Multilingualism

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Multilingualism'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Multilingualism'


Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Thanks to the ease of access to information, facilitated by the internet, individuals' exposure to multiple languages is getting more and more frequent, and triggering therefore the need to acquire more and more languages.

A multilingual person, in a broad definition, is one who can communicate in more than one language, be it actively (through speaking, writing, or signing) or passively (through listening, reading, or perceiving). More specifically, the terms bilingual and trilingual are used to describe comparable situations in which two or three languages are involved. A generic term for multilingual persons is polyglot. Poly (Greek: πολύς) means "many", glot (Greek: γλώττα) means "language".

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