Simple and complete answers to 12 questions that we have all asked ourselves many times

Growing up in a country as multilingual and diverse as India gives one the ability to pick up at least two or three languages to be used on a daily basis. But, some people may end up getting the shorter end of the stick — they can sometimes only understand a language without actually being able to speak it — a phenomenon officially called receptive multilingualism. This is often more commonly described as passive multilingualism — which implies one knows but can’t assert any agency over the language. But that categorization is misleading because the brain works quite hard to channel languages for the purpose of communication.

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July 12, 2022 | 8:09 pm