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José Goris
Bilingualism I am interested in bilingualism, which of course has many forms. I would like to know if people that grow up in a country with two official languages, like for instance the Spanish Basque country, are equally fluent in both, and if they consider both languages as their native language. Are there any Italki learners who would like to comment on this? Do you use both languages daily?
Jan 17, 2016 9:35 PM
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Answers · 5
I think it's great that certain countries promote a bilingual model. The US is slowly creeping towards a Spanish-speaking majority (some sources estimate the hispanic population will pass non-hispanic whites in the next 30-40 years), but except for a few places, all non-language education is still provided in English. Like French-speaking Quebec, there are some here who are wary of a "language takeover." I've never been to the Netherlands, but I've been told (and read) that the majority of people, like you, speak and write excellent English. Is there any fear of losing your native Dutch to English dominance? Or does everyone embrace the bilingual model?
January 19, 2016
Great question. I'm surprised you haven't gotten any replies yet. I can't speak to bilingualism personally, but I think Québec, Canada is a remarkably great example, particularly in Montréal. The province is officially French (with some fairly rigid language laws), the country is officially English and French, but the region is dominated on all sides by English. People I've spoken to from Montréal could fool you into thinking they're American, I've always been impressed with their command of both languages, and although I've never asked specifically, I have to imagine they would tell you they're native in both. Frankly, if my goal was to master a second language to the level of a Quebecer, I'd be bitterly disappointed with my progress!
January 18, 2016
José Goris
Language Skills
Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish
Learning Language
Polish, Swedish