Thursday, February 27, 2014

"BELIEVE" - languages

"Believe" is the word of this blog and of my hope for children and adults alike. I asked my children what makes them believe in traditions and the values of our people and they said language.

They said listening to the elders speak and watching the ceremonies take place. Most of the cultures would not be the same if they did not have the expression of their languages. It is the magic that connects everything together.

I love to listen to other people speak their languages. I do not understand but they are still beautiful. I have two stories to tell about languages.

The first one: 

I was talking to my friend on the phone. She is American Somona. She stopped our conversation because her cousin came in. They were speaking their language and I couldn't understand what they were saying but I just listened . There was so much excitement in their voices, it made me smile. She came back on and apologized and I laughed. I did not mind the wait, it was beautiful to witness. The love and pride they have in their language and culture.  So in her language - Talofa (Hello)

The second one:

I was with my friends and we were at my house. Our kids were playing and we were visiting. My oldest two made their little sister cry as siblings are bound to do from time to time. I went over to them and talked to them in our language - telling them to play nice and say sorry. They did and went on their merry way. I went back to my friends and sat down. I started talking to them, but all of them had a weird look on their faces. I finally stopped talking and asked what? They told me they could not understand me. Apparently, when I went back I was speaking Ojibwe to my friends and it did not even register with my brain. I said sorry. It took me minutes of concentrating to get back to English. It hurt to have to go back to English. I love my culture and my language, and I need to find out ways to incorporate it into every aspect of my life.

What is your experience with language either your own, learned or heard?

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