To be or not to be bilingual

I knew my first post had to be about bilingualism and what it means to be a bilingual person. As I said in my introduction, Sumerian and Akkadian formed a symbiotic bilingualism that went both ways. Following the same concept, English and Spanish also make up a symbiotic relation. I am not referring here to what people call Spanglish. That has to do to more with code switching*. I am referring to the proximity of two languages by geography; that is what I mean by “symbiotic bilingualism”, and it is bilingualism in the sense that is actually spoken by people, millions of them.

Instead of bringing you the science or plane linguistic theories; I will retell what has meant to be a bilingual to me and how, I think, I became a bilingual. I started with the idea that bilingualism is a “symbiotic relation” and that is what happens consciously and unconsciously when a bilingual individual grows in a setting where two languages are spoken. The United States, Canada, are examples of places where this happens by the thousands and there’s plenty of academic literature written about that kind of bilingualism. It represents to me situations where direct contact bilingualism develops. However, little is published about how it is like to learn two languages or more when the individual grows up in a place where the language contact is more of an indirect one.

keep reading.


Published by J.J. Del Mar on Sumeria + Akkad, Language and Culture


*Code switching is the ability by bilingual individuals to switch back and forth from language to language mainly unconsciously though this also happens at will and it depends on the situation.



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