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– The word ‘multilingual’ was first used in the English language in the 1830s.
– Multilingualism has existed as long as different languages have.
– Bilingual signs and glosses in textual sources are evidence of multilingualism.
– Macaronic texts mix two or more languages.
– Separate sacred and vernacular languages have coexisted throughout history.
– Multilingualism is debated and can be defined as competence in more than one language.
– Bilingualism refers to knowing two languages, while multilingualism suggests more than two.
– The definition of a distinct language is not consistent.
– Political factors can influence what is considered a language.
– Some nations require schoolchildren to learn multiple languages due to international interactions.
– Noam Chomsky proposed the human language acquisition device for language learning.
Language learning may be a cognitive process rather than a device.
– Early language learning is beneficial for pronunciation.
– European schools offer secondary language classes early on.
– The rate of learning English morphology, syntax, and phonology differs with age.
– Multilingualism is advantageous for trade, globalization, and cultural openness.
– Multilingual speakers are reported to be better at language learning.
– Access to multiple languages is facilitated by the internet.
– Multilingual individuals are called polyglots.
– Speaking multiple languages can enhance cognitive abilities.
– Multilingualism in computing ranges from internationalization to localization.
– English is commonly used in software development, but non-English-based programming languages exist.
– Commercial software may have multilingual versions based on the English original.
– Multilingualism in computing is influenced by the status of languages in different regions.
– Multilingual computing facilitates global communication and accessibility.

Challenges in Second Language Acquisition
– Second language learners may struggle with thinking in the target language due to influence from their native language and cultural patterns.
– Foreign students often have difficulty composing adequate themes, term papers, theses, and dissertations due to differences in rhetoric and sequences of thought.
Language teachers may be less clear about the differences in rhetoric between languages, particularly in writing.
– Positive transfer can occur when learning additional languages that have similar grammar or vocabulary to languages already spoken.
– Negative transfer, or interference, can also occur when learning a new language later in life, especially if it is influenced by previously learned languages.

Receptive Bilingualism
– Receptive bilinguals can understand a second language but struggle to speak it due to psychological barriers.
– Immigrant parents who are receptively bilingual may speak their native language to their children, while the children respond in English.
– Code-switching, or switching languages in the course of communication, can occur in productively bilingual individuals.
– Receptive bilingualism is not the same as mutual intelligibility of languages, which is based on lexical and grammatical similarities.
– Receptive bilinguals can rapidly achieve oral fluency by spending time speaking the language they previously understood passively.

Order of Acquisition
– Sequential bilingualism occurs when learners receive literacy instruction in their native language until they acquire a threshold literacy proficiency.
– Children may go through sequential acquisition if they migrate at a young age or exclusively speak their heritage language at home before being immersed in a different language school setting.
– Simultaneous bilingualism involves teaching both the native language and the community language simultaneously.
– The phases of sequential acquisition can vary greatly among children and are a complex and lengthy process.
– A coordinate model suggests equal time should be spent on separate instruction of the native language and the community language, focusing on different literacy and language skills.

Outcomes of Bilingualism
– Competence in the native language serves as a foundation for proficiency in the second language.
– The common underlying proficiency hypothesis suggests that skills learned in the native language can be transferred to the second language.
– Previous beliefs that learning two languages required unlearning elements of the first language have been disproven.
– It takes closer to five years, rather than one year, to acquire a second language within and across academic settings.
– Students who complete bilingual instruction perform better academically and exhibit cognitive flexibility.
– Polyglots typically know up to five or six languages, while hyperpolyglots know more than six languages.
– Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti was known to speak anywhere from 30 to 72 languages.
– Advanced language aptitude in polyglots is still under research, with one theory suggesting a link to testosterone levels during infancy.
– Savants are individuals with significant mental disabilities who demonstrate exceptional abilities, including language proficiency.
– Savants often have increased memory capacity, which aids in language learning.
– Multilingualism and its impact on the brain is a topic of study in neuroscience.
– Understanding how the brain processes multiple languages can provide insights into language acquisition and cognitive processes.
– Research in this field aims to uncover the effects of multilingualism on the brain.

Multilingualism (Wikipedia)

Multilingualism is the use of more than one language, either by an individual speaker or by a group of speakers. It is believed that multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. More than half of all Europeans claim to speak at least one language other than their mother tongue; but many read and write in one language. Multilingualism is advantageous for people wanting to participate in trade, globalization and cultural openness. Owing to the ease of access to information facilitated by the Internet, individuals' exposure to multiple languages has become increasingly possible. People who speak several languages are also called polyglots.

The frontage of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, with text written in eleven of South Africa's twelve official languages
A multilingual sign outside the mayor's office in Novi Sad, Serbia, written in the four official languages of the city: Serbian, Hungarian, Slovak, and Pannonian Rusyn
A stenciled danger sign in Singapore written in English, Chinese, Tamil, and Malay (the four official languages of Singapore)
The logo and name of the Swiss federal administration in the four national languages of Switzerland (German, French, Italian, and Romansh)

Multilingual speakers have acquired and maintained at least one language during childhood, the so-called first language (L1). The first language (sometimes also referred to as the mother tongue) is usually acquired without formal education, by mechanisms about which scholars disagree. Children acquiring two languages natively from these early years are called simultaneous bilinguals. It is common for young simultaneous bilinguals to be more proficient in one language than the other.

People who speak more than one language have been reported to be better at language learning when compared to monolinguals.

Multilingualism in computing can be considered part of a continuum between internationalization and localization. Due to the status of English in computing, software development nearly always uses it (but not in the case of non-English-based programming languages). Some commercial software is initially available in an English version, and multilingual versions, if any, may be produced as alternative options based on the English original.

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