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bilingualism Reference library
Paul A. Kolers
A term that refers to a person's ability to communicate in two or more languages. The phenomenon is found commonly in border regions, especially in those whose geographical boundaries change from time to time. South-eastern Poland, for example, was formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, making Austrian the official language for a population whose native language was Polish but which was in contact with neighbouring Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Slovakian communities, and whose religious groups included Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Jewish. Thus church Slavonic, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Yiddish were all likely to be used to varying degrees by inhabitants of the region, in addition to the Slavic languages. The phenomenon is also found in small countries that participate extensively in international relations: the Netherlands and Switzerland are especially well-known examples. In the Netherlands, children characteristically have instruction in Dutch as a first language, begin a second, third, and fourth (English, French, or German) within a few years of each other, and, if they plan to go to university, add several years of Latin and perhaps some Greek. Most high-school graduates can manage to communicate in two foreign languages; fluency in three or four is common among university graduates. Bilingualism is encountered also in small countries experiencing substantial immigration or made up of disparate groups. It is estimated that peoples from more than 90 different language communities have emigrated to Israel since the 1930s. It is encountered in large countries also. In the Soviet Union, as in Iran, China, and India— countries comprising people of many different ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds—a single ‘national’ language is inculcated as a unifying device, while the separate groups use their own languages for local communication. Even in a country where the languages share a common root, such as Italy, the regional variants may be almost mutually unintelligible. In all of these cases people who wish to communicate with others not in their immediate linguistic community are obliged to learn another language. The fact of two languages in a single person is commonplace in most parts of the world, but is still thought of as an oddity in many others. Most English-speaking countries seem to be among the latter group....
Bilingualism Reference library
The use of two languages among women writers and critics in the United States occurs in tandem with biculturalism. Some bilingual-bicultural writers are children of immigrants whose primary language was not English (...
bilingualism Reference library
Widespread bilingualism at some level was characteristic of the ancient world, whether we look for
Bilingualism And Biculturalism Reference library
Identity, language, and culture are intrinsically linked. We cannot talk about bilingualism without biculturalism. People who speak two languages usually
Bilingualism and Multilingualism Reference library
In the ancient world in general bilingualism and multilingualism were more common than monolingualism.
Bilingualism in Greece.
In Greece of