Why do I speak as I do and how does language define me?

My dominant language is English and I have been learning Chinese since Kindergarten. I also know a small bit of Czech. My Mum taught me english and thus I have a bit of a Canadian accent although when I went to a local school my accent was slightly Singlish though once I went to UWC my accent turned into an international but with a bit of a Canadian tinge. I learned Chinese in a local school where it’s a first language to them so I’m really good at ha yu pin yin and writing though I have a bit of trouble speaking as I have no one to practice with. My Dad has taught me a bit of Czech, just a few basics such as counting to ten, some colors and a few miscellaneous words, like pineapple or gymnastics. Not knowing Czech separates my family from my dads side as we don’t have many ways to communicate with them and they don’t have much technology. But with my mums side everyone speaks english so its a bit easier despite that everyone lives in Canada.

The words I use are mainly derived from books though a lot of the time I know when to use them but I unsure of the meaning such as the word “derived,” It fits into that sentence but I’m not completely sure what it means. I have a vague idea that helps me know when to use it but not really. I also have trouble pronouncing some words because I read them and the voice in my head sounds them out and figures out from the context what it means and doing so makes me pronounce words I learn from books more often wrong than not.

Words I say wrong but on purpose out of spite of a scenario I now no longer remember are-

  • ¬≠knife
  • scissors
  • color

Sayings I use-

  • ¬≠fight me
  • frick
  • heck
  • fudge cakes
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2 Comment

  1. uza@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg says: Reply

    Have you ever travelled to the Czech Republic? If you ever do, would you consider using one of the translator apps that are now available, or would you rather attempt communication organically? I happen to come across this link recently and–after reading your post–thought you might be interested in using one of the apps that are featured: http://www.k-international.com/blog/translation-apps-2016/

    1. zaste32115@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg says: Reply

      I have been to Czech Republic. And no I did not use a translator app. I used the fantastic app called my Dad who is fluent in the language. I didn’t really come across the need to speak much Czech at all while I was there. We just said things and my Dad said it back in Czech. I don’t really remember.

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