When we learn to speak and to read, we don’t really have the wherewithal to understand the complexity of language. After all, babies tend to say their first few words after only a few years of life.  By the time we are five or six we should already have a pretty decent grasp of Robotel language lab vocabulary and grammar, to the point that we can communicate in a rudimentary way.

Obviously, there is so much more to language than just what we read or speak. Indeed, we have a fundamental understanding of our first language, even if we are not aware of these fundamentals.  As we learn more about language—and learn more languages—we begin to get an even deeper understanding.

And that is why it is a good idea to learn other languages.

NATIVE LANGUAGE

The first language you learn is regarded as your “native language.”  Sometimes also called your “mother tongue,” your native language is most often also the national language of the country in which you were born (or lived as a child).  Essentially, if you are born and grew up in France, your native language (and first language) is probably French.  Of course, this could also be true in Canada, where French is about as common as English in some regions.

DOMESTIC LANGUAGE

The term “domestic language” is often interchangeable with native language, though they are not, technically, the same thing.  Domestic language can also sometimes be used to indicate a language other than the native one but is specific to one region.  That means, then, you might use the term “domestic language” to distinguish between a foreign language that is as commonly spoken as the native language.

FIRST LANGUAGE

While it is common that your native language is usually your first language, this is not always the case.  Basically, your “first language” should be the one that you learn from your family, which is where we first learn to speak.

SECOND LANGUAGE

Common throughout most schooling in the world, a “second language” is a language that you learn after your first language.  You can learn this language in school or from moving and living in another part of the world where the common tongue is different from the one you know most intimately.

WORLD LANGUAGE

The term “world language” refers to a language that is common across the globe. Obviously, this would include English, but Spanish is also commonly included in this category.

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