fluent in English. I have met these people and their second language is indistinguishable from native speakers.
WillMall (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC). WillMall (talk) 09:41, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

You're missing the point. Fluency and "competency" don't need to be measured in native speakers. Native speakers are the standard, regardless of their variety and change, by which fluency and competence are measured (if at all). -- Wegesrand (talk) 11:37, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Which is the correct way to count the number of speakers of a language? Using FL, SL or ML? A combination of all 3? None of the above? WillMall (talk) 09:41, 26 March 2009 (UTC) we are not talking about justin bieber

Language Dominance[edit]

Well, i dont really have time to do a whole bunch of research and editing, but i wanted to note that i live in denmark and have been raised by danish parents, but i prefer the english language because danish is very limited. It only has one word for most things so its very hard to explain complicated concepts. I often find myself frustrated because im talking to somone in danish and there simply isnt a word for what im going to say. Again, this is first hand research, but its food for thought. Would be cool if someone could find some sourced stuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Impact of One's Mother Tongue Section[edit]

The Section Impact of One's Mother Tongue needs serious revision and sources. It states that from early puperty one cannot replace one's mother tongue as the dominant language, which is utterly wrong, as there are many people who prefer to speak their second language, or may simply feel more comfortable using a second language. In fact, the majority of the section has nothing to do with the impact of one's mother tongue, but rambles needlessly about an experiment that was apparently verified by many psychologists. In other words, it has nothing to do with the topic. Se Cyning —Preceding undated comment added 04:06, 9 August 2009 (UTC). my bad —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

The whole section should be rewritten ! I started, but gave up because of time pressure. (I have to leave it to somebody else or do it some other time). It is indeed easier to write the whole thing from scratch than to edit a hopelessly flawed manuscript. Hirpex (talk) 13:18, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Literacy as a First Language[edit]

I learned to read by age 3. I don't remember learning to speak or learning to read. As a child, the library was my favorite place to go. I have since been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Reviewing my life, I discovered about two years ago that written English was my native language, the mode in which my mind thought, and that I was not fluent in spoken English. Oh, I could understand the words people spoke, but I often missed instructions and phrases; in particular, words relating to emotions, spiritual things, social things, etc, made no sense as audio, even though I could handle them on paper. I can remember one instance when it felt like I was transcribing another person's words from speech to text in realtime in my mind. The Internet is addictive for me because it feels like I am truly communicating, instead of the awkward time-based speech that we use in person, which often results in misunderstanding. --BlueNight (talk) 23:57, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Image: Monument for the Mother language[edit]

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

I reverted the addition of this image, because it is a monument to Azerbaijani rather than about first languages in general. I think it could be included in the article, but maybe further down (it was posted right at the top). A more suitable image for the top of the article might be a small child learning their first language. What do people think? Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 02:46, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Actualy this monument is deducated to mother tongue. Writing on it: Azerbaijani: Ana dili means English: Mother tongue. Besides, I don't think, foto of small child learning their first language will be suitable. --Мурад 97 (talk) 20:19, 11 April 2011 (UTC)
But isn't this promoting Azerbaijani over other languages? As I said above, to me the monument looks like it is dedicated to the Azerbaijanji mother tongue. The writing may say "mother tongue", but it says it in Azerbaijani; this article is not about Azerbaijani, but the general subject of a mother tongue. Maybe this image would be more suitable at Azerbaijani language? (In fact, looking at that article, I see it's already included.) Mr. Stradivarius 12:40, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
This monument shows, how people in diferent regions and countries proud of their mother tonge. If I'l finde the other pictures, that shows how people proud of their mother tonge I'l put it in this article too. --Мурад 97 (talk) 11:57, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Idiomatic language?[edit]

Why does "Idiomatic language" redirect to this page, and not to "Idiom" or to a similar page? I fail to see the relevance of the redirect, and I don't see that phrase boldfaced anywhere on this page... Grollτech (talk) 10:04, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Is the current title a common name?[edit]

The term "native language" on Google yields 14,500,000 results; while "first language" only yields 9,530,000 results. It appears that "native language" is more common. --Matt Smith (talk) 06:41, 19 January 2017 (UTC)