Can we forget our first language?

       Forgetting a native tongue is a real possibility, although it would only happen under certain circumstances. A person would need to be relatively young at the time when they lost contact with their original native language. If someone were to emigrate in their mid-40's, for example, they would be unlikely to forget their native tongue, even if they never spoke it again, although they many have difficulty with rarely used words. However, children or teenagers who move into an environment where almost nobody speaks their first language can completely lose their ability to speak their old language. The brain is an organ designed for constant learning, and it is for this reason that a lack of practice can cause it to forget what it had previously learnt.

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