Definition of first language in English:

first language

noun

  • A person's native language.

    • ‘The most immediate obstacle lies in equipping people with limited literacy levels and a variety of first languages to understand how the machines function and how to access the network.’
    • ‘As of the late 1990s, there are only a small number of people who speak Breton as their first language.’
    • ‘Children with special needs or who do not speak English as their first language were seen to have made good progress.’
    • ‘That sentence wasn't written by anyone who speaks English as a first language.’
    • ‘Spanish is the first language, but English is widely spoken in the tourist trade.’
    • ‘Announcers still have to come up with something to say, and they often don't speak English as a first language.’
    • ‘Managing workers who don't speak English as their first language is tricky.’
    • ‘Many speak excellent English, but some will speak French as a first language.’
    • ‘She doesn't speak English as a first language so the conversation was a little difficult.’
    • ‘‘We are an inclusive school,’ she says, adding that 19 first languages are spoken among the pupils.’
    • ‘He was diagnosed as profoundly deaf as a toddler after an accident, and British Sign Language is his first language.’
    • ‘We have quite a few Australian citizens who also don't speak English as their first language.’
    • ‘It seems to hover between teaching it as a second language and as a first language, without being successful at either.’
    • ‘It is clear to anyone that French is not my first language.’
    • ‘Please accept my apology for any grammatical errors in advance since English is not my first language.’

Pronunciation:

first language

/fərst ˈlaNGɡwij/