language

noun
1 system of communication
ADJECTIVE
first, native

She grew up in Mexico, so her first language is Spanish.

foreign, second

How many foreign languages does she speak?

the teaching of English as a second language

original

Most local cinemas show films in the original language, with German subtitles.

source, target (both technical)
ancient, classical, dead

Latin is a dead language.

modern
common, shared
indigenous, local
official

Belgium has two official languages.

national

Portuguese is the national language of Brazil.

dominant
international, universal
minority

Some minority languages are dying out.

natural

Computers will never be able to understand natural language.

strange, unknown

manuscripts written in an unknown language

computer, programming
VERB + LANGUAGE
speak
know, understand
use
learn, study
teach
master
LANGUAGE + NOUN
acquisition, development, learning

new methods of language learning

course, lesson
skill
barrier
PHRASES
command of (a) language, knowledge of (a) language, mastery of (a) language

Her command of language is very advanced for a six-year-old.

2 way of using language
ADJECTIVE
spoken, written

She could speak some Chinese, but never studied the written language.

colloquial, everyday, informal
formal
expressive, flowery, literary, poetic
figurative, symbolic
everyday, plain, simple

His strength is that he addresses his readers in plain language.

vague
racist, sexist
sign

Not all deaf people use sign language.

body

You could tell from his body language that he was very embarrassed.

legal, technical
biblical
harsh

She reserved her harshest language for those she believed had betrayed her.

bad, colourful/colorful, crude, foul, obscene, offensive, strong, vulgar

people using foul language

VERB + LANGUAGE
use
be couched in, be expressed in
mind, watch

The referee told the players to mind their language.

PREPOSITION
in … language

His letter was couched in very formal language.

PHRASES
use of language

The writer's use of language reflects the personality of each character.

◆◆◆
NOTE: Languages
excellent … , fluent … , good … , perfect … 

He speaks fluent Japanese.

bad … , broken … , poor … 

I got by with broken Chinese and sign language.

colloquial … , idiomatic … , non-standard … , pidgin … , standard … 

The inhabitants speak a kind of pidgin Spanish.

spoken … , written … 

My spoken Polish is better than my written Polish.

business … 

She is doing a course in business English.

original … 

The fable is translated from the original French.

know … , read … , speak … , understand … , use … 

I am more comfortable using Spanish, if you don't mind.

be fluent in … 

She was fluent in German, Urdu and Swahili.

do …  (esp. BrE), learn … , study … 

I did German at school but I've forgotten most of it.

I've been learning Arabic for four years.

improve … , practise/practice … 

I spent a month in Rome to improve my Italian.

master … 

I never really mastered Latin.

translate sth into … 

He has translated her latest book into Korean.

 … class,  … course,  … lesson

I'm late for my Russian class.

 … interpreter

the need for Gujarati interpreters

 … speaker, a speaker of … 

the number of Portuguese speakers in the world

a command of … , a knowledge of … 

He has a poor command of English.

in … 

What is ‘apple’ in French?

He addressed me in his best Portuguese.


Collocations dictionary. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • language — lan‧guage [ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ] noun 1. [countable, uncountable] a system of speaking and writing used by people in one country or area: • the French language • Do you speak any foreign languages? • Trading in Europe means communicating in more than one… …   Financial and business terms

  • Language — Lan guage, n. [OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See {Tongue}, cf. {Lingual}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • language — 1 Language, dialect, tongue, speech, idiom are comparable when they denote a body or system of words and phrases used by a large community (as of a region) or by a people, a nation, or a group of nations. Language may be used as a general term… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • language — [laŋ′gwij] n. [ME < OFr langage < langue, tongue < L lingua, tongue, language, altered (by assoc. with lingere, to lick) < OL dingua < IE * dṇg̑hwa > OE tunge, TONGUE] 1. a) human speech b) Archaic the ability to communicate by… …   English World dictionary

  • language — I noun communication, composition, dialect, expression, faculty of speech, folk speech, form of expression, formulation, idiom, jargon, lingua, linguistics, means of communication, oral, oratio, parlance, phrasing, phraseology, rhetoric, sermo,… …   Law dictionary

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  • Language — Lan guage, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Languaged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Languaging}.] To communicate by language; to express in language. [1913 Webster] Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. Fuller. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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