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Apr 17, 2019 23:29:53

Language also matters to self-identification (part 1)

by @5plus6 | 472 words | 🐣 | 239💌


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Language, as well as dialect, are also about self-identification in your surrounding environment. There are four different places according to my life stages -- where I was born, where I spent my childhood, where I suffered before college entrance, where I am grownup till now -- I have different languages or dialects. Maybe I could write such experiences in my today's posts.

The day before yesterday, I wrote feedback above to @basilesamel based on my personal experience, since then, I am wondering how to sit down in front of my computer and document it. It's quite personal and I should own it to my parents for that. Let me tell you now.

I am a Chinese girl born in the southern area of China but grew up in the north. Not until I graduated from primary school did I lived with my parents and not until I graduated from college that my family has been settled down in the same house over three years. As a result of that, I have no friendship longer than three years. You may say that moving around often is not a big deal, and I would tell you that I failed to join in a new environment, new school or new neighbor, every time because of I speak in a different way with them. I don't belong to their social circle.

I was born to speak Wenzhou dialect, which is regarded as the most difficult dialect to understand in China. Soon after I was four, I moved to a small town near the capital Beijing and spent my happy childhood there without parents nearby. So I learned to speak standard Mandarin like a northern area people and forgot my southern accent. 

When I am eleven, I moved to a city in the northeast to live with my parents. It's the first time I realized that the way I am speaking matters to who I am. My parents are the traditional south people that they refused to speak any other language and only make friends from our hometown and no matter where we moved, we lived with them. So, I always feel like a strange tourist from the north and can't understand what they are talking at all. I could recall that difficult time when I am at home, I stay silent, when I am at school, I will still be silent because I am a weirdo neither  "south"  or "north " but not "east" in school. Unlike a little child, being a teenager kept away from both family and school is terrible, they gave me no chance to learn from the start. I became speechless.

After college, I made up a decision to choose a language for myself as an independent grownup. My answer is English. It would be another long story and it's late in my time zone, so I left part two to write tomorrow.

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