Language Identity Essay

688 Words Oct 27th, 2008 3 Pages
Language Identity

Are the people who become fluent in a second or third language at risk of losing their own identity? Language has been a way of communicating with each other for thousands of years, maybe even more. Since the day we were born we started to learn to speak the language of our fatherland and we’re all still learning.

I don’t believe that you can necessarily lose your identity because you speak two or three languages. Identity is a very big word to use and is influenced by many things. A part of your identity is your ethnic background. Your genes, religion, the culture you live in and your environment all have a big influence on your identity. It affects the way you live, your behavior and your point of view at life. I
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Back then she could only speak Dutch and English (English because her mother came from Singapore). In Malaysia she learned to speak the language Bahasa Melayu (Malay) fluently at school and at the homes of her relatives but did forget all about the Dutch language because she didn’t use it anymore. She couldn’t remember anything from the time that she used to live in Belgium including her native language. But I don’t think that my friend lost her identity. When she moved to the Netherlands at the age of ten she remembered everything again within two or three months because she recognized may objects and words. You adapt to your surrounding and forget things, but that doesn’t change or take away your true identity.

Interpreters speak many different languages but I don’t think they have lost their personal identity. They just do their job, they interpret another language to make everything clear for a large part of the audience who doesn’t or might not understand that particular language, for example when two or more people are in a debate or when something has to do with politics. But in their personal daily lives, they use their native language when they go shopping with the whole family for instance. They don’t forget about who they truly are, who they always have been and always will be.

I don’t think that anyone who becomes fluent in a second or third language risks losing his or her identity. Even if

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