What does bilingual mean?
Bilingual refers to a person or community that speaks or understands two languages. While some are confronted with two languages from birth (simultaneous bilingualism), others learn their second language only later in life (successive bilingualism). Bilingualism is the most common form of multilingualism.
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FAQ: More questions about bilingualism
Those who are bilingual can communicate in two languages. The second language may be acquired in parallel with the first language or only later in childhood or adolescence.
Bilingualism refers to the ability to speak or understand two languages. There are often differences in the degree of mastery.
Countries such as Canada, Finland, Cyprus, Israel and Belgium describe themselves as bilingual.
There are different methods to educate a child bilingually. A widespread strategy is that one parent speaks one language with the child at a time. It can also be useful to create an environment with lots of language stimuli for the child, for example through books, music or films.
Those who raise their children bilingually can observe both learning and social benefits. Thus, bilingualism increases neural connections in the brain, improves analytical skills and strengthens empathy for other cultures.
At least half of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual. It is estimated that 56 per cent of Europeans speak two or more languages.
Bilingual is someone who speaks two languages. While some children are confronted with two languages from birth, others learn their second language later in life.