First language

A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth[1] or within the critical period. In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language or dialect of one's ethnic group rather than one's first language.[2]

The monument for the mother tongue ("Ana dili") in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan

The first language of a child is part of that child's personal, social and cultural identity.[3] Another impact of the first language is that it brings about the reflection and learning of successful social patterns of acting and speaking.[clarification needed][4] Research suggests that while a non-native speaker may develop fluency in a targeted language after about two years of immersion, it can take between five and seven years for that child to be on the same working level as their native speaking counterparts[citation needed].

On 17 November 1999, UNESCO designated 21 February as International Mother Language Day.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article First language, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.