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Mother Tongue vs English

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by radsahana, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    Nowadays parents have this craze that their child should speak in english, so they themselve all the time will speak in english, right from the start, when kids start learning to speak.

    I was staying with my inlaws right from my mrg. I used to work that time. MY DD came to our life immdly as a honeymoon baby.

    Luckily me and my DH is always clear, that our kid should learn our Mother tongue first. All other languages they learn when they go out in the world.
    Furhter since our inlaws was staying with us, she picked up the language fast, and we always used to speak in Tamil at home.

    So when DH assignment took himt o Sgpr, we went there, and we conitnued speaking with her in tamil. She had some problm initially in playschool due that, but later she picked that too. But her foundation of her mother Tongue had become firm

    Lot of people commented us that she speaks so nicely in Tamil

    To all of them i Say, yes who will teach mother tongue, if we starts teaching kid english. How we learnt english, we went to school, read books like that. I dont remember my parents speaking english with us.

    Now my 2nd son 3years old, also speaks Tamil fantastic. Even i heard other tamil people here IUSA) saying me your kid is speaking Tamil Nice. I said to them that since we speak tamil at home always.

    Some of our friends Challenged me here, it will be for only some few months, then ur kids will start speaking english only, wait and see.

    I got scared little.

    I see lot of indian people, in grocery market and malls, conversing only in english with their kids, lest someone will think low of them.

    Even when i go outside, i speak with them tamil, i am not bothered, what other people says. Doesnt Spanish people here speak only spanish.

    But seeing my both toddler play at home and converse in Tamil only, and even they speak tamil with us only till now, confirmed my faith, that even though they watch english cartoon, speak english outside, but at home if we speak tamil, they are not going to forget it or just start speaking in english and foregoing their mother tongue.
     
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Radhika

    Good post. Glad to know that your children speak their mother tongue.
    Other languages they can learn later. Children should know their mother tongue first. Children learn all the languages when they are kids so no problem.

    love
    viji
     
  3. Soldier

    Soldier Gold IL'ite

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    Good Radhasahana

    I like your attitude. Am sure ur kids will live up to ur xpectation.
     
  4. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear vijimam

    Thanks for your first feedback.

    I feel, atleast if they cant read or write, they should know and talk in tamil.

    I also not learn tamil in school, but then i, with some help of my mom,learnt to read and write. (I can read printed english very well, but in handwriting it is little difficult for me )
     
  5. radsahana

    radsahana Silver IL'ite

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    dear soldier,

    thanks for the feedback.

    i have seen lot of parents in india,also proudly says their kids dont know tamil, etc... etc.... Who is the reason, only we.

    yeah i am not going to pose huge expectations on them, but will try to communicate with them in tamil, and they now know their own language.

    when they grow up, they will talk in language, whatever they want, but i just made sure, they know their mother tongue, and and will try they shouldnt forget it. :)
     
  6. ish333

    ish333 Senior IL'ite

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    I really appreciate your way of raising kids. Yes its true that most parents converse in english with their kids and say "I don't know why they can't speak their mother tongue" :bonk. Many feel ashamed to speak in their mother tongue while they are surrounded with people. When they themselves feel lousy to speak their own language then how will my kids learn it. They often are enigmatic, that it is the only thing that they pass to their children.
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  7. Jpatma

    Jpatma Silver IL'ite

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    Radhasahana,
    I always liked this topic of speaking mother tongue. What you have said is very true and i also congratulate you for speaking mother tongue with your children.
    I agree it is fashionable to say "my child can't speak mother tongue". Then these parents will go on ranting that we (indians) staying abroad must hold on to culture and traditions. I used to tell them "how the hell you are going to adhere to our culture if you don't speak mother tongue?". It is just a matter one generation your mother tongue and culture would be diluted. Well nothing wrong if it does not disturb you or i must say nothing wrong if you want to assimilate into the culture and language of the country you are staying. But don't be phoney saying we must maintain our indianism when you child can't speak the mother tongue.
    The choice is ours. Also we can learn any language as we grow, none of us learned english when we were born.

    A very nice post as to the importance of mother tongue.

    Jaya
     
  8. natpudan

    natpudan Gold IL'ite

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    Radhika,

    Great job.

    As parents we have responsibility to make sure that our children have a connection to our roots and the mother tongue is the right thing to start with.

    I believe it's called mother tongue because, children speak their hearts out to their mothers (most of them) more than to their fathers in their mother tongue rather than in a foreign language.

    So we should make it a point to teach them from the beginning.

    My children were born & brought up here, but we made sure that they speak in Tamizh at home and they prefer to talk in Tamizh with the Tamizh Community we move in.

    Like you mentioned, the friends are amazed and when they are in Chennai for holidays, people there just can't accept the fact that they speak Tamizh well. My kids are also happy when people there appreciate.

    We named them Yazhini & Yezhil so that the zha of Tamizh is also there, the speciality of the Tamizh language.

    The only problem here is people call them Yazini & Yezil. But they make it a point to correct them. We also motivate them by saying, look at the sports personalities and other famous personalities from different parts of the world whose names are quoted as is in their language on tv's & radios. So make sure you achieve what you want to and the world will appreciate that and that too will make sure they call you Yazhini & Yezhil as is in our language Tamizh.

    As a matter of fact, I didn't study Tamizh but I can read, write, speak very well. It's not an honor to claim that I didn't study, but I have done justice to my Mother Tongue and am proud of it.

    I have come across in super markets quite often......There will be a Tamizh family speaking in Tamizh, who would change to English when we enter speaking in Tamizh.

    Strange isn't it? Is it a shame to speak the same language? Or are we going to ask them to pay our grocery bill?

    In this I openly aprreciate the Malayalis here. The first question out of their mouth is...Ningal Malayaali aano?:thumbsup

    We should learn from them man.
     
  9. narra

    narra Silver IL'ite

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    hi radhasahana,
    nice topic. kids sholud know their mother tongue first. i have 2 teen daughters. when we came to us my elder one was 5yrs and younger one was 3yrs old. but somehow my elder one speaks in telugu(not fluently) but my younger one she never speaks in my language. i tried so many times but she is not interested in speaking language( very interested in watching telugu movies:)), but she can't speak in telugu:bang. last year we went to india surprisingly she talked in my language(first she was shy and then slowly she picked up in one month). when we came bak to us its again normal and she speaks in english only. i speak with my kids in my langauge only. but my dh talks in english. maybe its effected on her i don't know.

    yesterday i talked to my sister who is in hyderabad she told, her daughters school (CBSE syallubus) doesn't teach telugu subject. common, hyd is in AP, mother tongue is telugu. guys. they(kids are in 7th and 4th class) have only hindi as secongd language. now she is teaching telugu at home . so, people are not giving any imp for teaching or learning our mother tongue.
    please forgive my grammer mistakes. thankyou
     
  10. AkilaMani

    AkilaMani Local Champion Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Radhika,

    A great post.

    This is something I wrote in star tv forum about an year ago when they hosted a prg on knowing one's mother tongue in the popular talk show Neeya Naana.
    Yes indeed... it is a must for tamillians to know to read and write in tamil
    <HR style="COLOR: #d1d1e1" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->First of all thanks Vijay TV for such a great show and congrats Mr. Gopinath for brilliantly conducting it (as usual).

    I was educated in a school where there was no Tamil taught AT ALL, but that was purely due to the fact that my father had a transferable gov job and we had to keep moving from state to state, so the obvious choice was Hindi. This however did not deter my parents from instilling the desire to learn Tamil in me at a very early age. They exposed me to all the nice pattimanrams based on epics aired on DD, involved me in crossword puzzles they solved in Tamil magazines and read short stories and jokes to me. As a result, I self taught myself to read and write Tamil, of course with a little help from my parents. I might not be able to read and understand thirukural or barathiyar poetry without help, but I can still manage to read headlines etc.

    Since I really missed learning Tamil as a language in school I am determined to educate my children in Tamil. Whatever medium they study in, I am making sure they learn Tamil as well. My daughter's school teaches only Chinese, but I am proud to say that she is learning Tamil at home and when she joins primary she is definitely going to learn Tamil in school.

    What I would like every tamillian to know is that we could have missed the opportunity to learn Tamil due to any reason, but there is no reason to stop our children from learning our mother tongue. It may not benefit them monetarily, but it will enrich their souls and make them feel proud about themselves and their rich heritage.

    Of course it is never too late to learn even for us. Beyond time, money and other commitments that we cite as reasons for not learning Tamil, what really is holding us back is the fact that we have a false pride in saying that we don't know Tamil, which is such a shame. All through my life I have felt ashamed to admit that I do not know to read and write in Tamil.

    This show has really made my resolve to learn Tamil even stronger. I am determined to get a degree in Tamil just to feel complete as a tamilian.

    Tamizhan enru sollada... thalai nemirndu nillada......

    Now my daughter has joined Primary and takes tamil classes and is actually doing great as she has learnt the tamil alphabets at home and finds in easy to read.... isn't that wonderful!! and the best part is I will read and learn along with her:)
     

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