Jul
12th

Does True Bilingualism Exist? (Guest Post)

Categories: Uncategorized |


Helen Birke


The extensive world history narrates us about individuals, who know and speak more than only one language. These people are known as polyglots. Although learning several languages was not their main activity, still, they did it pretty well (some of them did it perfectly). K. Luke, Steve Kaufmann, George Fernandes, Trevor Noah, Benny Lewis, Kostyantyn Tyschenko and more – they are known as one of the greatest polyglots in history.  However, did they perceive themselves as bilinguists? The ability to speak more than one language does not mean that you are a bilingual person.

There are as many definitions of what true bilingualism is, as there are bilingual people on Earth. It means the ability to speak two languages with the fluency of a native speaker; the frequent use by a community of two languages; the institutional recognition of two languages.

The bilingualism as a feature of progress

In the modern world, everything is developing rapidly – the economy, science, technologies and the need to speak several languages. Most people can speak a few languages these days (for example, English and Spanish), but there is nothing to wonder about. Bilingualism is a common phenomenon today. Therefore, its development is a supporting evidence of this fact. Perhaps, in a few decades, we will witness an expansion of languages used by the certain mediums.

Today, the appearance of new processes leads to the creation of new ways of communication. And a necessity in new words means the development of bilingual process and language complexity.

So what a modern bilingualism really is? Is that a single language with a set of terms for different spheres, or is it a possibility to speak two different languages at the same time? This is a controversial and complex question, which requires a little research. 


A modern world creates some perfect conditions for the bilingual language development. New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, London, Moscow, Berlin, Kiev, Beijing and some other big multicultural cities all over the world have already become the hearts of multilanguage development. The best examples of these “hearts” are:

  1. Brighton Beach, New York – a neighborhood of New York City, where you can hear more Russian words, than the English ones;

  2. Chinatown, Los Angeles – a Chinese-culture neighborhood near the downtown of LA, where most of the citizens have Chinese roots and near the half of them have Chinese origin;

  3. Ukraine – a country in the South-Eastern Europe, where more than 50 percent of people speak Russian (Ukrainian is a national language of Ukraine).

The globalization

The modern society and advanced technologies influence our young generation, bringing up the bilingual children. Our kids become a part of the global world and carriers of the global language. The globalization of compact devices and web technologies leads to their rapid spread. While in 2005 it was a dream to have a mobile phone with monochrome screen and buttons, ten years later the smartphones (which are the descendants of the cell phones) can compete even with PC’s and notebooks! So, as even the children start to use tablets, smartphones, and computers from the early age, there is a pressing need in a language, which can become global.

As the bilingual definition is standing for the knowledge and skills of two languages, English has already become a perfect variant to become a global one:

  1) simplicity – one of the easiest languages in the world to study;

  2) global extension – you can hear English in every continent of the planet;

  3) diversity – English has different dialects in different countries and diverse cultures;

  4) history – the history takes part from lingua Latina, but English that we know today is a pretty young language.

As a modern bilingual person, we can take a look at bloggers, musicians, actors, and writers. They might come from different countries (Russia, Germany, India, China, Nigeria or Mexico). However, they use English to share their knowledge and their emotions to the rest of the world.

The future forecast

Although English has already become a global language, there are also some other directions, which can develop globally. The reason for this phenomenon is a active development of the Eastern Asia and its influence for the rest of the world. Some countries of this region lead to the elaboration of the modern technologies and show rapid grow up in the economy.

The best ways to be bilingual

Speaking the different language is a skill, the same thing which is the driving, the singing or physical exercises – it will not hold on without practice. Different language carriers give several pieces of advice about how to keep the language level up and not to forget the vocabulary or grammar:

The mother practice

This is the most important activity in the process of language learning. In fact, the more time you devote to practice the language, the quicker you will gain more skills. The linguists have conducted the experiment – they placed people into the environment with the language these people studied. The results have shown the mode of incredibly effective skills. You can listen to the music, watch videos, and speak to the other people, who speak a particular language. This is the best practice.

The age matters

People who start learning the language in the early (4-8 years) experience fewer difficulties in this kind of activity (even it’s English, one of the most languages in the world). While the people who start learning the language much later experience a lot of stress. This is a feature of humans’ intellect, which responses to the knowledge better in the early age.

The stimulus is a big half

“You will make it if you want it!” You will learn the language much quicker if you want to learn it if you have a stimulus. When you have it your body function a little bit different than usually, and you have more energy for certain activity. In other words, y  ou will be glad to learn the language.

Although English has already become a global language, there are also some other directions, which can develop globally. The reason for this phenomenon is a active development of the Eastern Asia and its influence for the rest of the world. Some countries of this region lead to the elaboration of the modern technologies and show rapid grow up in the economy.