For example, if a language school advertises that all its teachers are native speakers of English, we would most likely complain if we later learned that although the teachers do have some vague childhood memories of the time when they talked to their mothers in English, they, however, grew up in some non-English-speaking country and are fluent in a second language only.Similarly, in translation theory, the claim that one should translate only into one's mother tongue is in fact a claim that one should only translate into one's first and dominant language.The family is not necessarily the place where languages are transmitted, and sometimes we observe breaks in transmission, often translated by a change of language, with children acquiring as first language the one that dominates in the milieu.
English is the of the digital age, and those who use it as a second language may outnumber its native speakers by hundreds of millions.
On every continent, people are forsaking their ancestral tongues for the dominant language of their region’s majority.
English, I concluded, was the only path to success in this country.
The result is that for the past 30 years, whenever I have put pen to paper, the words that come out are in English, with only a sprinkling of Spanish for flavor.
I have written best-selling books, essays, articles, op-eds, all in English.
Our society has, in some ways, made great progress in how it approaches the education of children like I was, but we still have a long ways to go in eradicating our distrust and disdain for other languages.I was never encouraged to maintain and develop my mother tongue, only to learn English fast enough so that I could finally join mainstream classes -- and shed the stigma of being classified as an "English Learner." UNESCO defines a second language as "a language acquired by a person in addition to [her] home language." But at my junior high, because English was the only language I heard from my teachers, the objective seemed to be replacement, not addition.Little by little, my Spanish was supplanted by English until I began to think and dream, and write only in that language.Assimilation confers inarguable benefits, especially as internet use proliferates and rural youth gravitate to cities.Reyna Grande is the author of the memoirs "The Distance Between Us" and "A Dream Called Home." Born in Guerrero, Mexico, she came to the US as an undocumented child immigrant. On my first day at a US school in September 1985, upon realizing that I didn't speak a word of English, my 5th-grade teacher pointed to the farthest corner of her classroom and sent me there. The message I received was that if I wanted to be seen and heard, I'd have to speak English.In 8th grade, my junior high school held a writing competition similar to the one at my elementary school.I wrote a story in English this time and entered the competition, eager to be judged on the same terms as everyone else. Although winning that competition would help me gain confidence in my writing skills, which later led to a career as a professional writer, it destroyed my relationship with Spanish."The vagueness of this term has led some researchers to claim..different connotative meanings of the term 'mother tongue' vary according to the intended usage of the word and that differences in understanding the term can have far-reaching and often political consequences." "It is the language community of the mother tongue, the language spoken in a region, which enables the process of enculturation, the growing of an individual into a particular system of linguistic perception of the world and participation in the centuries-old history of linguistic production." "Cultural power can...backfire when the choices of those who embrace Americanness in language, accent, dress, or choice of entertainment stir resentment in those who do not.Every time an Indian adopts an American accent and curbs his 'mother tongue influence,' as the call centers label it, hoping to land a job, it seems more deviant, and frustrating, to have only an Indian accent." "The notion of 'mother tongue' is thus a mixture of myth and ideology.What I learned from that early experience was: If I write in Spanish, I will be rejected.If I write in English, I will be celebrated and win prizes.