Once again, I was asked if I was a native speaker of English – and this is always a complicated discussion for me. I come from academic translation studies, where everybody loves saying how outdated the concept of native language is: one’s most active and versatile language is not always the tongue one grew up with. But clients do often want to know “what is your native language?”, “what is your mother tongue?”, “are you a native speaker of the target language?” And I’m always honest in my reply: I was born in Moscow, moved to Germany as a child and studied in the UK. Weirdly enough, I got all my translation awards for translations into English, and most of my major assignments and book translations (such as the https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/viktor-shklovsky-9781501310379) have English as their target language. I do sometimes feel as an impostor, but things do seem to work out… I just won a tender held by a German university for German-English translation (sociology and politics); most of the evaluation was based on a test translation evaluated by native speakers.
Then again, many people in the translation community believe that a workable definition of a native language is “the language of the country where you got your university degree”. In that case, German and English (UK) would be my native languages – but not Russian. Actually, it makes most sense to speak of the “most active target language” rather than of a mother tongue, I believe, and mine are English and German. Even though I was born in Russia. Go figure.:)