Mastering a Language

Monday, March 30, 2015

English is really one confusing language and yet it is now the world's lingua franca. Odd eh, that I used a French word to describe the most common language in the world right now.

Well, I mean "most common" in the context of being lingua franca, i.e. a bridge language, trade language or vehicular language that is systematically (as opposed to occasionally, or casually) used to make communication possible between persons not sharing a native language. The most spoken language in the world in fact is Chinese.

It takes a lot to be fluent in a language—you will need a lot of reading and writing and speaking, which is why my command of my supposedly mother tongue, Chinese, is atrocious. I can't read or write, and I can only speak very little. I am alright with the English language, though I do make mistakes sometimes. For the record, I keep getting confused between respond and response.

English is indeed tough to learn and master. Sometimes I'd good-naturedly smile when I hear obvious mistakes but sometimes I cringe. For example, these happened over the last few weeks in church.

I found it really funny when a gentlemen who is a church elder said, "I am the one who married him." He was referring to the son of a church member whom he had married off some years ago!

But to this, I really cringed: a preacher said, "My wife and I, we have two wonderful kids, but they are no longer with us."

Oh dear.

Of course he meant his kids are now grown up and are no longer living with them.

pearlie

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