What is my mother tongue? For a long time I used to write Tamizh (Tamil). Today as I was filling in one particular job application form, the term Mother Tongue was defined as “Mother Tongue is defined as the language you were brought up speaking.” Some other forms ask for your native tongue. Some even suggest that there can only be one mother tongue or native language.
I grew up in the babble of three languages. All at once. Truth is, I don’t even think in one particular language. I think in all three. I picked up bits and pieces of other languages over the years. In school, at work and on the field. Those languages I don’t really think in. But I can take care of basic things. The interesting thing also is that in many forms, the assumption is that the Mother Tongue is the one you are so proficient in that they don’t require you to peg your skill level.
Well, I think I might just mark three of them as native languages.