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On 6 September 2011 02:50, yuri <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>
> +Sam Stutter, how would you categorise my Dutch and English. At the
> age of 5 I was "taught" English in a formal setting with a teacher
> aide, and English is now embedded in the mother-tongue portion of my
> brain, having displaced Dutch.
>
> Yuri de Groot
>

I am in a similar situation. French is my mothertongue, but I hardly ever
use it any longer, and have even developed a foreign accent when speaking
it! I learned English as my first foreign language at school, but developed
fluency by using it only later. I only had 4 weeks of formal study of Dutch,
but it's now my main language, the one I use exclusively at home, and
together with English at work. My command of all three languages is similar,
in that I speak them all three with a foreign accent (according to
listeners, my accent in English is French, my accent in French is Dutch, and
my accent in Dutch is Belgian :P ), but am otherwise fluent in them (modulo
grammatical mistakes that don't cause misunderstandings).

Labels just cannot capture such a situation, if only because those labels
are designed around the idea that monolingualism is the only correct case,
and people speaking 2 languages or more *have* to have one primary language
which is the one they learned first as a child. In reality things are much
more complicated than that, and multilingualism can take many forms.
-- 
Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com/
http://www.christophoronomicon.nl/