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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • rose [wikipedia.org]. There's an adage in English that rings true with regards to language: Use it or lose it. My French is now abysmal, and my Latin is getting worse by the day :-(
    • Experience tells me that’s wrong. You’ll have to practice to become fluent again, but you will continue to understand it indefinitely. You don’t ever have to relearn the language – you never lose it.

      • Experience tells me that’s wrong. You’ll have to practice to become fluent again, but you will continue to understand it indefinitely.

        The original post was specifically mentioning losing production fluency in English, and I think that it is appropriate to use the word "loss" to describe this. My experience is probably the same as yours with regards to understanding language: I don't lose much, but I must admit I do lose some. But I wasn't referring to understanding a language, I was referring to the production aspect. Practicing to become fluent again seems to me to be synonymous with relearning [reference.com]. My understanding is that if you forget ho

        • You might have to relearn, but you won’t have to re-learn. The effort it takes to brush off the rust is orders of magnitude smaller than what it takes to initially learn the language. It might be appropriate to say you lose production fluency, however the ability remains latent and can very easily be reactivated – my experience is that you get 90% of your fluency back in about 10 days once you immerse yourself in the language fully.

          That’s just not what I tend to think of as loss.

          I responded specifically because I’ve heard fears about permanent loss expressed by many people who have moved to a locale where another language is spoken. When you haven’t made the experience of how easy it is to regain command of a language, it can seem like you’ll later have to relearn it from scratch or nearly so.

          So the worry is unnecessary. That’s what I was saying.

          (Regaining command of the written language is much harder – in particular, fluent proper spelling requires that you read a lot, and that takes quite a while longer.)