Skip to comments.How do people lose their native language? (Sgt Bowe Bergdahl spoke English for 23 years...)
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.
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What need is there for them to learn?
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.
My understanding is that the dad DID learn Pashto. Maybe I confused one of the reports with the son learning it.
Let’s hear and see him now. Someone must be taping him at Landstuhl.
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.
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.
Bowe, I love you. I am your father, Bergdahl said at the news conference in Boise. He then spoke in Pashto, adding Ive written to you over and over before speaking again in the foreign language.
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.
Kids a damn liar and so is his father.
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.
So is the president, the press secretary, the State Department,...
Don’t be too sure that they weren’t talking in code and/or the interpretation is another friggin’ lie.
Daddy Bergdahl us one creepy dude. What is his problem?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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