About Language

This post follows a conversation I had on a recent blog post about a person who claims to have learned four languages, many people in modern times are looking for anything, any trait, any quality that differentiates them from the crowd, throw a stone in a crowd and you will hit the head of someone who believes they are special.

This egotism often traps people into venturing far from where they should be and into uncharted territory, in this case, language.

Before I go any further, I cannot, for the record speak more than two languages fluently, I can understand many languages, but I cannot speak them without sounding like a fool. ( Which apparently does not stop some people, LOL).

But here is a person who can speak ten.

So don’t take my word for it, take it from someone much smarter than you or I.

Here is the video –

Here follows the question I posed to the original blogger and my thoughts on why she is approaching it incorrectly and from a point of egotism, because let’s be honest, it makes you sound smart if you say – oooh look at me I know so many languages.

Here is a link to the original post for context – https://allletstalk.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/how-i-learned-to-speak-4-languages/

This was a great read however I would contest your point on not making grammar your focus at the beginning of your journey through learning different languages, as you say

“Don’t focus on grammar in your (the) beginning while (when) learning a (new) language. Why? Cause it will drive you crazy . First ( When you begin a sentence like this, you can just say ‘firstly’ not first of all, it is more clunky and unnecessary ) of all learn how to form a clean sentence ( a clear & concise sentence is what you should have wrote) in that Language and focus a lot( see ‘a lot’ in this context is grammatically incorrect and my grade 5 English teacher would fail you if that were a test) on vocabulary and grammar will come with time. Hope y’all get what I want to say”.

Take for example your first sentence, right off the bat, it is grammatically incorrect which ultimately impacts your end goal, and if you’re saying to yourself, who cares? Well you should because you are a ‘writer’ correct?

No publisher would publish a book with grammar like that is alls im saying dawg. Ya feel me?

Not to mention it makes you look kind of foolish because considering you typed this on an electronic device, you would have had ample time to actually correct it, yet you did not.

So where is your pride in representing this language, English? If one cannot be bothered to correct simple sentences, why tread on the ground of foreign languages where the path is even more treacherous?

While I do understand your point, as a person who comes from a country with over 11 official languages, we all, as South Africans have to pick up very quickly on all the languages in our sphere, I do not think there are as few people who can speak as many languages as four as you may think, most of the people I know, know several of their regional dialects as well as tribal dialects quite fluently, they just aren’t making blogs about it so you wouldn’t know they exist, secondly I would like you to ask yourself a very important question, do you want to teach people bad habits? Because that is what you are doing by telling them to ignore grammar.

While grammar may not be extremely important at first, ignoring it completely or pushing it to the wayside impacts you in the long run, its like learning an instrument, there are always shortcuts to learn things faster and quicker, but you see those people suffer with actual complex pieces when it comes time because their foundation on the instrument was not laid correctly.

Look at your writing for example, there are so many grammatical errors which makes me wonder why you are learning other languages when you clearly have not yet mastered the one you choose to write in?

Many people want to learn more languages than they need when they are barely even proficient at one, I would say, get one right, then move on. I am still learning English and I speak it everyday, get my point?

Do not ignore grammar or push it to the wayside because grammar is what separates people who can speak a language from those who can use it, would you build a house on rocky or uneven foundations?

No, right?

Because it is destined to fail.

It is for that same reason that you should not ignore grammar. Because that is what will make or break conversations, they may not say it to your face, but trust me, they’re going to be laughing behind your back when you walk away. Because remember, it is their language, they treat it with pride because it is their culture. You should, if you claim to be as involved in it as you are, show it & treat it with the same respect as though you are the last one speaking it.   

Learning other languages is great, but one should master one before moving onto another, and even that’s debatable, because can one ever truly master a language?

Oh and if you are going to defend yourself by saying that you do not speak English that well, then I would ask you to ask yourself why you write in English and not your native tongue?

Overall great read, but ultimately I believe you are chasing something that many in far more learned positions than yourself have warned against, stay tuned to my blog, wherein I will share with you one such individual, referred to as a Polyglot in our times. I would advise you to watch his video and tell me what you think.

I will update this post as it develops, but this is where we are now, take care.

Always remember, get one thing right, before moving onto another.

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