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Who is bilingual? 1. I'm native English speaker. I speak English, also I can communicate with Germans. But The Germans sometimes say words I don't know, but I can understand what they mean even though they say that. Or, the Germans can explain me about that word. 2. I'm native Spanish speaker. I can speak English a bit. My tongue often gets twisted when I speak English, also I often become dumb once a Native English speaker speaks something in English. Sometimes I can't understand even though a Spanish speaks something even with simple Spanish words. 3. I'm German, and I can speak Polish a bit. But I can't tell my opinion when the Polish talk about politic, social topic and so on. Because I don't know many Polish words. I only know basic words. 4. I'm French. I'm fluent in French. I can understand/say Ciao bella, Buon giorno, Buona giornata, Hola, Hallo... But I can't speak the languages except them. I wonder what's the standard of real bilingual.
Feb 1, 2008 8:02 AM
Answers · 4
Bilingual or multilingualism is the capacity of speaking more than one natural language. A multilingual person, in the broadest definition, is anyone who can communicate in more than one language, be it active (through speaking and writing) or passive (through listening and reading). More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual are used to describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are involved, respectively. A generic term for multilingual persons is polyglot. Multilingualism could be rigidly defined as being native-like in two or more languages. It could also be loosely defined as being less than native-like but still able to communicate in two or more languages.
February 1, 2008
I would say that one who can speak two languages as good as their native tongue is bilingual. For instance if you are Spanish and speak English as good as your Spanish, then you are bilingual. You should basically speak two languages fluently. I for instance fit in in your first example, only I'm a native Swedish speaker. And I would never say I was bilingual in Swedish and German.
February 1, 2008
Well, I am bilingual. Say what you like in either German or English and I'll get it. I can also say anything I like in either tongue. Basta!
February 3, 2008
I agree with Kalamita's second point. You really have to be able to speak native-like in the language besides your own native language. To the point that you can't really say that one of them is your native language, because you are equally good at both of them. Well, most bilingual people are kids of parents with different native languages. Like, when an English guy marries a Spanish woman, chances are that they will raise the kids to be bilingual. Although the kid might still be better at one of them depending on where he goes to school and the language his friends speak. I don't think you can be 100% bilingual anyway.
February 1, 2008
Language Skills
English, Japanese, Korean
Learning Language
English, Japanese