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Concept of Bilingualism and Multilingualism

 Concept of Bilingualism and Multilingualism

In this globalization era, there many people who are able to speak more than one language, usually they can speak two languages in one situation. Especially for people who live in bilingual and multiligual community. A person who called as bilingualism if the person can speak two different languages, and a person who can speak more than two different languages is called as multilingualism.

Bhatia and Ritchie (2013:5) Bilingualism and multilingualism have both de facto existences and important places in the psychological, political, and social debates that define social and ethnic groups, communities, and regions. Very widespread phenomena, they arise for a number of well understood reasons. In the main, however they are also quite unremarkable phenomena, fuelled by necessity up to, but rarely beyond, appropriately useful levels of competence. They imply both heightened and lessened opportunities for interpersonal and intercultural exchange. Multilingual capacities at an individual leel can obviously broaden posibilities, but a world of many languages is also pne in which communicative problems exist. In such a world, lingua francas and translation are required.

Wardhaugh (2006:96) Monolingualism, that is, the ability to use one language, is such a widely accepted norm in so many parts of the western world that is often assumed to be a world wide phenomenon, to the extent that bilingual and multilingual individuals may appear to unusual. Indeed, we often have mixed feelings when we discover that someone we meet is fluent in several languages.

Perhaps a mixture of admiration and envy but also, occasionally, a feeling of superiority in that many such people are not have native to the culture in which we function. Such people are likely to be immigrants, visitors, or children of mixed marriages and it that respect marked in some way, and such marking is not always regarded favorably.

However, in many parts of the world an ability to speak more than one language in not all remarkable. In fact, a monilingual individual would be regarded as a misfit, lacking in important skill in society, the skill of being able to interact freeely with the speakers of other languages with whom regular contact is made in the ordinary business of living. In many parts of the world it is just a normal requirement of daily living that people speak several language: perhaps one or more at home, another in the village, still another for purposes of trade, and yet another for contact with the outside world of wider social or political organization. These various languages are usually acquired naturally and unselfconsciously, and the shifts from one to another are made without hesitation.

People who are bilingual or multilingual do not neccessarily have exactly the same abilities in the languages or varieties. In fact, that kind of parity may be exceptional. Sridhar in Wardhaugh (2006:96) says, multilingualism involving balanced, native like command of all the languages in the repertoire is rather uncommon. Typically, multilinguals have varying degrees of command of the different repertoires. The differences in competence in the various languages might range from command of a few lexical items, formulaic expressions such as greetings, and rudimentary conversational skills all the way to excellent command of the grammar and vocabulary and specialized register and styles. Multilianguals develop competence in each of the codes to the extent that they need it and for the contexts in which each of the languages is used. Context determines language choice. In a society in which more than one language or variety is used you must find out who uses what, when, and for what purpose if you are to be socially competent. Your language choice are part of the social identity you claim for yourself.

Wardhaugh (2006:97) Multilingualism is a norm in this community. It results from pattern of marriage and the living arrangements consequent to marriage. Communities are multilingual and no effort is made to suppers the variety of languages that are spoken. It is actually seen as a source of strength, for it enables the speakers of the various linguistic communities to maintain contact with one another and provides a source for suitable marriage partners for those who seek them.




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