The Beauty of the Mother Tongue.
The Beauty of the Mother Tongue.
We all believe in the saying that “what goes around, comes around”. This saying explains what I did to my friend. He had earlier pulled a stunt at me and I looked forward to paying him back. Then, this day came, he was exchanging pleasantries with someone and the person called him “ụgọdụ”. He turned to me and asked the meaning. Hmm, the moment is here. I told him “ụgọdụ” means good luck. The guy that called him the name burst out in laughter.
Now, the three of us are Igbo and we all speak the language but from different dialects. I speak the same dialect with the guy that called him the name. And interestingly, in our dialect, “ụgọdụ” means dog. This is one of the beautiful features of the mother tongue.
The Mother tongue is the native language of an individual. The Mother tongue, also known as the dialect, is considered the first and most important language spoken by anyone. Every mother tongue has its unique features that make them beautiful.
The Mother tongue is an embodiment of hereditary values and cultural identities. Whenever people speak their mother tongue, it is an indicator of where they are from. It also connects people to their culture. When a father communicates with a son, he passes down his thoughts, culture, knowledge, and wisdom. This way, the culture is passed down and the boy grows and develops his own mind with the messages he gets from the father. I know that every culture upholds respect but there some culture that went extra by infusing it in their languages. For instance, languages like Chinese, Hausa, Yoruba have words for elders and words for age mates/younger ones.
“Ni hao” is a Chinese word which means “Hello”. But it is used when talking to your age mate or a younger person (also used in informal settings) while “Nin hao” is “Hello” used for elders (also used in formal settings). In Yoruba, “Kaaro” means “Good morning” used for age mates while “E kaaro” is “Good morning” is for elders. These differences serve as a constant reminder to be respectful.
The Mother tongue builds relationships. We meet and interact with people on daily basis for different purposes. But the feeling that comes with meeting someone that speaks your language especially in a strange land is special. The connection is usually instant. You feel more comfortable and almost trusts the person because you believe you are culturally connected with the person.
The Mother tongue strengthens relationships. Sometimes, we lack words to express ourselves genuinely when communicating in second or other languages. But when communicating in mother tongue, you have the right word to express every emotion or situation. Little wonder why family conversations are always hot and juicy.
Consequently, teaching a child his mother tongue first before any other language helps in the cognitive development of the child. Some studies say that such children learn faster than others. For this reason, parents are encouraged to teach their children their mother tongue.
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