Different Languages: Understandings and Misunderstandings



Nearly all languages have different varieties and dialects. The standard variety of a language is that it is supported and encouraged by the local authorities or social institutions such as schools and the media. The usual or typical forms of the language are more impressive than the non-standard types and are perceived as the correct form by the speakers of that language. Because this particular variety of any language is presumed to be correct because they are more valued and used within the society and speakers of the language. According to linguist Harold Fasold “The standard used language may not be the best collection of features available, but it is accepted because of the social overall use of the language and not because it is superior in any sense to the other varieties and dialects. In some cases, an official body describes the grammar and usage of a standard variety.

Which of the language communities you belong to do you think is most misunderstood?
            The Creole community is usually misunderstood because they don’t speak a real language they just speak broken French. The Creole is usually misunderstood because they have no standard language like English or French and what they speak is a corrupt and inferior form of the French Language. Creole has been called “broken rench” because those responsible for such assessment are speakers of standard languages. Creoles are people of European descent who were born in Spanish colonies.
            The entire Creole community number around 1511695 living in different parts of the world. The dialect of the Creole is a cross between French and English but they do have clear phonetic and semantic shifts. However, the grammar can be different from the parent language. Because the Creoles speak broken French they pronounce several words in a way that people generally do not either understand them or think that they mean something else. A significant misstep occurred when a Creole woman asking for directions to a restaurant was directed instead to a hospital. The values that clashed were that Creole is not an official education language, and there is difference between French and the Creole Language. Creole is basically all colloquial while French is a literary. There are several different meanings for words. For instance there are several words to describe snow in Creole and unless is familiar with the language will take an entirely different meaning (Frank)
            There are several languages spoken in any college. Although the medium of education is usually English, students from different communities and countries come to study in colleges. Each community brings with them their own version of English, their own pronunciations and their own different use of words. One example would be the combination of Hindi in English which has formed a new language “Hinglish”. The pronunciation, spelling and meaning of the same word is different in some language communities.
            The difference between two subjects such as History and Biology is the different terminology and the different meaning of some words; however, these disciplines are somewhat similar for writers are the structural order of both disciplines in their academic forms. I learnt about a new language community which comprised of Bhutanese Americans. Their parents had migrated to the United States two generations back, but even this generation were well aware of the language and heritage and still speak the language at home and among students with a similar background history. The difference in their culture and values are quite different from those who are of European ancestry. Like all people with Asian ancestry, they have a different way of family life. One specific aspect of this is that they respect their elderly and keep them with them until the elders die. For them it is unthinkable to send any of their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to old home just because they are too old to work. Besides this, these students have different values about relationships even with women. They have and implement their own set of values that has been handed down to them for several generations. The lesson learnt here are that despite being American citizens for the second or even third generation they still adhere to the values and culture of their country (Hsiaa)
            Because these students speak their own language at home where they are for most of the time, their pronunciation of the English language is heavily accented and mixed with words and idioms from their original language. Sometimes they are misunderstood because they have a different way of speaking. Even in college, their traditions and culture is reflected in their behavior towards their teachers and fellow students.
            Because of their cultural upbringing, most Bhutanese Americans are soft spoken and polite. They are also studious and hard working because their parents instill into them the merits and benefits of hard work. Life was never easy for these people before they came to America, and they have kept their values of hard work and frugality. These students are brought up to treat their community as family and try their best to be helpful in any way that they can. Because of their mild temperament and their extremely nature, people generally like them. Most Bhutanese students are Buddhists and strictly vegetarian. They always try to be compatible with other students and cultures without compromising their own cultural and religious beliefs. (-Chu)
            The Bhutanese American students are strictly law abiding citizens who appreciate the life that America has given them. Their way of life and harmony with nature and their surroundings has made them ideal and law abiding citizens. It is strongly suggested that more students in colleges follow the examples of these Bhutanese Americans they will become better students and better law abiding citizens.  Students and other people alike can learn meditations and the way to mental tranquility and peace of mind. Although these Bhutanese Americans are different, they are similar to American values of life, liberty and happiness
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