Avoiding Mt. Fluency 101

A Bird! A Plane! You!

You get to choose one superpower. Pick one of these, and explain your choice:

  • the ability to speak and understand any language
  • the ability to travel through time
  • the ability to make any two people agree with each other

If I didn’t choose the ability to speak and understand any language, I wouldn’t be me.

Language learning is easily my favourite pastime and as a Spanish major minoring in Communication Studies, I understand the importance of effective communication. Obviously, not being able to communicate with someone in their native tongue provides a barrier in trying to share ideas and experiences with them even in a day to day forum.

Take, for example, dialects/variations of languages.

It’s one thing to be able to speak a language within a classroom setting but then you visit Colombia or Spain and the variation of Spanish spoken is different from what you’re accustomed to. Luckily, I have both Spanish and Latin American lecturers and they are always keen on pointing out differences and explaining what is commonly said in different parts of the Spanish speaking world. But they can’t teach us all the differences.

As a Trinidadian I speak a dialect of Standard English in my day to day activities and sometimes even when the English as a Foreign Language students are around you forget and talk to them as if they were accustomed to ‘liming’ and ‘wining’ and all the usual things that us Trinis do!

If I recall correctly, there’s some 6000 languages spoken around the world; so why not avoid this every time?



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