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Bilingualism


The ability to speak two languages is often seen as something of a remarkable achievement, particularly in the English-speaking countries. However, over 70% of the earth population are thought to be bilingual or multilingual (able to speak three or more languages) and there is a good reason to believe that bilingualism or multilingualism has been the norm for most human beings at least for the last few millennia.

Bilingualism is" the condition in which two living languages exist side by side in a country, each spoken by one national group, representing a fairly large proportion of the people".

The practice of alternatively using two languages will be called here as bilingualism, and the person involved is Bilingual. Unless otherwise specified, all remarks about bilingualism apply as well to multilingualism, the practice of using alternately three or more languages.

So, bilingualism is the ability of using two languages to the other people. Many people in the world speak more than one language. It is a natural way of life, because each people want to try increasing their knowledge through bilingualism. Most of nations are thought bilingual.


There are some factors that are taken into account when describing bilingualism. They are:

a. Compound bilingualism
Compound bilingual, where two sets of language sign were associated with the same set of representational mediation processes this came about as a result of having learnt a foreign language in the traditional situation (and via the intermediary of the first language) or through the individual growing up in an environment where two languages were spoken more or less interchangeably by the same people in the same situation.

b. Coordinate bilingualism
Coordinate bilingual, where the two languages correspond to two independent meaning systems, this came about by learning two languages in totally differentiated circumstances, one in home and the other outside, or where the second languages was learnt in a totally different cultural environment from the first.

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