English is not our ‘motherland’

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IT’s true what they say about the Queen’s language; it’s sowaar not our motherland, ai sorry, I meant our mother tongue. We just have to be honest with ourselves and admit that the language is just too complex for us. No wonder someone suggested we must make one of our indigenous languages the official language. Mind you, I am not talking about the way we pronounce words in English, like bringing along a full suitcase of ndimbindi’s (DBD’s), exchanging the L for the R, the J for the Y, the ‘sh’ sound for the ‘ch’ sound, or pronouncing names like Edward as Eduwardi or Magreth as Mangret, because getting tongue-tied has clearly got to do with the influence our mother tongue exerts on the British language.

We find it sexy when the French or Italian pronounce English words, but we laugh at our own when Danny says, “the Yetta crossed the road” or Dicky says, “Please sit on the shair”. We kama want to pee in our pants when Paul reads, “The lain is caused by row plessure in the atmosphere.”

However, my concern is not pronunciation, but the usage of the language, because it seems that the day we decided to make it our official language is the day we vowed to strangulate, vomit and throw English to the dogs. Don’t get me wrong, English is a crazy language as it is, because there is no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger and no apple or pine in pineapple. For instance, we call somebody who eats vegetables a vegetarian, but we don’t call someone who eats humans a humanitarian.

No wonder we still fare much better in Afrikaans and until today it’s the lingua franca commonly used among Namibians. Even those who have migrated from other countries soon find out how useful it is to speak a little Afrikaans My Taal in this country. But still, the excuse that kama, “I was just speaking Namlish” to cover up for blatant mistakes is unacceptable. Etche, how will our children ever pass at school if we continue to make such excuses for our shortfalls, but then blame our children when they fail at school for writing grammar like this: “When I arrive, grandmother jump with heppy, she catched a hen and assasinated it.” It’s such times when you just wish you can hang yourself from the nearest tree because you just can’t fix this.

Ae, ae, English is really deteriorating and please don’t come with excuses that English is not our mother tongue, because none of us was born with a cellphone in our hands or with a steering wheel on our lap, but we are such experts at manoeuvring the little gadgets or driving a car.

It’s understandable that the generation before independence didn’t have English as a first language and their medium of instruction was Afrikaans and they can be excused for asking “for why?” (vir wat in Afrikaans). But when it comes to speaking Afrikaans they were impeccable and never made excuses for the language not being their mother tongue.

Today, some guys want to impress you with words like, “You are my spinach in fish oil. When I see you I smell braai meat.” Ats! Then I saw this one user’s update on Facebook: “He speakinged of my English why he is also very small like he is eated meat of people. Me you find me birthed without my mother and me not grow up by my English. Opuwo.
Sorry Ngo!

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