MT&LV ::Mother Tongue & Language Vernacular::

  • Thank you for clicking. Eshe O. It’s Laradiji once again, I’m all about living a peaceful life, and I love talking about situations we might find ourselves in that need peaceful endings.
  • In this post, I’ll be talking about the importance of our native languages, it’s many benefits in the community and how it relates to living a peaceful life.
  • It’s October’s Living in Peace episode or the LinP section of my channel where I talk about peaceful living in this chaotic and dramatic world, how I see it and how I live it under the umbrella of Living a peaceful life. This section also is the main section of Laraddiji so if you’re about living a peaceful life as well, then this channel is for you.
  • Watch out for next month’s episode on Mothers & Workforce, I’ll be talking about the challenges mothers are facing in these recent years and how it relates to the umbrella of living a peaceful life.
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  1. How many languages are there in general? There are approximately 6500 languages in the world today, the most popular one being Mandarin Chinese, I know, I’m surprised too. There are 3 main languages in Nigeria, Yoruba Igbo and Hausa and there many dialects of each language, some do overlap and some are very different in entirety.
  1. What is the meaning of language? It is the method of human communication whether spoken or written. An example is Yoruba, I can read and write it and fortunately for me now, that’s an asset, that’s something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life, there’s still so much to learn but at least I know the basics to go by. What does vernacular mean? Vernacular is an everyday language, colloquial and informal in nature. Every language has its people who speak it and with that, non-verbal communication, values, way of life, and culture.
  2. Why is language so important? The language you speak, your mother tongue, not another language you’ve learned over the years symbolizes that you belong to a certain group of people, or you come from a certain group of people who live in a certain place.  `
  1. Are you consciously or unconsciously, not speaking your language? I remember when I first came to the States, I don’t remember ever consciously or unconsciously saying I will continue to speak my mother tongue at home or anywhere else for that matter and I don’t remember saying I wouldn’t speak Yoruba but I spoke less of it. As the times went by and as I began to become more self-aware and more confident in myself, I realized, my language was an asset to me.
  1. Is it wrong to be proud of your language? Being proud of where you come from, your culture, your values, your way of life encompasses that you’re comfortable with yourself. Language solidifies these truths. When you speak your language, it is affirming that you belong to certain people and you’re proud to be associated with them. Times are changing now because we are being integrated into a modern nation speaking English and neglecting our mother tongue.

My recent travel to my home country opened my eyes to where our languages are going, especially in Nigeria among my people the Yoruba people, I can’t speak for other tribes. I realized that the population of this tribe going to school who are getting educated doesn’t even speak their native language, it is actually almost discouraged if not totally and is usually termed vernacular, and they’ll tell you right from the gates o the schools you’ll attend, Stop speaking vernacular. Stop speaking vernacular, that’s what we were told when we were in primary school and we were forced to speak English whenever we were on the school premises which wasn’t bad but then at home, we also continued speaking English while continuing to neglect our mother tongue.

Thank God I lived with my grandmother and even though she spoke English, we spoke Yoruba to her and she spoke Yoruba back to us. I remember my aunt taught us English as well because that was more influential, we didn’t want to be “local” by speaking our mother tongue, that’s how people thought back then and I’ve now realized that the thought has been maximized now. What does language even mean? It is the method of human communication whether spoken or written. I remember when I was back home and in my educational career, I studied my language Yoruba in school. I wanted to know more about it. Nowadays I don’t even know if they still teach it in schools especially when it’s considered local to even speak it.

The show Abishola here in New York really explains a lot about being proud of where I come from. pride. Italians, Spanish, British, Haitians, Jamaicans, Russians, and many others are proud of where they’re from, and when they speak their language to each other, life goes on. If someone from another cultural background takes their time to learn your language to know more about you, then you should be proud of those cultural sentiments. The oyinbo people are learning our language but we are neglecting ours, it doesn’t make sense. I speak Yoruba personally up till now and while I was schooling in Nigeria, my language was considered vernacular on school grounds because English was far more preferred. Now I see a lot of people, living fake lives, faking and speaking bad English even just so that people will not think they are ‘uneducated’ when they speak their mother tongue.

As a teenager in a new country back in 2001, I think I wanted to fit in at all cost, I remembered that all my paperwork said Rachel Obisanya, and my mom’s Christian name is also Rachael, and I really didn’t want to be called Rachel junior, I kind of wanted my own name, it didn’t sit right with me especially when all my young life, I was known as and called Omolara, so I stuck with it, and as the years went by, my paperwork starting reflecting that change. Omolara Rachel Obisanya ORO, not Rachael Omolara. My brother, on the other hand, had a different agenda, he continued his schooling here starting from middle school and you know how kids are starting from kindergarten I feel like they make fun of everything, but till today, I never knew the reason why my brother refused to be called his traditional Yoruba name called Ayo, which means Joy. Only close family members know him as Ayo. He wanted to be called by his Christian name, Stephen, you should check out his work on Instagram, StephenObisanya, he’s a documentary photographer. Maybe I should interview him one day to hear his side if you’d like that, pls comment down below.

Africans, let us wake up, let’s stop teaching our children how to be fake starting by not teaching them how to speak their own language, let’s teach them to be confident in who they are, starting with the language they speak. We are too bendable on the topic of wanting to be Americanized. Or wanting to be like these people and those people that we are forgetting our true self and our origin, let’s resist some of these changes a little. I am guilty of this myself, unconsciously I find myself speaking English to my kids and consciously now, I’m correcting my mistake. I don’t want my kids to be taken advantage of when they go home to their home country.

I remember a situation when I was in high school here in New York and we had a parent-teacher association and we were walking in the halls of the school and my mom was calling me, Lara, Lara, duro de wa, ki lode to se n rin lo ni wa ju. I was so embarrassed not because they were my parents but because they were speaking our native language Yoruba, I didn’t want to be associated with them because they were speaking “vernacular” can you imagine? This is exactly how people feel when they speak their native language now back home, they’re embarrassed, if not ashamed because they speak a different langue. I’m sure some of you have done that as well when you were young, you wanted to belong to the cool kids association and your parents aren’t going to mess up your opportunity because they spoke their language? Because they weren’t speaking English at that moment in time? Guess what, I never was part of the cool kids and I surely embarrassed myself that night, not my parents. Who does that?

Let’s start teaching our kids to be proud of who they are, where they came from so that they can appreciate their future as they are being rooted in developing themselves. What I see nowadays is some people are faking who they are, they can’t even speak English that well but they will fake their lives until they fail in their ambitions. I’m not saying don’t learn to speak proper English but please don’t throw away your unique language and your mother tongue. Your language is a big part of your identity, a big part of who you are, a small part of a big thing you belong to, and if you throw that away knowingly or unknowingly, a part of yourself will be lost. Why would you want to dissociate yourself from your people? You’ll be like a single stick out of a broom, and you know what they say about a broom, united we stand or rise, divided we fall.

My LinP|RinP Fam – What language do you speak and what is a barrier that prevents you from speaking it.what is an advantage that motivates you to keep speaking it?

Thank you very much for watching this episode. God willing, we are on this earth for an average of 75-80yrs. Let’s not waste any of that precious time on matters that don’t help us positively in some way. You have a decision to make, if not now, maybe later, the ball of your language is in your court. Ask questions if you have any, don’t hesitate to leave a comment as well. Like this video by giving it a thumbs up so that I can make more of them and also you can follow me on Facebook and  Instagram @Laraddiji and subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss the many more sizzling topics to come, hover on the red hearts on the right lower corner and subscribe, why wait, its free and make sure your notification bell is activated to be automatically notified of new uploads from me. Please, let’s love our neighbors as ourselves and remember, to Rest.In.Peace, we all need to be Living.In.Peace, Stay blessed. Bye bye. You’ll see me in my next one.

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