Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What's Your Mother Tongue?

So....what's your mother tongue? And what does that term mean anyway, "mother tongue"? Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it :

According to some, a person's first language, native language or mother tongue is the language that was learned first by the person. In terms of that view, the person is called a native speaker of the language, although one may also be a native speaker of more than one language if all of the languages are learned naturally without formal instruction, such as through cultural immersion before puberty. Often a child learns the basics of his or her first languages from his or her family.

Which means, for me, my mother tongue is English or rather Indian English. I grew up learning to speak English first. Whether this was because I was born and raised (until the age of 11) in a foriegn country as English was the standard language used over there or if it was due to the fact that my sister only spoke English (at that point of time) is not clear to me. But the fact is that I have not learnt to read or write Malayalam, the native tongue of my land, Kerala! This has been often surprising to other once they get to know me. To be truthful it has often stumped me as well. How come I never got round to learning it, is beyond me. Convinience and laziness is a huge factor perhaps. When my family settled down in Cochin and we looked for a school for me, language was a main factor. Hence I took "Special English" (a subject given to students who did not know Malayalam) in school from the age of 11 to 15.

Hence I conclude that my mother tongue is English. ALthough that does sound weird to me. Oh flippin' well!!

Song for the day - "Life Wasted" - PEARL JAM