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How do people lose their native language? (Sgt Bowe Bergdahl spoke English for 23 years...)
BBC News ^ | 3 June 2014 Last updated at 19:07 ET | no byline

Posted on 06/04/2014 11:44:25 AM PDT by a fool in paradise

Sgt Bowe Bergdahl spoke English for 23 years until he was captured by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan five years ago. But since his release, he has trouble speaking it, says his father. How can you lose your native language, asks Taylor Kate Brown.

Some people have gone decades without speaking or hearing their first language but they retain the ability to speak it easily, says Dr Monika Schmid, a linguistics professor at the University of Essex in the UK. But others begin losing fluency within a few years of not speaking it.

It's rare to totally lose command of a first language, she says. Instead people have "language attrition" - trouble recalling certain words or they use odd grammar structures. Age is a factor. Once past puberty, Dr Schmid says, your first language is stable and the effects of attrition can reverse themselves if you are re-immersed. But children as old as 10 don't necessarily retain the language they were born into. In a study of French adoptees who left South Korea in childhood, when asked in their early 30s to identify Korean, they did no better than native French speakers with no exposure to Korean.

The difficulties in recalling your first language are greater the more immersed you are in a second language, says Dr Aneta Pavlenko at Temple University in Philadelphia, because cognitive resources are limited. Despite teaching Russian at university in the US, she herself returned to her Russian-speaking community in Kiev to realise she had forgotten how to start a conversation at the post office.

It's well known that brain injuries can have an impact on language loss, but emotional trauma can also affect it. Among German Jews who fled the country during the Holocaust, Dr Schmid says the loss of language was far more dramatic the greater their trauma.

Have you or your friends lost fluency in your native language? Tell us using the form below and we will publish a selection.


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Military/Veterans; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; bergdahl; bergdahlenglish; bergdahlfather; bergdahltruthfile; bobbergdahl; bowebergdahl; gitmo; language; science
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1 posted on 06/04/2014 11:44:25 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

Hogwash!


2 posted on 06/04/2014 11:45:09 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: a fool in paradise

I guess they never watched Dances With Wolves.


3 posted on 06/04/2014 11:45:34 AM PDT by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal the 16th Amendment)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

He will be shielded from his superiors until he has been sufficiently “deprogrammed” or “coached”.


4 posted on 06/04/2014 11:47:31 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise

My dad came from Sweden when he was five. He spoke no Swedish in the United States. When he called Sweden once a year or so, he hand little to no trouble making himself understood. He died at 95 still able to speak Swedish.


5 posted on 06/04/2014 11:47:58 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: a fool in paradise
“since his release, he has trouble speaking it, says his father”

Just one more of the many weird facts that don't make sense about this.

I have never heard of anyone unable to speak English after speaking it for over 20 years.

Unless there was massive brain damage this is impossible.

I think it is just a false story to allow him to not be questioned about what really happened.

6 posted on 06/04/2014 11:48:47 AM PDT by detective
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To: a fool in paradise

Leave it to the BBC to buy into the anti-American daddy’s lies.


7 posted on 06/04/2014 11:49:05 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: detective

I think the father was sending a signal to the son not to open his mouth.


8 posted on 06/04/2014 11:50:24 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: miss marmelstein

BBC says daddy has already talked to him since he was in captivity. Other reports say that he’s too fragile to meet with his parents. But they let him speak on the phone? Or did daddy speak with him while he was still with the Afghans/Pakistanis?


9 posted on 06/04/2014 11:50:37 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise

The military needs to get daddy’s phone records and passport. Something stinks and it ain’t in Denmark!


10 posted on 06/04/2014 11:52:06 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: detective

“Once past puberty, Dr Schmid says, your first language is stable”

Ah ha! That’s his problem! He never made it past!


11 posted on 06/04/2014 11:52:16 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: miss marmelstein

Daddy picked up the local language. A lot of effort to go through just to read the newspapers.


12 posted on 06/04/2014 11:53:14 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise; Bikkuri

Ping for your intrest!


13 posted on 06/04/2014 11:53:26 AM PDT by KC_Lion (Build the America you want to live in at your address, and keep looking up.- Sarah Palin)
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To: a fool in paradise
How can you lose your native language

Los Angeles is full of third-generation Mexicans who STILL can't speak any English.

14 posted on 06/04/2014 11:53:45 AM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: a fool in paradise

They’re trying to keep him away from the public. This guy is a muslim powder keg.


15 posted on 06/04/2014 11:54:39 AM PDT by ryan71 (The Partisans)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

this


16 posted on 06/04/2014 11:54:40 AM PDT by silverleaf (Age takes a toll: Please have exact change)
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To: a fool in paradise
It is the desire of his heart `

the puke doesn't want to be American and doesn't want to speak English ... why don't they just believe him when he says he hates us ?


It's like those people that insist I remember something ... "YOU know ... you were THERE ... you do TO remember __ "

Sorry ... no ... I don't remember.


The puke ain't lyin' ... he's an enemy ... kill him.

17 posted on 06/04/2014 11:55:20 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: knarf

Afghans told him “don’t come back”.

It’d be “awkward” for the parties involved.


18 posted on 06/04/2014 11:56:01 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise

The “lost language” canard was simply a reason to justify the father’s spouting of Islamic crap!

Absolutely nothing more than that and the canard may have been worked out with the Muslim brotherhood staffers that Obama has installed in his White House staff.


19 posted on 06/04/2014 11:56:04 AM PDT by House Atreides
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To: a fool in paradise

Actually, Daddy did not pick up the local language, which is another weird thing about this business. Where the guy was held, Pashto is the local language, not Arabic.


20 posted on 06/04/2014 11:56:42 AM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: a fool in paradise

LOL.


21 posted on 06/04/2014 11:56:59 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: Cementjungle
Los Angeles is full of third-generation Mexicans who STILL can't speak any English.

What need is there for them to learn?

22 posted on 06/04/2014 11:57:07 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (I'm a Christian, pro-life, pro-gun, Reaganite. The GOP hates me. Why should I vote for them?)
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To: House Atreides

So your theory is that the father used that to boast of his language skills? I find that fascinating! That plays into my instant take that he was the biggest narcissist since Cindy Sheehan.


23 posted on 06/04/2014 11:59:17 AM PDT by miss marmelstein (Richard Lives Yet!)
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To: colorado tanker

My understanding is that the dad DID learn Pashto. Maybe I confused one of the reports with the son learning it.


24 posted on 06/04/2014 12:03:12 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise

Let’s hear and see him now. Someone must be taping him at Landstuhl.


25 posted on 06/04/2014 12:04:50 PM PDT by TigersEye ("No man left behind" means something different to 0bama.)
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To: a fool in paradise

I’m kind of hoping that most people have realized/noticed by now that, the Berghdall “rescue” was meant as a way to redirect the attention of the media and the American people from the many other scandals which Obama and his defenders were feeling the heat about.

The Berghdall trade is not as significant as the many other scandals, although it now becomes another scandal for which Obama and his defenders have to answer questions about.

So, with one “insignificant” soldier (even if he is a deserter and traitor), Obama has managed to take the VA scandal off the headlines, along with Benghazi and the IRA scandals.

Obama knows that nothing big will come from the Berghdall scandal, and nobody will prosecute him for violating the law. Meanwhile, he’s won the week by turning attention away from the many other scandals.


26 posted on 06/04/2014 12:04:58 PM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: a fool in paradise

How many Vietnam War POWs came back speaking only Vietnamese? Many of them were heavily isolated.

It’s a nonsensical excuse to justify him keeping a low profile.


27 posted on 06/04/2014 12:05:39 PM PDT by Bogey78O (We had a good run. Coulda been great still.)
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To: colorado tanker

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/for-father-of-released-pow-growing-a-beard-and-studying-captors-defined-the-years/2014/06/02/d8de9fcc-ea93-11e3-93d2-edd4be1f5d9e_story.html

“Bowe, I love you. I am your father,” Bergdahl said at the news conference in Boise. He then spoke in Pashto, adding “I’ve written to you over and over” before speaking again in the foreign language.


28 posted on 06/04/2014 12:07:25 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: colorado tanker

But Arabic is the language of the Haqqani group, which indicates Bergdahl was working closely with Arabic speakers for some time. Were he a prisoner, he would have been isolated and would have had little contact with anyone but his guards, who would need to know little, if any, English. This whole thing stinks.


29 posted on 06/04/2014 12:07:39 PM PDT by attiladhun2 (The Free World has a new leader--his name is Benjamin Netanyahu)
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To: a fool in paradise

Kids a damn liar and so is his father.


30 posted on 06/04/2014 12:08:50 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: adorno

Yep, a distraction, meant to be a “feel good” story (even leaked as such by White House insiders) that blew up in their face and they continue to stonewall, deny, spin, and now use the “Swift Boated” term to attack the critics and play the victim.


31 posted on 06/04/2014 12:09:40 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: Sacajaweau

Bingo!


32 posted on 06/04/2014 12:10:16 PM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: Sacajaweau
Kids a damn liar and so is his father.

So is the president, the press secretary, the State Department,...

33 posted on 06/04/2014 12:10:33 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (The new witchhunt: "Do you NOW, . . . or have you EVER , . . supported traditional marriage?")
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To: a fool in paradise

Don’t be too sure that they weren’t talking in code and/or the interpretation is another friggin’ lie.


34 posted on 06/04/2014 12:11:57 PM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: a fool in paradise

Daddy Bergdahl us one creepy dude. What is his problem?


35 posted on 06/04/2014 12:13:14 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie (The media must be defeated any way it can be done.)
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To: Gen.Blather
Correct. I spent nearly 15 years in Japan, including some time with total immersion in the language and culture. There are a few of the newer expressions and idioms which might throw you off balance and you might even be a little halting at times, but you do not lose the ability to speak.

My youngest daughter was born and raised in Japan, went to Japanese schools, had only Japanese friends, the whole nine yards. She spoke a little English at home, mostly to her mother.

Same thing even then. She used her math time (where she was far advanced of her classmates) for time with a computer with the Rosetta Stone software. She was up to her grade level by her second year and graduated with honors three years later.

36 posted on 06/04/2014 12:13:20 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: a fool in paradise
Yep, a distraction, meant to be a “feel good” story

It's still a distraction which is working well for the president, and even FR has turned its attention from Benghazi and the VA and IRA scandals.

Obama may be taking heat from the Berghdall "scandal", but, it's not as damaging as the other scandals. Obama is winning the week.
37 posted on 06/04/2014 12:16:43 PM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: a fool in paradise

Totally bogus. Everything the Government says is a lie. This whole episode looks scripted to me. Now these 5 monsters they have released will be Kings of Islam.


38 posted on 06/04/2014 12:20:36 PM PDT by olepap (Your old Pappy)
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To: a fool in paradise
Recall the photo-op with dear leader when Bob Bergdahl urged his son, Bowe, to trust his military reintegration team, and Bob also suggested his son could no longer speak English.

Could it be that daddy Burgdahl was actually instructing his son to speak only in his adopted foreign tongue in order to avoid revealing too much? By instructing his son to trust his reintegration team would also suggest that these team members are fluent in that foreign tongue, perhaps hired Afghan translators, 'allegedly required' to communicate with Bowe [and this administration contacts].

Reintegration appears to be quite a challenging task given the walk back yesterday: State Dept changes it's tune now unsure if Bergdahl captured during combat

Perhaps Bowe was not willing to concede to this administration's much desired 'returning rescued hero' meme.

39 posted on 06/04/2014 12:31:17 PM PDT by wtd
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To: a fool in paradise

One of the first reports on Fox was that he ‘couldn’t’ speak English. Last night (or the night before?) a report said that he ‘wouldn’t’ speak English. The latter is the more likely case & another indication of his true feelings.


40 posted on 06/04/2014 12:38:47 PM PDT by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: a fool in paradise

My cousin has lived in Sweden for the past 25 years. She has never lost her English, but she does speak it with a Swedish accent now.


41 posted on 06/04/2014 12:39:39 PM PDT by Huntress ("Politicians exploit economic illiteracy." --Walter Williams)
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To: a fool in paradise; attiladhun2

Daddy learned both Pashto and Arabic? So, who was he talking to from the White House? Was he talking to the Haqqani group or making a statement?


42 posted on 06/04/2014 12:46:34 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: a fool in paradise

Gee, I think a lot of illegals in the US never learn English regardless of how long they have been here.


43 posted on 06/04/2014 12:49:24 PM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: colorado tanker

Sounds like it was for the benefit of his jihadist buddies.


44 posted on 06/04/2014 12:49:48 PM PDT by attiladhun2 (The Free World has a new leader--his name is Benjamin Netanyahu)
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To: detective

I think it is just a false story to allow him to not be questioned about what really happened.

***
Bingo!


45 posted on 06/04/2014 12:55:49 PM PDT by Bigg Red (1 Pt 1: As he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct.)
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To: a fool in paradise
How does one lose his native language when it's the language of Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible?

Fraud, I say! Fraud!

46 posted on 06/04/2014 12:59:29 PM PDT by Oratam
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To: a fool in paradise

Puts me in mind of weak people who lack substance and integrity; like B-HO and Hillary’s sudden southern affectation when talking to a black audience or Madonna’s sudden English accent after living in London for less than a year. Sure, I’ll buy that the kid and dad both think they’re Afghanis, because they don’t really know WHO they are, in general.


47 posted on 06/04/2014 1:00:12 PM PDT by LittleBillyInfidel (This tagline has been formatted to fit the screen. Some content has been edited.)
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To: a fool in paradise

$274.00 here http://www.rosettastone.com/lp/sbs/?rsi=diplomabgd&cid=se-br-gg-diplomabgd&gclid=CKmPiISB4b4CFQzItAodrF0A-A and the weasel will be speaking like a native.


48 posted on 06/04/2014 1:00:13 PM PDT by A_Tradition_Continues (formerly known as Politicalwit ...05/28/98 Class of '98)
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To: a fool in paradise

You tend to lose your language skills when asked questions that you don’t want to answer.

Ask any school kid sitting out in the hallway at school or in the principal’s office.


49 posted on 06/04/2014 1:03:38 PM PDT by Uncle Chip
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To: attiladhun2

In northern Afighanistan, the local language is Dari which the Haqqani speak. I think it was just lazy reporting that Pops was speaking Arabic. What doesn’t make sense to me is how Pops knew to learn Pashto if he were held by Dari speakers. Granted a lot of Afghans understand both.


50 posted on 06/04/2014 1:29:34 PM PDT by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call good evil and evil good. Isaiah 5:20)
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