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Batool Alaskar

Shared June 24, 2017

I was mortally offended when my first-grade teacher asked me on the first day of school if I knew “a little English”—“I don’t know a little English,” was my indignant and heavily accented retort. “I know a lot of English.”

Supreeth S

Shared December 26, 2015

Evidently, when memory speaks, it sometimes does so in a particular tongue.

Wale Lawal

Shared August 20, 2017

Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, wrote in 1986 (and I'll paraphrase), "language has always been at the heart of contending social forces in Africa". The statement belongs to a collection of essays he published titled, "Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature". In it, he would lay the ideological foundations of his eventual decision to abandon writing in English for his mother tongue, Gikuyu.

Earlier this month, I discovered a 2015 essay on first languages by Julie Sedivy, a writer and former associate professor at Brown University. Sedivy, who grew up speaking Czech but lost [most of] it to English due to migration, embarks on a remarkable journey of self and lingual re-discovery after the death of her father. But she is also interested in how the first languages multilingual people speak tend to follow them through life, and how negotiating the languages we speak can influence our brain activity, making us tongue-tied, clumsy with speech or even withdrawn.

For something that plays a crucial role in our lives, language receives very little attention. But there is a political economy of language. The notion that the dominance of certain languages is not strictly the result of cultural or demographic factors. We speak a language not necessarily because of its cultural rewards; rather, the languages we speak are the result of unique interactions of history, politics and, quite often, commerce.

Hanan AL-Raddadi

Shared April 14, 2017

rebuke

Andrés Pérez Mohorte

Shared December 25, 2015

But embracing the dominant language comes at a price. Like a household that welcomes a new child, a single mind can’t admit a new language without some impact on other languages already residing there. Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention.

Ben Mall

Shared December 22, 2015

"Re-learning" your first language is an amazing experience. Some words or expressions can even trigger vivid memories and nostalgia. It makes it impossible to forget 📎

Alex Henke

Shared December 26, 2017

research has shown the depth of the relationship all of us have with our native tongues—and how traumatic it can be when that relationship is ruptured

Alex Henke

Shared December 26, 2017

The incentives for adopting the culturally dominant language are undeniable. Proficiency offers clear financial rewards, resulting in wage increases of 15 percent for immigrants who achieve it relative to those who don’t

Alex Henke

Shared December 26, 2017

Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention

Sara Clayton

Shared December 9, 2015

Couldn't have been written better... Going through this rediscovery too...

Kris Tozkousne

Shared April 28, 2017

Vliv mateřského jazyka na identitu, mozek, ... od lingvistky s českými kořeny

Aylin Yardimci

Shared February 5, 2017

But embracing the dominant language comes at a price. Like a household that welcomes a new child, a single mind can’t admit a new language without some impact on other languages already residing there. Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention. The subconscious effort of suppressing this competition can slow the retrieval of words—and if the background language elbows its way to the forefront, the speaker may resort to code-switching, plunking down a word from one language into the sentence frame of another.

Pranidhi Das

Shared May 12, 2017

I was always the kid in class who wanted to be better at Hindi and know its nuances more closely than the rest, the girl who'd be devouring English classics without losing sight of Manto, Chughtai and Faiz in their original form. It emerged perhaps from a sense of insecurity regarding how distant I was from my native toungue odiya and a need to compensate for it by having a sub textual understanding of Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi (as that was easier to absorb growing up in North India). Being an East Indian, I was often mistaken to be a bengali and the misunderstanding became so common through my adolescent years that I started seeing myself as one. The fact that I could quote Tagore, Ray, Seth and Lahiri almost instinctively only helped spike that identity cocktail further and I started to learn bengali on the side too, picking from movies and literature.

All of that led me to a linguistic state of complete dissonance and I couldn't even string two sentences of odiya together. The only time it was spoken in my house was when my mom would be scolding my dog (somehow anger towards a pet could only be projected in odiya according to Ma) and that's pretty much what I know of it. Maybe I too will one day decide to pick a language completely alien to me like Jhumpa Lahiri did and churn out a bestseller like In Other Words (there's no lemon so sour that it can't be made into something resembling a lemonade :/)

Joseph Bayot

Shared January 28, 2016

I read a LOT of articles on language learning. This is one of the best I've ever read. Beautiful thinking and writing

The Strange Persistence of First Languages

Laszlo Vad

Shared February 28, 2017

But embracing the dominant language comes at a price. Like a household that welcomes a new child, a single mind can’t admit a new language without some impact on other languages already residing there. Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention. The subconscious effort of suppressing this competition can slow the retrieval of words—and if the background language elbows its way to the forefront, the speaker may resort to code-switching, plunking down a word from one language into the sentence frame of another.

Augustin Chiam

Shared November 15, 2015

Our native tongue helps us unlock childhood memories...wherever we may be.

Christian Eggert

Shared February 5, 2017

Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.

Erdogan Cesmeli

Shared December 21, 2016

Your inner identity wrapped within your parent's native tongue,

Jack Schwarz

Shared February 7, 2017

On the other side, if you want to jump out of the context, the simplest way is: don't use that language.

Losing your native tongue unmoors you not only from your own early life but from the entire culture that shaped you.

Sunny

Shared February 23, 2017

This was an enlightening and emotional read.

"Losing your native tongue unmoors you not only from your own early life but from the entire culture that shaped you. You lose access to the books, films, stories, and songs that articulate the values and norms that you’ve absorbed. You lose the embrace of an entire community or nation for whom your family’s odd quirks are not quirks all. You lose your context. This disconnection can be devastating."

Vishak Ayappan

Shared March 3, 2017

Great read. As a trilingual this really hits home.

"English was the language in which I forged my independence, the language of my individuation"

Johannes Neukamm

Shared September 12, 2017

Psycholinguistics seems like a dope field of study.

kharenee koh

Shared December 30, 2016

This is beautiful

Yuk Yu, Alison LEE

Shared March 2, 2016

Another very insightful article

Yuk Yu, Alison LEE

Shared August 24, 2016

Phonology’s resistance to both attrition and later learning may be due to the fact that the sound structure of a language is fixed in a child’s mind very early. Before 6 months of age, infants can distinguish most subtle differences in speech sounds, whether their language makes use of those distinctions or not. But over the second half of their first year, they gradually tune their perception to just the sounds of the language they hear around them. Children who hear only English lose the ability to distinguish between dental and retroflex sounds. Children learning Japanese begin to hear “r” and “l” as variants of the same sound. Linguist Pat Kuhl, who has studied this phenomenon for decades, describes the process as one of perceptual narrowing and increasing neural commitment, eventually excluding native-like perception of other languages.

Li Ann Lim

Shared December 28, 2016

It reminds me of what it feels like to sink into language, to be startled by the aptness of a word or the twist of a phrase, to be delighted by arrangements of its sounds, and lulled by its rhythms.

darlene huynh

Shared June 8, 2017

Loss inevitably reveals that which is gone. It was as if the string section of the orchestra had fallen silent—not carrying the melody, it had gone unnoticed, but its absence announced how much depth and texture it had supplied, how its rhythms had lent coherence to the music.

J Moneypenny

Shared September 15, 2017

Losing your native tongue unmoors you not only from your own early life but from the entire culture that shaped you. You lose access to the books, films, stories, and songs that articulate the values and norms that you’ve absorbed. You lose the embrace of an entire community or nation for whom your family’s odd quirks are not quirks all. You lose your context.

Raisa Roo

Shared December 27, 2016

How our native tongues that we unlearn affect us.

Asad Zaidi

Shared December 22, 2016

One of the most remarkable examples involved a group of Indian adoptees who’d been raised from a young age (starting between 6 and 60 months) in English-speaking families, having no significant contact with their language of origin. The psychologist Leher Singh tested the children when they were between the ages of 8 and 16. Initially, neither group could hear the difference between dental and retroflex consonants, a distinction that’s exploited by many Indian languages. After listening to the contrasting sounds over a period of mere minutes, the adoptees, but not the American-born children, were able to discriminate between the two classes of consonants.

This is revealing because a language’s phonology, or sound structure, is one of the greatest challenges for people who start learning a language in adulthood. Long after they’ve mastered its syntax and vocabulary, a lifelong accent may mark them as latecomers to the language. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the star of many American movies and the governor of the country’s biggest state, but his Austrian accent is a constant reminder that he could never run for president. The crucial timing of exposure for native-like speech is evident in my own family: I can pronounce the notoriously difficult “ř” sound in Czech—as in the name of the composer Dvořák—but my brother, born three years after me, in Vienna, cannot.

Kien Nguyen

Shared March 25, 2017

"Like a household that welcomes a new child, a single mind can’t admit a new language without some impact on other languages already residing there."

Reshma Ramachandran

Shared April 21, 2017

The fruits that proficiency in more globally acknowledged languages bear, cause us to drift away from our roots. Our native tongue can unearth connections with the past, rekindle emotions and even lead us to our aspirations. This article is a nudge in the right direction.

Christina Palutsis

Shared December 8, 2015

When a childhood language decays, so does the ability to reach far back into your own private history. Language is memory’s receptacle. It has Proustian powers. Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.

Bryan Tan

Shared January 1, 2017

Nothing much to add, except, - wow, what a beautiful article.
Not insomuch that its subject matter is beautiful (it is harrowingly so, & makes me feel embarrassed about my linguistic abilities which ironically isn't what is supposed to happen) but that even the article carries with it a strange, beatific musicality almost like a meta commentary on itself. So so well written.

Tamar Marvin

Shared October 20, 2017

Losing your native tongue unmoors you not only from your own early life but from the entire culture that shaped you. You lose access to the books, films, stories, and songs that articulate the values and norms that you’ve absorbed. You lose the embrace of an entire community or nation for whom your family’s odd quirks are not quirks all. You lose your context.

KN KH

Shared January 22, 2017

It became clear that a door to the past was available to her in her first language.”

Ricardo Fahrig

Shared February 12, 2017

"The Soul selects her own Society—
Then—shuts the Door—
To her divine Majority—
Present no more—

Unmoved—she notes the Chariots—pausing—
At her low Gate—
Unmoved—an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat—

I’ve known her—from an ample nation—
Choose One—
Then—close the Valves of her attention—
Like Stone—"

chia Zhi Jien

Shared February 13, 2017

"It reminds me of what it feels like to sink into language, to be startled by the aptness of a word or the twist of a phrase, to be delighted by arrangements of its sounds, and lulled by its rhythms. I’ve discovered that my native language has been sitting quietly in my soul’s vault all this time."

Good read !

Adam Golomb

Shared March 5, 2017

BY

Adam Golomb

Shared March 5, 2017

Z. . I

BY

Patrick Shortall

Shared December 31, 2016

How languages are vessels of culture.

Helen V. Holmes

Shared January 23, 2017

Fascinating. Must read.

Bermet Talant

Shared February 20, 2017

Paraphrasing the author: 'There is a part of me that only Kyrgyz can speak to.' Exploring the relationship between native tongue & identity

Magomed Abdurakhmanov

Shared July 1, 2017

This is a very thoughtful writing.

Kratika Mujmer

Shared March 9, 2017

"Those of us who received more than one language before the valves of our attention closed may find, to our surprise, that our earliest language lingers on in our soul’s select society, long after we thought it had faded."

Andy Iakobson

Shared March 18, 2017

hits (very) close to home.

Haewon Han

Shared December 22, 2016

When a childhood language decays, so does the ability to reach far back into your own private history. Language is memory’s receptacle. It has Proustian powers. Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 2, 2017

my father died as he had done most things throughout his life: without preparation and without consulting anyone.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

seemed as plausible as pausing the flow of time.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

part of my life when the marriage-grad-school-children-career-divorce current was sweeping me along with breath-sucking force

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

more intent on hurtling myself into my future than on tending my ancestral roots

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

Generation 1.5—immigrants who arrive before their teenage years—

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

door to the past was available to her in her first language.”

A first language remains uniquely intertwined with early memories

anosh Tariq

Shared January 3, 2017

In her book The Bilingual Mind, linguist Aneta Pavlenko describes how the author Vladimir Nabokov fled the Russian revolution in 1919, arriving in the United Kingdom when he was 20. By the time he wrote his memoir Conclusive Evidence in 1951

anosh Tariq

Shared January 4, 2017

You lose the embrace of an entire community or nation for whom your family’s odd quirks are not quirks all.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 4, 2017

lose your context.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 4, 2017

sense of cultural continuity makes people resilient by providing them with a cohesive self-concept.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 5, 2017

my parents’ life in their home country, and the values that defined that life, didn’t translate credibly into another language; it was much easier to rebel against them in English.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 5, 2017

speakers of non-tonal languages like English have more activity in the right hemisphere, showing that the brain doesn’t treat tone as relevant for distinguishing words

anosh Tariq

Shared January 5, 2017

our earliest language lingers on in our soul’s select society, long after we thought it had faded.

anosh Tariq

Shared January 5, 2017

I’ve become aware of the deep sense in which I belong to the Czech language

anosh Tariq

Shared January 5, 2017

English was the language in which I forged my independence, the language of my individuation—but it was in Czech that I was nurtured, comforted, and sung to.

shubhankar chawla

Shared March 5, 2017

"It reminds me of what it feels like to sink into language, to be startled by the aptness of a word or the twist of a phrase, to be delighted by arrangements of its sounds, and lulled by its rhythms. I’ve discovered that my native language has been sitting quietly in my soul’s vault all this time."

Keisha Bruce

Shared June 28, 2017

An interesting quote about first languages. It's fascinating how the brain works

Evidently, when memory speaks, it sometimes does so in a particular tongue.

Losing your native tongue unmoors you not only from your own early life but from the entire culture that shaped you.

Robert Lin

Shared July 6, 2017

The Czech words we’d used—Maminka, Tatinek—so laden with esteem and affection, impossible to pronounce with contempt, had no corresponding forms. In English, the sweet but childish Mommy and Daddy are soon abandoned for Mom and Dad—words that, we discovered, lend themselves perfectly well to adolescent snark.

Sarah King

Shared August 2, 2017

Wonderful article.

Triparnee Kushari

Shared October 2, 2017

One of the best reads

Elżbieta Głogowska

Shared January 31, 2017

Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention.

Elżbieta Głogowska

Shared January 31, 2017

"Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention."

Grace Jaucian

Shared August 29, 2017

Language is memory’s receptacle. It has Proustian powers. Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.

Grace Jaucian

Shared August 30, 2017

Love this! Language majors, do yourself a favor and read

Claudius Tadesse

Shared January 15, 2017

to

Harsh Prabha Singh

Shared January 20, 2017

I am so glad this insightful yet beautiful article came my way.

Muhammad Ahmer Wali

Shared January 26, 2017

English was the language in which I forged my independence, the language of my individuation—but it was in Czech that I was nurtured, comforted, and sung to

Eric Kim

Shared April 16, 2017

Language is memory’s receptacle.

Jody Mumford

Shared June 5, 2017

🖋

Dominika Matějková

Shared June 6, 2017

Even the English names for our parents encouraged dissent: The Czech words we’d used—Maminka, Tatinek—so laden with esteem and affection, impossible to pronounce with contempt, had no corresponding forms. In English, the sweet but childish Mommy and Daddy are soon abandoned for Mom and Dad—words that, we discovered, lend themselves perfectly well to adolescent snark.

Tang Way

Shared July 18, 2017

cultural connectedness buffered them against adolescent problems more than having a warm and nurturing mother. Such benefits appear to span continents: In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that aboriginal youth who spoke their traditional language were less likely to binge drink or use illegal drugs.

Jessica

Shared August 2, 2017

Totally! My first language is Bahasa Indonesia and sometimes I choose to speak English rather than my first language. Speaking your first language really helps you reconnect with your country. 😊

Kostas K

Shared August 8, 2017

Reminder to keep in touch with my first Laguage. The bit about English being the language in which the self as individual was forged is something that resonates strongly.

Eva Ptašková

Shared August 10, 2017

Wonderful.
If you grew up in a bilingual home, you will relate to this.

Pavol Kažimir

Shared September 21, 2017

Po Slovensky?

Jayne Williamson-Lee

Shared December 3, 2017

"Language is memory’s receptacle. It has Proustian powers. Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it."

Leandro Batisteli

Shared January 21, 2018

A 2007 study led by Darcy Hallett found that in British Columbian native communities in which fewer than half of the members could converse in their indigenous language, young people killed themselves six times more often than in communities where the majority spoke the native language. In the Midwestern U.S., psychologist Teresa LaFromboise and her colleagues found that American-Indian adolescents who were heavily involved in activities focused on their traditional language and traditions did better at school and had fewer behavior problems than kids who were less connected to their traditional cultures—in fact, cultural connectedness buffered them against adolescent problems more than having a warm and nurturing mother. Such benefits appear to span continents: In 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that aboriginal youth who spoke their traditional language were less likely to binge drink or use illegal drugs.

Indra Filgueiras

Shared February 7, 2018

“Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention. The subconscious effort of suppressing this competition can slow the retrieval of words—and if the background language elbows its way to the forefront, the speaker may resort to code-switching, plunking down a word from one language into the sentence frame of another.”

wanyi .

Shared December 19, 2016

Such a beautiful article.

Brb studying Japanese and start learning another language like French now.

This article reminds me of a conversation a few weeks ago, when a friend commented on my Singlish and that my Singaporean accent is hard to understand to him, a Native American, as well as the numerous posts on the same sentiment by Singaporean Expats in reddit.

I don't find a need to speak Singlish when I talk to other non-Singaporean friends or is in a foreign country, such as including the lahs and lohs for emphasis in my native tongues English and Mandarin. And I do cringe when I hear Singlish being spoken in professional workplace settings and tv shows, as well as seen it typed out in forums.

But there is this pleasantness, the homesickness, in hearing Singlish being spoken in a foreign country, by your fellow countrymen. I thought about the trip to Taiwan a few years back, when my heart melts as I walked pass Singaporeans whom I identified by hearing their heavy Singaporean-accents. "The couple over there are Singaporean, I am certain of that." I told my mum. Truth to be told, it is hard to identify the nationality of the said couple because they share similar features as the Taiwanese/ Chinese/ Koreans/ Japanese/ Singaporeans/ etc due to their fair features and black hair. But I was able to identify their Singaporean roots by their accent.

And it makes me feel so warm, that someone is from the same hometown as me. Especially warm in a foreign country.

Language is able to bond people together. But at the same time, it can isolate people into their respective communities because they do not share the same language. This is how amazing Language is.

Jennifer Komo

Shared January 22, 2017

Great article, even though I only have my own language.

Misstake Y

Shared January 23, 2017

by Emily Dickinson:

The Soul selects her own Society—
Then—shuts the Door—
To her divine Majority—
Present no more—

Unmoved—she notes the Chariots—pausing—
At her low Gate—
Unmoved—an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat—

I’ve known her—from an ample nation—
Choose One—
Then—close the Valves of her attention—
Like Stone—

News Views

Shared April 16, 2017

Lol

T Takuya

Shared January 4, 2017

I am going to make new memories in English. And I want to communicate with people all over the world.

Mehdi Gholipour

Shared February 25, 2017

It's a very good article...read it...

Mustafa Ozdemir

Shared March 10, 2017

"When a childhood language decays, so does the ability to reach far back into your own private history. "

Mustafa Ozdemir

Shared March 10, 2017

"especially my father, who never wore English with any comfort. Memories of our early family life, along with its small rituals and lessons imparted, receded into a past that drifted ever further out of reach. It was as if my parents’ life in their home country, and the values that defined that life, didn’t translate credibly into another language; it was much easier to rebel against them in English. "

17Y5C33 TAN XIAOCHEN

Shared March 21, 2017

"sense of cultural continuity makes people resilient by providing them with a cohesive self-concept."

Boaz Galil

Shared March 28, 2017

Beautiful article

Mesut Yasli

Shared April 6, 2017

while, the weaker language is more likely to become swamped; when resources are scarce, as they are during mental exhaustion, the disadvantaged language may become nearly impossible to summon. Over time, neglecting an earlier language makes it harder and harder for it to compete for access.

His death underscored another loss, albeit a far more subtle one: that of my native tongue.

According to a 2004 survey conducted in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, fewer than half of people belonging to Generation 1.5—immigrants who arrive before their teenage years—claimed to speak the language they were born into “very well.” A 2006 study of immigrant languages in Southern California forecast that even among Mexican Americans, the slowest group to assimilate within Southern California, new arrivals would live to hear only 5 out of every 100 of their great-grandchildren speak fluent Spanish.

Clarice Anne Talaboc

Shared June 19, 2017

ut embracing the dominant language comes at a price. Like a household that welcomes a new child, a single mind can’t admit a new language without some impact on other languages already residing there. Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention. The subconscious effort of suppressing this competition can slow the retrieval of words—and if the background language elbows its way to the forefront, the speaker may resort to code-switching, plunking down a word from one language into the sentence frame of another.

Marija Zakarija

Shared July 3, 2017

How our first language is important even when it is not important!

Yuri Silkin

Shared July 7, 2017

I've had similar experiences.l, with Russian being my first language until 4, then English thereafter. Rekindling my proficiency with Russian has led to many surprises about the way my mind accesses information, the associations it makes, and the thought it constructs using the phonemes programmed into it.

Prarthana Seth

Shared August 20, 2017

Languages can co-exist, but they tussle, as do siblings, over mental resources and attention. When a bilingual person tries to articulate a thought in one language, words and grammatical structures from the other language often clamor in the background, jostling for attention.

oliver zou

Shared August 22, 2017

rewards

JAIRO 2017

Shared October 15, 2017

hola soy Jairo y tú cómo te llamas

Adnan Alam

Shared December 4, 2017

The comfort you feel in your mother tongue(s), viz. the language(s) you heard around in the first year of your life, is real not imagined.

vickie wen

Shared December 4, 2017

fulcrum

Eura Jones

Shared December 7, 2017

This is realtalk

Hamad El Gibreen

Shared February 10, 2018

“Just as smells are known to trigger vivid memories of past experiences, language is so entangled with our experiences that inhabiting a specific language helps surface submerged events or interactions that are associated with it.”

Tracy Chau

Shared 21 hours ago

I was, like most young people, more intent on hurtling myself into my future than on tending my ancestral roots—and that included speaking the language of my new country rather than my old one.

Meanwhile, the weaker language is more likely to become swamped; when resources are scarce, as they are during mental exhaustion, the disadvantaged language may become nearly impossible to summon. Over time, neglecting an earlier language makes it harder and harder for it to compete for access.

Adam

Shared March 16, 2017

Even the English names for our parents encouraged dissent: The Czech words we’d used—Maminka, Tatinek—so laden with esteem and affection, impossible to pronounce with contempt, had no corresponding forms. In English, the sweet but childish Mommy and Daddy are soon abandoned for Mom and Dad—words that, we discovered, lend themselves perfectly well to adolescent snark.