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How to preserve your native language

In this article, it explains the various phenomenon that can attribute to gradual loss of one's mother tongue. The most obvious reason why a bilingual person may start to forget their native language is the lack of exposure to things directly related to their native language. For example, a person who is miles away from their native land, with no friends or family who share the language and no newspaper, TV channel, etc. that is in their native language is most at risk of forgetting certain words and dialect of their first language. 

Another important attribute mentioned in the article is familiarity and as a bilingual speaker, I relate to this the most. My mother tongue is Romanian, I can read, write and speak Romanian all very fluently despite not taking any lingual school. As a child, I would often speak English at home and the effects of the slow decline of my ability to speak Romanian fluently wasn't very obvious until I went to Romania for vacation and witnessed my utter failure of recalling some basic Romanian words when talking to relatives and friends in Romania. At that point, my parents wanted me to speak Romanian almost always when I was at home with them, and I have to say that the familiarity and constant exposure to my language allowed me to remember more words. I find that this attribute of familiarity also has its advantages in learning new languages, though not as fast as taking a class for that language. At times I will binge watch shows that are spoken in different languages, namely anime with its host language being Japanese. Whenever I watch these shows, I'm being constantly exposed to repetitive dialect and I start to ingrain some Japanese words into my brain. Lastly, the article explains that switching languages is a bad habit as it makes it easier to jumble words around and eventually forget certain words in your original language. It makes it so that the multiple languages are competing with each other and that can have negative effects to your mother language which is most often the language that gets beaten.

In conclusion, there are multiple ways to avoid the extinction of your learned language. Through some form of communication, whether its face-to-face with another speaker of your language, TV, internet, books or social media, expose yourself to your own language to refresh your memory and to recall words in that language. Keep in mind that just like dieting, exposing yourself to your language must be done over a long period of time so that it's effect will work. Treat your language like it's part of your everyday life, in much the same way as you do with English (unless you translated this thread into another language, but mind you), chances are that if you treat your mother language like it's foreign to your life, it will be. Do not switch back and forth from one language to another. If you want to say something, say it in one language (the choice is yours which one you'll speak in) because avoiding a word that you don't know in one of those languages is probably worse than quickly asking the other bilingual speaker how to say the word.

Let me know what you thought in the comments and if this method worked for you and comment your native language and your proficiency at it. :-D
If only I had knew the importance and value of my native langauge when I was younger. Unfortunately, I cannot speak my native language at all. I understand most of the language at least, although there are a handful of words I don't understand still and I definitely wouldn't be a good translator to go to. When I was younger I had a chance to learn it, not only my language but also my culture. However, I ignored it and didn't bother. I'd say I was a pretty ignorant child but I've grown a lot and am no where near who I was when I was 4 or 5, of course. My parents speak. to me in my language sometimes, but they have spoken more English to me over the years. I regret not learning my language a lot and if anyone is reading this, cherish your native language and acknowledge where you came from.

Also, hopefully you'll be able to be a fluent Romanian speaker your whole life. Value it!

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