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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Subject: Languages spoken only as second languages.
Question: My psychology professor stated that of the 200+ languages spoken in the USA; 176 are living languages, “3 are second languages without mother tongue speakers” and 52 are extinct. When I asked her which three were second languages only, she didn’t know the answer and challenged me to find out. I’ve spent the past day and a half searching the web and I’m still stumped. Please help.

Reply: I have a bigger problem with your professor's statement. If 52 languages are truly
extinct, how can they said to be spoken in the US? To add to Dr. Pyatt's statement,
there is work by Nancy Dorian on what she calls "semi-linguals", people who have
passive knowledge of a language (such as an immigrant language) but who don't
actually speak it themselves.
Reply From: Susan D Fischer      click here to access email
 
Date: 25-Oct-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Languages spoken only as second languages.    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (26-Oct-2013)
  2. Re: Languages spoken only as second languages.    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (26-Oct-2013)
  3. Re: Languages spoken only as second languages.    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (25-Oct-2013)

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