first language

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From first +‎ language.


first language (plural first languages)

  1. The first language one is taught to speak; one's native language.
    She was born and raised in France, although her first language is Portuguese because her parents are from Brazil.
    Synonyms: native language, mother tongue, mother language
    • 2018, Clarence Green, James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, →DOI, page 105:
      Vocabulary is a vital component of educational success in both first and second language contexts.
  2. The language one feels most comfortable and capable with.
  3. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see first,‎ language.


See also[edit]