What Do You Speak?
Language is a tool that enables us to communicate better with others. The diverse and sophisticated nature of language plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of education delivered for students around the globe. As we celebrate the International Mother Language Day, let us recognize the importance of preserving traditional knowledge and promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in communities.
Randomly selected students from different countries within the Maroon community were asked to give us their insights about their mother languages and how these languages serve as their means of (daily) communication.
“I come from a specific region in India. There, we speak Bengali which is considered to be the sweetest language in the world according to UNESCO. I can also speak Hindi, which is the national language of India. In our country we have many languages but still, there is unity. My mother language helps me a lot in different ways. However, I still need to learn English to communicate better to others especially now that I am in the Philippines.”
—Archisman Mukherjee, Biology
“In Nigeria, we have three major languages: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. I consider Igbo as my mother language. Learning how to speak your mother tongue gives you advantage especially when you are within that region. But now that I am here in the Philippines, and I happen to see someone who speaks my language I find it easier to bond with them.”
“I consider English as my mother language. It is a very universal type of language. By using English language, it is easier for me to ask someone certain questions especially here in Cebu where most of the people knows how to speak English.”
—Kevin Campus, Nursing
“The beauty in my mother language is that it was shaped over time by culture. Just like water, it holds the memory of the past from the native life in Cebu to the coming of the Spaniards until the present times. My mother language is unique and flexible. I live in Cebu and people here speaks in Bisaya all the time so with my mother language I get to socialize with people everyday.”
—Mary Rose Diaz, Medical Technology
” Aside from calling it unique, I consider it myself as special. In a way that I’ve been attached to it already since it is what I’ve been nurtured while growing up. With that, it helped me collaborate or connect with others easily and efficiently the way I wanted it to be. They understand me well and same goes for me.”
—Leo Angelo Calo, Medical Technology
” I guess the Waray language is really unique for the reason being that it resonates with other local regional dialects. There seem to be a number of words in Waray that can be understood by those who speak Bicolano. Other than that, the dialect is rich in history may it be through folktales or through real history. (i.e. how the word “kalibutan” came into existence as explained in the regional epics of region 8 ). Lastly, my mother language resonates with other dialects, as mentioned earlier, which means that I don’t really have a hard time growing accustomed to other languages especially dialects under the Visayan language.”
—Mikhaela Macariola, Dentristy