Real Time: Tuesday, 12th February 2019.
We all approach writing in different types of ways. I for one am very informal, I use simple, light and basic English because that is the English that I speak, on a day to day basis.
My English teacher, Miss Schoeman, once mentioned to us that, try to connect with people how they’d most understand you and hey, English is not even my 1st language and it sure doesn’t measure my level of intelligence.
There are quite a whole lot of English words that I don’t know and find hard to pronounce. I’m the type to say or write an entire sentence instead of just using one word to describe something simply and innocently so ‘cause chances are, I don’t even know that there’s a word that can save me an entire sentence.
My mother never got the opportunity to even finish high school and her English is quite bad. My dad was a qualified Architect and spoke English fluently as far as I can remember.
Ask me who I look up to the most and I’ll tell you my mother any day, not because she can or cannot speak this language (English) that is installed in our minds that it’s a language of only the intellectual but because of the person she is, her values and her teachings. I am partly who I am today because of the woman who raised me with broken English.
Hey my dad played a huge role in my life too, I looked up to him as well, I wanted to be as educated as he was. He was very popular ’cause of his educational and Architectural background and status, I was a very proud daughter.
I remember being in a relationship with a guy who made me feel inadequate in the most subtle way ever because my English wasn’t as good as his. He once asked me; “so have you ever attended a kasi school?” Kasi school is an all blacks school where we’re only taught in our mother tongue and English is just a mere subject on its own. “Yes right until Grade 6, I was about 10/11 years old, the following year only then my parents decided to take me to a multiracial school”, I responded. This boy laughed at me, he laughed in such a condescending manner and I really felt so belittled, I was also so confused actually, to say the least, I couldn’t believe him. He also went on to mention how it makes sense that he’s so fluent in English ‘cause he’s been in a multiracial school all his life.
Of course, the relationship didn’t last. A few years later, after I had made a new couple of friends. I’d mention him to my friends in passing while counting and talking about our past relationships. I happened to see him at some hip-hop event with a couple of his friends but he never saw me. I was in such disbelieve of the status of his current appearance from the days we were together. I couldn’t even turn to my friends to show them that hey girls, that boy over there is my ex, that is the one I was talking about. Let’s just say that I was glad I wasn’t with him anymore, he saved me. His fluent English had happened to be irrelevant.
Remember, knowing how to speak a certain lang… actually let me be specific, knowing how to speak English does not measure the level of your intelligence, we have heard this a million times and it is true. You can be intelligent and still turn out to be a blunder in life.
*”The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.”
*”My attitudes are more important than my intelligence”- David J Schwartz
How many soccer stars do we know are living legends and speak or write very little or no English at all and have inspired and changed young lives?
I for one know that am able to articulate myself better to some degree through writing (‘cause you’re able to pause and think) than a face to face conversation which I’m still working on. I’m required to perform daily powwow at work and this has been a good practice I must say. Public speaking boosts your confidence.
In 2016 I travelled to Germany, Munich for a young holiday. What I experienced was really eye-opening and fascinating. I figured that these people don’t give a shit about knowing how to speak English fluently, it’s none of their business. It was a bit of a hustle having to go to shops alone ‘cause of the language barrier, my knowing English didn’t quite help much, it didn’t matter that other side of the world, I wasn’t “intelligent”.
When I arrived home in South Africa, I reflected on how we laugh at each other when one cannot speak English fluently, when one mispronounces an English word, when one doesn’t understand a certain word or idiom. This made me feel pretty stupid and ashamed. This is what black people do in South Africa, we laugh and shame each other for a language that is not even ours.
With that said without contradicting myself, yes English is considered as an international language and one can survive almost anywhere with just basic knowledge of it. This language can open doors all over the world by just speaking it very well and, I do encourage each and every person that when boredom and idling crips in, to just grab a book and read.
This post best suit this 2 awesome tracks by Janelle Monae.
Janelle Monae – ”I Like That”
Janelle Monae – ”Cold War”
To be continued…