Definition: A language that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period.

Alternatively it can also refer to the language of one’s ethnic group rather than one’s first language.

Other terms used: first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue

Spoken by: Everyone. We ALL have a mother language. What’s yours?

International Mother Language Day: Celebrated every year on 21 February

Why not take the Language of the Month Challenge for Mother Languages (and English).

Send your entries to

See here what challenges others have done.


Me and My Language pack

LIFE languages – say hello!

Mother Language Day