I am a bilingual person, and I am having a bit of problems with the definitions people use for native speakers. (Also in relation why it is good to include native as some sort of super category of language skill in general). Because as far as I can tell many of the definitions do not apply to me, therefore a bit depending on who you ask I either have 2 native languages or none. But almost certainly i am not also a 2nd language learner.

Would asking for a robust definition, be acceptable. Or am i reading the tour correctly to surmise that its not on topic and or too chatty. If so would there be a batter forum to ask.

  • So you would be looking for a definition of native speaker, not native language? We recently had a question about first versus second language, where the distinction between native and second language was also mentioned.
    – Tsundoku Mod
    Oct 27, 2017 at 15:40
  • @ChristopheStrobbe yes because stuff like everything above C2 is native is a incredible naive way of thinking. (also you cant get anything above c2 in general anyway) Nobody actually measures natives this way, and they can be god awful, and still considered better than a foreign speaker by default.
    – joojaa
    Oct 27, 2017 at 17:27
  • It may be possible to formulate your question in a way that is on topic here, but I think you'll have better chances on Linguistics SE. See for example Analysing the notion of the native speaker.
    – Tsundoku Mod
    Oct 27, 2017 at 17:43

2 Answers 2


As far as I understand, the goal of this Meta question is to know whether or not questions about definition of "L1", "native language" etc. are not too broad, chatty, etc.

I think such questions are quite valid on the Main LanguageLearning.SE site.

Different askers may require such definitions from different perspectives, e.g., short and succinct single-phrase definition (dictionary style) versus long and detailed explanation (article style). Both ways are quite legit. The key factor here is whether your question has preferably single answer based on factual information and evidence, not someone's opinion.

Before asking, simply make sure that your question is not an exact duplicate of an existing one. This topic is pretty common on this site, so there are several answered questions:

Also, SE search may be tricky if one can't think of a specific keyword, so make sure you also use search engines, like Googling with site constraints:

what is my native language site:languagelearning.stackexchange.com

I refer you the to Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages. Its C2 level defines the highest non-native speaker. Someone better would be a native speaker. Anyone at or below the C2 level would be speaking a "second" language.

This may answer your question, or help you formulate one for the main site.

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