Can you lose your native language?
Once a person is able to speak two or more languages, the mind has to create a mechanism to switch between those seamlessly.
Switching a language is not like forgetting, but if there is too much back and forth, the competition starts between the two languages.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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While our brains are flexible and adaptable as children, we tend to start having more rigid learning and relearning skills as we grow old.
There have been some extreme cases when the mother tongue or the first language is completely forgotten in adults.
One of the reasons for forgetting a language is the trauma associated with speaking a particular language: The mind recalls the bad experiences while the language is heard or spoken.
Our mother tongue is tied to our deeper identity, roots, and memories.
Native language attrition (the process of losing a native, or first, language) is natural and reversible, as whatever allows us to learn languages also accommodates for making changes.
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If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run.
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Finding some kind of partner on your language adventure will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it.
It’s a really great way of actually going about it. You have someone with whom you can speak, and that’s the idea behind learning a new language.
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language.
This can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind. It also helps build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.
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A will to start and self-confidence is necessary as is having the courage to speak, and not being afraid of making mistakes. The key is to immerse yourself and put your whole being to the task.
Total immersion necessitates activities like listening to the radio station of the language you are learning, reading and speaking to people.
It is a good idea to master the basic skills first and focus on the grammar later, while asking for feedback and correcting yourself, learning on-the-fly.
Invest not only your head but your heart in the learning process. Practice makes perfect.