This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Actually I'm not done....

I just happened to also think about what Dr. A said just before we all left yesterday about bilingualism. I would just like to say that the ability to speak more than one language should really truly be cherished. I personally have wished my entire life that I could have been raised bilingual, because something I have learned through not onl this course but also through my studies as a linguist is that speaking a second language does so much more for a person than merely allow them to speak to more people. Speaking a language opens a door into a culture, a language carries with it the slang the humor and the values of a culture. When you meet someone and tell them you speak there native language an immediate bond is created ESPECIALLY if that person lives in a country in which their language is in the minority. That language is their security blanket it's the one things that they can always carry with them from home. A language can't get lost at the airport or left in a hotel or lost under the bed a language is always there for you, it's always there to comfort you to remind you of home and where you came from, to remind you of the roots that you should ALWAYS be proud of. To be able to share something that precious is truly a privileged that should be appreciated and never taken for granite and never pushed aside, forgotten or hidden. So those of you blessed enough to have been raised bilingual, cherish that gift and take advantage of all the opportunities that are open to you because of it. I personally have a fascination with cultures and language and would have traded ANYTHING for the same gift some of you were raised with. So no matter what you do don't lose that language and that gift, you would be closing so many doors if you do.

3 comments:

  1. Cassie,

    I scold my mother (Cambodian) and stepfather (Mexican) a great deal for not molding me into a trilingual, transcontinentally-cultured beast! I do understand the basic linguistic concepts of Asian, Romantic, and Germanic languages, but it won't ever be enough. Being able to listen is only half of a conversation: speaking, even with one's hands, is equally as important.

    Dr. A brought up a huge point yesterday night, and my parents fell for it: teach and speak only the language of your peers. For many immigrants, there are so many stigmas to just fit in with American businesses and lifestyles. They afraid that embracing their differences and identities will harm the welfares of their families. Not true at all, but it is an extremely prevalent fear. I can only hope that I will help my children to overcome those, and raise them all to be cosmopolitan.

    I pray that one day Americans, being the "melting pot" country, will readily consume more media from around the world. Entertainment can and should be the first industry to link us all together. There is GREAT stuff out there like the novelas we preview in class. So much American television and music is already distributed worldwide, but why don't we consume anything in return? ... excuse me I'm going to listen to my K-Pop now!

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  2. I totally agree. I really wish I was bilingual... pretty much all of the time. It is such a blessing in this day and age of globalization to be able to speak two languages. It makes you a richer person, able to express yourself in so many new ways that would have otherwise been impossible. I particularly enjoy the social aspect of learning a new language. After taking this class, I am now more inspired than ever to keep my Spanish up. Any time that I didn't understand Catalina in Sin tetas no hay paraíso, I desired more and more to be bilingual. Maybe one day!

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  3. Cassie,
    I definitely agree. I personally am SO beyond thankful that my parents raised me bilingual and that they continue ingraining it in me today. And what you said about it not only allowing you to speak with other people but it opening a door to culture is definitely true. Language is a huge part of the identity of a country and knowing a second language thoroughly definitely gives you an upper hand at understanding the culture of that country, especially if you know the specific dialect of that country. Although you may not have been raised bilingually, I encourage you to continue studying other languages and try your best to immerse yourself in the language, because I am almost convinced that is the only way to truly learn...and although it may be very frustrating, it is definitely worth it.

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