Bilingualism- Stephen Fry Investigates

Posted on 01 Sep 2015

Bilingualism- Stephen Fry Investigates

On 1st September, Radio 4 aired a programme called ‘Fry’s English Delight – English plus one’. In this particular episode Stephen Fry researched and interviewed bilingual speakers.

What is bilingualism?

Bilingualism can be broadly defined as a person’s ability to understand/communicate using two languages.  What I found interesting is after reading around the subject area of bilingualism is that there appears to be no universally agreed ‘definition’ of what bilingualism is. Scholars and researchers have tried to ‘categorise’ bilingualism in a number of ways to try to explain the variables involved. For example:

Was the person exposed to languages from birth, as a teenage or as an adult?

Are both languages fully used or does the person use one language fully but never speaks the other language?

What were the circumstances surrounding the exposure of two languages? i.e. travelling, learning at school, moving abroad etc.

Yiddish, English, Italian and German

During the radio programme, Stephen talks to various people from around the world who are bilingual. He finds out that one language is always the more dominant, however slight. This is usually when emotions are strong. Stephen learns about one lady who speaks English and Italian – English is her more dominant language but when she is angry she reverts to Italian!

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All of our translators are bilingual or multilingual and many of our translators have been speaking more than one language from a very young age.  Even our project management team are from language backgrounds- our Lead Translation Co-Ordinator Tatiana speaks six!

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If your company works with countries from around the world, then you are likely to require the expertise of a translation company.

Please give us a call. Our friendly team will ensure that you have the ideal translator for the job. We match our translators based on language and experience of working in an industry or organisation similar to your own.

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We have worked with pharmaceutical, medical, aerospace and legal organisations to name but a few.

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1 September 2015 – BBC Radio 4


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