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How I Feel About All The Languages I Speak (Creole, French, German, Spanish, English & More)

Creole isn’t my favorite but I love it. I discovered it by watching videos from a comic duo called ‘Aba & Preach’. I’ll link their videos. They did 3 I think, about Creole. They did one on onomatopoeia, haitian moms and dads. That made me want to learn more. After that I had a Haitian boyfriend. We didn’t speak it together, but we texted in it. I took books out at the library, Grammar books, dictionaries… I watched videos on YouTube… I tried to experiment all aspects of Haitian culture. I don’t know many people who speak it, but I worked at a clothing store and when I had Haitian clients I talked with them, I listened to a lot of kompa music, I ate ‘griot’ and I talked with the person who did the food. Now I’m reading more about Creole. That’s called ‘Creolist and I find it interesting. I want to learn why the language is like that. A lot of people think that there’s a big African influence but if we compare with the French spoken in Quebec, we can see that Creole evolved in slavery conditions but it’s not *that* influenced by African languages Haitian people are influenced by Africa in the domains of culture, food, dance, clothing… But Experts can see that this language comes from the the settlers’ French. For example, if we compare with French spoken in North America, (because colonization happened during the same time period) we can see that we share similarities we have MANY similarities that’s what I like about Creole because we say ‘frette’, ‘drette’ ‘la nuit’ ‘tout bord, tout côté’ ‘li pa intèlijan pou senk goud’=yé pas intelligent pour cinq cennes Oh ‘ap’! ‘M ap manje’=ch’t’après manger ‘Pete’ in the sense of ‘to break’. ‘Rwe’, ‘Mwen’ In Maurician or Reunion Creole, they say ‘M pa pou danse’=’Chus pas pour danser’ to indicate the future. That’s a subject that’s very important to me, but that’s a little controversial. Let’s go. My little sister told me: ‘When you speak Creole ‘When you speak to someone everything’s alright. When you’re singing or just saying an expression for fun, you’re not speaking Creole, you’re doing a parody of Black people, like a blackface.’ Blackface is when people use apects of Black culture to look more ghetto, to express themselves in ways that White culture won’t let them. I think my sister’s right, because sometimes, when I speak Creole I exaggerate. Not right now, sometimes I just say ‘Sak pase!’ (=what’s up?) When White people speak a Black language, it’s important not to exaggerate, to respect the language, the culture. I shouldn’t use my knowledge of the language to do a caricature, you know? Now, starting in German This is going to be embarrassing. At 14, I went to Germany with my family. We went to Munich and the Alps. I learned how to say words for that: ‘yes/no’, red, blue, green… I only started learning seriously at 17. I got myself a grammar book. I used whatever I could find. I find German way too hard. I would never learn such a hard language again. But it’s done, I’m happy with that. I’m very proud …of myself?…from myself? I like the melody of the German language. I like the logic, everything has its place. But the cases are way too complex and precise for me I study at McGill and I learned for a year by myself after that year I did a year of intensive language classes at university And last year I took literature and culture classes in German That was the best experience of my life The professor only spoke German Our essays, oral presentations the research was in German It was really good to sink the culture in. That was very fun. Now with Spanish. I started learning Spanish at 14, in high school. We learn French, English and after Spanish here in Canada. I like Spanish because it’s the first language I learned that had a melody. I like how I don’t have to pronounces all the letters. It’s very sensual. I watched a lot of telenovelas. One of them was called ‘Las Aparicios’, from Mexico. Many people told me that the ones from Mexico aren’t the best ones But it’s the only one there was. I teach French and many of my students are Latinx so I can practice with them. After that I ‘discovered’ bachata from Aventura with Romeo Santos. I liked it and I still do now I am now gonna switch to English. English is my second language. I started learning Not necessarily learning but being exposed to it when I was very young because my parents saw the importance of learning English from a young age because they had to learn it when they entered the workforce and so You know their English wasn’t necessarily that good and they knew that it was very important to get ahead in life especially here in Quebec So they made us watch TV shows – ‘made us watch’, you know, we didn’t care if it was in English or in French we just didn’t understand. Whenever I wanted a magazine if it was in French I had to pay for it if it wasn’t English my dad would pay for it so big up! Then they paid for classes on Saturday, one hour every week I think that’s what did it for me. Then I went to high school I had very good classes there. Then I went to Cégep in English for a little challenge and also to see what it feels like to be discriminated against. I went to an English Cégep because I didn’t want to just do my basic social sciences in French because I knew I would get bored. I did Liberal Arts it was very interesting very fun. I feel like my English really got better. When I say I discovered discrimination, it wasn’t that bad. At first, I was kind of naive, I thought that everybody who was born in Quebec was French-speaking. I discovered this wasn’t the case at all. And I also discovered some of the stereotypes that people have against French speakers. I had one English teacher, on the first day of class, she told my friend and I that, ‘oh, yeah, it must be so hard for you to write in English’. And I think she just wanted to be nice but it sounded like she was just like, ‘I’m not expecting much coming out of you.’ On that first essay I turned in for her, I was like ‘bihhh’. I used the words ‘albeit’, ‘moreover’, ‘research suggests’, you name it. I’ve definitely felt what it feels like to see yourself in the eyes of other people who don’t know about you, who don’t know about your culture, – yeah
this is a culture – who don’t know about your culture who don’t know much about your language or your way of life and who just you know blurt out the most stereotypical things about what they think your daily life or experience looks like. Speaking English here in Quebec is not a neutral thing because of the history. Whenever you tell someone that you speak English and that you are fluent in it, people who are monolingual francophones will – not all of them but some of them – will see you as a traitor because you know, the English is the other and they’ve been dominating us for so long, why would you- Not only this because in Quebec we have this Judeo-christian guilt about money and power and getting ahead in life. So if you speak English – not necessarily for the new generation or for people. I know who are my age and who all mostly speak English even if basic – but the older generation it’s like, ‘Good for you, you will get ahead in life, but Do I even know you anymore? There’s also as everywhere else class distinction. If you’ve learned English, it means that you’ve had an education. I also learned to embrace my québécois accent when I speak English, because I used to break my jaw over trying to get that perfect accent that there’s no trace of any québécois accent in it, but getting a little bit older, I just realized that you know, I come from where I come from, I learned where I learned, I didn’t start learning when I was 5 – because some experts say that after 6, you know, you’ll never get a native-like accent – So there’s nothing wrong with having a little québécois accent. Now the language I feel the most comfortable in French – not any French, québécois French Omg, it’s the language I feel the least comfortable talking right now! I hate it when I’m at Uni and some teachers change their accent to speak standard French. I get it but when I have to speak to them it shows me that you can be alienated in your own language. A lot of people ask whether when you change languages your personality changes. I think yes, because when I switch, my personality doesn’t change because my message stays the same but the accent I learned in x language may not be the same as in my native language. For example, when I speak Québécois, there are some ‘peasant’ undertones a little more not ‘working class’, but that’s the history of the language, we’re ‘habs’, settlers I learned a more standard English When I speak German I feel like a French person from France because when I speak German I have the classic accent everybody understands without any trace of dialect, I think so I feel very proper, and everything When I speak Creole I feel like I’m going back to roots – not mine at the same time – it’s very infantilizing to think like that, but some people think that because of the history of Creole and how it comes from slavery and an unguided language acquisition – because there were no teachers on the plantations It’s like a ‘child’s language’ it sounds like a kid learning a new language We can remain critical about that because we infantilize Black people every day. It feels like it’s simpler I feel like a more direct person who doesn’t get lost in beautiful phrasing. Hello my name is Beatrice. I like Italian. Very good! Thank you. Thank you very much. Soooo Pizza, pizzeria. There are girls. Hello thank you, thank you very much Sorry. Again. Brazilian. All good. Thank you. It’s too expensive. A little more. Peace be upon you. Ting-a-ling-a-ling, school bell a ring look on my wrist, ice like a freezer, I’m just chilling Plus I’m pretty and educated Couple mill’, yesterday I don’t remember/ Different currency, I travel like a trafficker They say I’m hype/ Hahaha/ I’m laughing/ They’re lucky I don’t show off That’s it/ We just scored three girls The haters are sleeping/ We’re far ahead Camly, I wanna see how she moves it

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