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Monoglottism (Greek monos, "alone, solitary", + glotta, "tongue, language") or, more commonly, monolingualism or unilingualism is the condition of being able to speak only a single language. In a different context "unilingualism" may refer to language policy which enforces an official or national language over others.
Native-born persons living in many of the Anglosphere nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, United States, and New Zealand are frequently typecast as monoglots, owing to a worldwide perception that English speakers see little relevance in learning a second language due to the widespread distribution of English and its competent use even in many non-English speaking countries in Europe, Africa, and South Asia. A similar observation can be made in communities that speak other global languages, for example, the Hispanophone world in the case of Spanish and the Francophonie in the case of French.
Monolingual or unilingual is also said of a text, dictionary, or conversation written or conducted in only one language, and of an entity in or at which a single language is either used or officially recognized (in particular when being compared with bilingual or multilingual entities or in the presence of individuals speaking different languages). Note that monoglottism can only refer to not having the ability to speak several languages.
Reference list[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Monolingualism and Judaism by Jose Faur, contrasting the Greek monolingualism with the polyglot culture of the Hebrews
See also[edit | edit source]
- Languages in the United Kingdom
- Languages in the United States
- List of multilingual countries and regions
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