Passive speakers (language)
A passive speaker is someone who has had enough exposure to a language in childhood to have a native-like
Native Speaker
Native Speaker is Chang-Rae Lee’s first novel. In Native Speaker, he creates a man named Henry Park who tries to assimilate into American society and become a “native speaker.”-Plot summary:...

 comprehension of it, but has little or no active command of it.

Such speakers are especially common in language shift
Language shift
Language shift, sometimes referred to as language transfer or language replacement or assimilation, is the progressive process whereby a speech community of a language shifts to speaking another language. The rate of assimilation is the percentage of individuals with a given mother tongue who speak...

 communities where speakers of a declining language do not acquire active competence. Around 10% of the Ainu people
Ainu people
The , also called Aynu, Aino , and in historical texts Ezo , are indigenous people or groups in Japan and Russia. Historically they spoke the Ainu language and related varieties and lived in Hokkaidō, the Kuril Islands, and much of Sakhalin...

 who speak the language are considered passive speakers. Passive speakers are often targeted in language revival
Language revival
Language revitalization, language revival or reversing language shift is the attempt by interested parties, including individuals, cultural or community groups, governments, or political authorities, to reverse the decline of a language. If the decline is severe, the language may be endangered,...

 efforts to increase the number of speakers of a language quickly, as they are likely to gain active and near-native speaking skills more quickly than those with no knowledge of the language. They are also found in areas where people grow up hearing another language outside their family with no formal education.

Passive language

A passive language, in contrast, is a term used in interpreting or translating. It is the language or languages from which the interpreter works. For example if an interpreter's job is to translate from German, Dutch and Swedish into French, then French is the active language while the others are passive.

See also

  • Heritage speaker
  • Home language
    Home language
    Following a widely accepted definition by Valdes , a heritage language is a language that is acquired by individuals raised in homes where the dominant language of the region, such as English in the United States, is not spoken or not exclusively spoken...

  • Language acquisition
    Language acquisition
    Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive, produce and use words to understand and communicate. This capacity involves the picking up of diverse capacities including syntax, phonetics, and an extensive vocabulary. This language might be vocal as with...

  • Multilingualism
    Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

  • Speech repetition
    Speech repetition
    thumb|250px|right|[[Children]] copy with their own [[mouth]]s the words spoken by the mouths of those around them. This enables them to learn the [[pronunciation]] of words not already in their [[vocabulary]]....

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