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When a learner does not practice a language for a while the language tends to be forgotten.

What is the adjective to describe this characteristic of learning a language or any other subject?

"This subject is ..."
Or
"Language is ..."

Note - To me, when something is "forgettable", you kind of want to forget it because it is ,maybe, not worth it to be remembered, but in the case of language and other subjects of study, I though it might be something different.

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    forgettable....
    – Drew
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:02
  • @Drew To me, when something is "forgettable", you kind of want to forget it because it is ,maybe, not worth it to be remembered, but in the case of language and other subjects of study, I though it might be something different! Apr 15, 2017 at 17:07
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    @Sharaman That comment should be part of the question: your impression of the word and what you actually want to convey is important. For what it's worth, I don't think English has a single word for this: such a language is described as easily forgotten.
    – Andrew Leach
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:22
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    Were it not for the [single-word-request] tag, I'd recommend the phrase "use it or lose it." Apr 15, 2017 at 20:54

3 Answers 3

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forgettable (MWD)

likely to be forgotten : not worth remembering

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    No cigar. A language is certainly worth remembering.
    – Ricky
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:27
  • That's subjective. In any case, I'm looking forward to your answer.
    – 0xFEE1DEAD
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:28
  • Check. ..........
    – Ricky
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:37
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Without constant practice, one's knowledge of a language, any language, would tend to be fugacious ... ephemeral ... evanescent ... fleeting ... transitory.

fugacious:

fleeting, transitory

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fugacious

ephemeral:

lasting a very short time

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/ephemeral?s=t

evanescent:

vanishing, fading away, fleeting

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/evanescent

transitory:

lasting only a short time

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/transitory?s=t

fleeting:

passing quickly, vanishing swiftly

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fleeting?s=t

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    TIL fugacious. Comes from the same root as fugitive and refuge. Apr 15, 2017 at 21:33
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    While not wrong, the adjectives you suggest apply to the knowledge of something (e.g. language), and not to the thing itself.
    – Josh
    Apr 15, 2017 at 21:36
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Any subject or language itself is not diminishable but the knowledge of the subject or language surely is.

See diminish, defined by Oxford dictionary as

make or become less.

Or perhaps

Knowledge is subject to atrophy.

See atrophy defined by Oxford dictionary as

Gradual decline in effectiveness or vigour due to underuse or neglect.

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