Day 3: Language and Communication

On day 3 I was at home the entire day but this did not change the outcome of my experience. I chose to speak in Afrikaans for the entire day because half of my family speaks the language frequently, but I do not. I prefer to speak in English due to having a higher vocabulary and being able to express myself in a clearer manner.

On Scholarworks there is a quote by P. Imberti: “Language is the key to a person’s self-identity. It enables the person to express emotions, share feelings, tell stories, and convey complex messages and knowledge. Language is our greatest mediator that allows us to relate and understand each other.”

This quote describes any human, with regards to the way they communicate with others. We prefer to speak in a language which we understand most and when we are put in a situation where we can’t communicate in that language we feel uncomfortable or have problems getting our points across to another person. Due to my vocabulary in Afrikaans not being extremely terrible, I was able to express myself, but not always in a way which I wanted to.

In the beginning it was really difficult because I didn’t know some words, but I searched them or asked my mother, if it was possible to explain what I wanted in Afrikaans, for the word I wanted. By the end of the day I could express myself quite easily and my language wasn’t too bad. But I still couldn’t talk as fluently as I can in English.

My messages took longer to send because auto-correct on my iPhone wanted to change the word to an English word. This caused an issue as it was using more time than it needed to. Time which could have been used on things such as work. My girlfriend still spoke to me in English even though I was speaking in Afrikaans because, like me, she is more comfortable speaking in English.

The day wasn’t too bad, I actually enjoyed speaking in Afrikaans, I just didn’t enjoy typing in the language (probably because of time and spelling issues). This morning I kept wanting to speak in Afrikaans and I thought in Afrikaans a lot because I had been speaking it for so long. But by this afternoon I was thinking in English and almost all urges to speak in Afrikaans have vanished.

The experience was interesting and I think I have enjoyed this challenge the most out of all my challenges so far, as it helped me to feel a better connection with, and understanding for the Afrikaans side of my family.

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