As Pogue so helpfully tells the E2 community, bilingual refers to a person who knows two languages; this may, depending on the stringency of the definition, be applied only to those who are native speakers of more than one language; it certainly requires a near-native fluency in the languages in question.

I am not myself bilingual, but have on occasion wished I was; I understand it gives one a unique cultural perspective. Also, it is supposedly easier for bilingual people to learn further languages.

Bi*lin"gual (?), a. [L. bilinguis; bis twice + lingua tongue, language.]

Containing, or consisting of, two languages; expressed in two languages; as, a bilingual inscription; a bilingual dictionary.

-- Bi*lin"gual*ly, adv.

 

© Webster 1913.

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