Thursday, February 12, 2009

Language matters..or does it?

A few weeks ago, we took one of hubby's clients from Sweden to dinner. We got a new perspective on a whole lot of things we take for granted. The most striking was his observation at the English spoken by our kids. He seemed to be amazed that a child as young as Abhir (5+) can speak the language fluently. 

He asked Abhir, "Do they teach you English in school?" following it up with "You speak very well..." 

Knowing that all Scandinavian countries' language of communication in school is their mother tongue, we weren't much suprised at his observation. When in Finland, it was one of our major concerns that our children would be lost in one of the state owned schools where the mode of communication would be Finnish. 

The Finns are a language proud country...and it was a lesson to us as Indians who give English more importance than we do our own mother tongues. 

What he didn't know is that until a few months ago, Abhir could barely speak a sentence in English. His Hindi was extraordinarily good and he would time and again zap my parents with his usage of words. So we weren't very concerned about his English. He will pick it up sooner or later, we'd think.

As I heard Daniel (our guest) speak to Abhir, I was reminded of our son's rather cute adaptations of words in a language he is just familiarising himself with.

"I goed there today"
"I am going to hit the eyeses of this monster"
"I doed my home work"
" I want to drink glucose today. I didn't drink it tomorrow"

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