We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Plurilingualism?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Language & Humanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Language & Humanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

"Plurilingualism" is a term used to discuss situations in which a person has communicative abilities in more than one language. In contrast, a multilingual area might have multiple languages that are used, but individual speakers may still be monolingual. While a person may be said to be plurilingual, this distinction between the two terms makes the most sense when discussing locations and speaker communities. Colloquially, people do use the term "multilingual" to address the idea of speaking more than language, but "plurilingual" is usually considered a more precise term.

In general, most people see plurilingualism to be more appealing than multilingualism. When speakers of different languages can communicate, they are often more likely to interact and form a strong society together. Linguistic divisions can be very powerful and can make people inclined to remain in highly isolated cultural groups even when living in close proximity. Encouraging linguistic exchange between different cultural groups can ease tense intercultural relations.

The way in which plurilingual contexts develop varies, but usually involves contact between more than one culture. In some cases, however, bilingualism may be standard for an area and the bilingual community may have its own distinct culture. Linguistic competence is usually accompanied by cultural competence, because effective communication involves more than just words. This is sometimes called pluricultural competence.

Many people believe that plurilingualism is increasing because of increased exposure to multiple languages both through school and societal changes. It is extremely common for people to have at least some degree of competency in foreign languages, and plurilingualism is increasingly the norm in societies. This reflects not only increased pluriculturalism, but also a willingness to accept multiple cultures as members of a nation.

One interesting aspect of plurilingualism is that it does not require full competency in more than one language. An area in which people speak small amounts of foreign languages could be said to be plurilingual. For example, in areas near international borders, people often learn the language of their country and achieve some degree of fluency in the nearby language. Practical conversation in these contexts may not require more than basic vocabulary and sentence structures.

Arguments against plurilingualism often focus on problems with limited competency, not with fully bilingual citizens. People who do not achieve fluency in the national language of the area where they live are often accused of being unpatriotic. For some people, living in a plurilingual society is itself unpatriotic, resulting in an unwillingness to provide services in other languages. This sometimes results in very tense relations between cultures that can be passed down through generations.

Language & Humanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Language & Humanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.