I have many gifts but learning new languages is not one them. Since coming to Stellenbosch, I have learnt exactly three words of Afrikaans and my pronunciation of those three words is so bad and unconvincing. As for Xhosa, I am still struggling with the 'click' sound so in the meantime, I have mastered two words that do not have that sound.
It was not always so. When I was younger, I did very well at french but promptly forgot it when I tried to add Spanish and Latin to my repertoire of foreign languages. Now, I am too lazy and old to try, so in my calculations, I will leave South Africa with at most eight words of Afrikaans and Xhosa combined.
As for my little girl, she will have to learn Kenyan languages when we go back to Kenya, because I have not bothered to teach them to her now. Yesterday, I got a lot of flak over that and as T rightly pointed out, my way of dealing with it is to write it in my blog. He went on to tell the others that they should be careful what they say around me because it will appear here! And so it has!
I will gladly pay for language classes when I get back to Kenya, especially to re-learn Luo, my native language, which I once spoke as a child but sadly gave up for Swahili and then English. My poor brain is now too confused, what with a PhD that requires me to roll off my tongue words like transdisciplinarity, sustainability and transformative knowledge all in one sentence!
Labels: Daughter, Jargon, Languages, Research, Trying