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Why in English we only have one word for language and spanish has 3. Do they all mean the same? (lengua, idioma, lenguaje)?.

  • Posted Nov 23, 2011
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The word lenguaje refers to the abstract concept of language, not to a language.

I speak the English language. (idioma, lengua)

Do monkees use language? (lenguaje)

1 Vote

We actually have two, in that "tongue" can mean "language". For instance, "What is your native tongue?"

1 Vote

Si dos lengua o idioma they are igual

espanol es tramposo ten cuidado!

como acerA (sidewalk) y acerO (steel)

1 Vote

For linguists, idioma and lengua are the same. For the rest of us, in spoken speech, idioma might be more formal. This question was just asked and here is a link. The text below came from that answer.


Los lingüistas muchas veces usan indistintamente las palabras lengua e idioma. Para ellos, no hay gran diferencia entre estos términos. En el habla popular, sin embargo, la palabra idioma suele referirse a una lengua que tiene un corpus literario o que se utiliza en foros nacionales e internacionales; que tiene un número mayor de hablantes o que se ha estandardizado de alguna manera formal.

"Linguists often use the words lengua and idoma the same. For them, there isn't a great difference between these terms. In common speech, however, the word idioma usually refers to a language that has a literary body or that is used in national and international forums; that has a large number of speakers or that is standardized in some formal way.

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