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First language

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The monument for the Mother (Azerbaijani) tongue in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan

A first language (also mother tongue, native language, arterial language, or L1) is the language a person first learns.[1] A person's first language helps them understand words and concepts in the style of that first language.[2]


"First language" sometimes does not mean this, however.

Sometimes first language means the language a person speaks best (his second language is language he speaks less well than his first language, etc.).

Sometimes first language, second language and third language show how well one speaks a language, so a person can have more than one first language or second language.