2 Responses

  1. Dominik Lukes
    Dominik Lukes August 26, 2011 at 8:32 am |

    There are also many situations where ‘receptive bilingualism’ is the norm across a wide area. This pattern of interaction was common in Czechoslovakia where all cross language interactions were held in the speaker’s native language with the assumption that the other would understand. This would spill over into written form where Slovak writers would contribute in Slovak into Czech periodicals. However, this practice has been replaced by translation since then. Of course, even here not all things were equal and generally Slovaks were much better at understanding Czech than vice versa.

  2. Peter K Austin
    Peter K Austin August 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm |

    Receptive multilingualism was common in many areas in Aboriginal Australia and was reported on by linguists as a far back as the 1960’s. Traditionally people grew up in multilingual family settings and could speak and understand a range of languages (I have met people who could produce utterances in 6 totally different languages) though typically they would speak the language of the group they identified with and understand when spoken to in the others.

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