Native or first language (versus foreign language) also known as tongue is the first language learned person in early childhood, in other words, it is the language which is spoken in the child at home even until he learns to speak. It is the language that the child understands before starting school. On the other hand, the tongue is that spoken by the natives of the country where the person lives.
The tongue is especially that the individual assimilates and understands better, in the sense of a subjective appraisal made it from the languages that he knows. It also acquired language in a quite natural way through interaction with the immediate surroundings, without pedagogical intervention and without a conscious linguistic reflection.
There are some cases where the child learns two languages at the same time, i.e., two languages it are spoken as often, so that he learn them, understands them and used the same frequency. It adopts then two mother tongues. This occurs, for example, in the case of the direct descendants of immigrant parents (the child learns the language of the parents and of the host country) or in regions and countries with more than one official language. In Quebec (Canada), for example, children learn to speak the french and English.
In general, the tongue is learned in the family, at home. Master their mother tongue is essential for later learning insofar as it constitutes the basis of the reasoning. In addition, an incomplete distress of mother tongue makes learning other languages more difficult.
According to the theories of Noam Chomsky and other linguists, mother tongue can be learned until the age of twelve years. After this step, the language skills of the talkies are different and any language learned is considered a second language.
It is worth mentioning that the international mother language day is celebrated on 21 February.