Although I currently think and dream in English, I have never completely lost my mother tongue (which is Cantonese). Yes, there are times when I have to use Google Translate to re-learn a Chinese character, but overall, I am still proficient enough to communicate with my Chinese relatives and bloggers in HK. The big question is: Should I fall prey to Alzheimer like my Mom, which language will go first? Will I start yakking to my family in Cantonese (which is what my Mom is doing to everyone at her senior home), or will I retain my current operating language?
(1) Language Attrition 母語減退: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_attrition
(2) Mother Tongue (First Language) 母語(第一語言): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_tongue
(3) 母語(第一語言)減退 20個例子 / 20 BBC readers who lost fluency in their language:
BBC News Magazine 13 July 2014:
".... For many of us, the thought of ever forgetting how to speak our native language would seem preposterous. But for some readers, it became a reality.
During a five-year captivity in Afghanistan, US soldier Bowe Bergdahl apparently lost some of his language capabilities. This prompted the Magazine to ask under what circumstances a person could lose their native or first language. In response, readers wrote in to tell their own stories of language loss or confusion. Here's a selection. ...."
Click here to read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28022790