Linguistics in the Netherlands 2013
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


This paper elaborates on a factor that plays a role in receptive multilingualism, namely the influence of a second language (L2). We investigated whether knowledge of German can help Dutch people to decode written Danish words when they do not know any Danish. We instructed 32 participants with Dutch as a native language (L1) and different levels of proficiency in German as an L2 to translate 42 written Danish words into Dutch. The results showed that participants with a higher level of German performed better on this translation task. Furthermore, our data provides evidence for the existence of a ‘foreign language mode’, i.e. the knowledge of German as an L2 seems to take over from the knowledge of the L1 if the participants’ proficiency in German is high.


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