A New Language

Sep 25, 2015
by: nmafi

Over history, language its accents have been transformed into a way that we today can understand. Form the “Thou shall not kill,” to today’s “Bruh, gimme them sneaks from the back.” The language spoken in modern day may never make any sense to a person who was alive in the 15th century. The early colonists may be confused with the vocabulary used today. That is how those who speak “broken” English may be confusing to those who know “proper” English.
I interviewed my father who is an immigrant from the island of Tonga. He moved to America with very little knowledge of how to adapt to spoken language. When arriving he wanted to do so much, yet he couldn’t because he had a language barrier. My dad claims it was a like learning how to walk again. Even today my dad had difficulties with trying to speak English. When speaking English, my dad may pronounce the word “ripe” as “lipe”. He may even speak his mother tongue when trying to express his ideas in English.
I remember my dad told me the story when he almost lost his life for being misunderstood. One day, my dad was coming home from a very long day of cutting a high palm tree that over one hundred feet. Not only did my dad have to cut the tree, but he had to carry the branches and wood about two minutes away from where he cut the tree. At the end of his first day, my dad was exhausted. On the bridge coming from San Francisco, my dad began feel out of breath. He had a hard time trying to breath while he was driving. He could barely concentrate on the street. Unaware of what was wrong with him, my dad rushed to the hospital. When he got to the hospital he had difficulties speaking with the nurse because he spoke broken English and he was wheezing. The nurse was frustrated with trying so hard to understand, so she called in a nearby patient who just so happen to speak Tongan and better English. This help my dad get into a room faster.
Many people go through hardships because of language barriers. Though society should not treat these people any less of themselves. Remember that someone who does not speak the best English, may be the next President, or the next big lawyer. Never judge someone by what they do, simply critique them on how to do it.


Agree to Broken English

swilliams's picture
Submitted by swilliams on Wed, 2015-10-07 18:11.

I agree with my classmate Vei. Everyone has a barrier of "broken" English from theirs mothetr's tongue. No one should be mistreated because of the way someone's talk or speak to each other. There are many immigrants in America that don't receive has much of freedom and respect because the way they talk. I enjoyed reading your blog!

This is a really good example

Submitted by kruss on Fri, 2015-10-09 13:04.

This is a really good example for "broken" English. I really like the anecdote from your father and knew what you were talkin about. Although your sentences don't exactly flow right if you know what i mean. I told Ayre the same thing, try reading the words out loud before sending it off.

I agree that people shouldn't

Submitted by lmiller on Fri, 2015-10-09 13:13.

I agree that people shouldn't be mistreated because of the way they talk. It's wrong and unfair. I like how you used your father as an example.

I agree with you about

Submitted by yselvin on Sun, 2015-10-11 21:41.

I agree with you about language barriers causing hardships.Although language is important,I fell society should realize that a language barrier doesn't determine your potential. Great story about language barriers and how it affects you and your father personally.

I can relate with this

Submitted by TravisA on Mon, 2015-10-12 02:18.

I can relate with this article because my Vietnamese mother still has trouble pronouncing a lot of words and it sometimes can make it hard to understand her.