A first language (also mother tongue, native language, arterial language, or L1) is the language a human being learns from birth.  A person's first language is a basis for sociolinguistic identity. Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of Society, including cultural norms expectations and context on the way Language is used 
The usage of these terms is far from standardized, however.
Sometimes the term first language is used for the language that the speaker speaks best (his second language then being the language he speaks less well than his first language, etc).
Sometimes the terms first language, second language and third language are used to indicate various levels of skill in a language, so that it can be said that a person knows more than one language at first or second language level.
Sometimes the term native language is used to indicate a language that a person is as proficient in as a native inhabitant of that language's base country, or as proficient as the average person who speaks no other language but that language.
Sometimes the term mother tongue or mother language is used for the language that a person learnt at home (usually from his parents). Children growing up in bilingual homes can according to this definition have more than one mother tongue.
In the context of population censuses conducted on the Canadian population, Statistics Canada defines mother tongue as "the first language learned at home in childhood and still understood by the individual at the time of the census" . Statistics Canada (Statistique Canada is the Canadian federal government department commissioned with producing Statistics to help
The terms first, native, and mother can also be misleading, regardless of their definitions. It is quite possible that the first language learned is no longer a speaker's dominant language. Young immigrant children, whose families have moved to a new linguistic environment may lose, in part or in totality, the language they first acquired. Language attrition is the loss of a first or second Language or a portion of that language by individuals it should be distinguished from language loss within a community (the
Good skills in one's native languages are essential for further learning, as a native language is thought to be a base of thinking, however, this is highly controversial. Incomplete first language skills often make learning other languages difficult. Native language has therefore a central role in education. Education encompasses both the Teaching and Learning of Knowledge, proper conduct, and technical competency
The term "mother tongue" should not be interpreted to mean that it is the language of one's mother. In some paternal societies, the wife moves in with the husband and thus may have a different first language, or dialect, than the local language of the husband. Yet their children usually only speak their local language. Only a few will learn to speak their mothers' languages like natives. Mother in this context probably originated from the definition of mother as source, or origin; as in mother-country or -land.
In some countries such as Kenya and India, "mother tongue" is used to indicate the language of one's ethnic group (ethnic tongue), in both common and journalistic parlance (e. The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa. It is bordered by Ethiopia to the north Somalia to the northeast Tanzania to the south India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country g. 'I have no apologies for not learning my mother tongue' ), rather than one's first language. A similar usage of the term was employed in Ireland in the early-to-mid twentieth century, with Irish being referred to as the "mother tongue" of all Irish people, even of those whose first language was English. Ireland ( Irish: Éire, ˈeːrʲə is a country in north-western Europe. Irish (ga ''Gaeilge'' is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish. The Irish people ( Irish: Muintir na hÉireann, na hÉireannaigh, na Gaeil) are a Western European Ethnic group who originate English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Also in Singapore, "mother tongue" refers to the language of one's ethnic group regardless of actual proficiency, while the "first language" refers to the English language, which is the lingua franca for most post-independence Singaporeans due to its use as the language of instruction in government schools and as a working language despite it not being a native tongue for most Singaporeans. Singapore A lingua franca (from Italian, literally meaning Frankish language, see etymology under Sabir and Italian below is any Language widely
J. R. R. Tolkien in his 1955 lecture English and Welsh distinguishes the "native tongue" from the "cradle tongue", the latter being the language one happens to learn during early childhood, while one's true "native tongue" may be different, possibly determined by an inherited linguistic taste, and may later in life be discovered by a strong emotional affinity to a specific dialect (Tolkien personally confessed to such an affinity to the Middle English of the West Midlands in particular). As an adjective "English and Welsh" refers to England and Wales. Genetic memory describes a variety of processes in Biology and Psychology by which Genetic material confers a Memory of an individual's or species' Middle English is the name given by Historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of The West Midlands is an official Region of England, covering the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands.
21 February has been proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Events 362 - Athanasius returns to Alexandria. 1245 - Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland 21 February was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999.
One can have two or more native languages, thus being a native bilingual or indeed multilingual. The order in which these languages are learned is not necessarily the order of proficiency. For instance, a French-speaking couple might have a daughter who learned French first, then English; but if she grew up in the United States, she is likely to become more proficient in English. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States
The Brazilian linguist Cleo Altenhofen considers the denomination "mother tongue" in its general usage to be imprecise and subject to various interpretations that are biased linguistically, especially with respect to bilingual children from ethnic minority groups. He cites his own experience as a bilingual speaker of Portuguese language and Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, a German-rooted language brought to southern Brazil by the first German immigrants. Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. Riograndenser Hunsrückisch ( Portuguese: hunsriqueano riograndense) is a Brazilian variation of the German dialect Hunsrückisch The South Region of Brazil is one of the five administrative regions of Brazil In his case, like that of many children whose home language differs from the language of the environment (the 'official' language), it is debatable which language is his 'mother tongue'. Many scholars gave definitions of 'mother tongue' through the years based on common usage, the emotional relation of the speaker towards the language, and even its dominance in relation to the environment. However, all of these criteria lack precision.