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I always had trouble with the term "native language," because it seems to
imply a language that we were born speaking. I like "primary language." I
think I'll start using that.
salatas -at- micron -dot- com
Martin Smith wrote:
Has the word native fallen into disfavor, as in English is my native
language or Arabic is my wife's native language?
Kim Roper responded:
In a country where people are bilingual or trilingual (or more), "native"
takes on a much smaller meaning.
I'm in Ottawa, the seat of our federal (bilingual) government. "Preferred
language," "language preference," and "primary language" are the phrases I
see most often, depending on the context. The last one tends to be used
more on application forms and surveys.
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