A few interesting recent articles about language:
- “When My Baby Says Her First Word, Will It Be in English or in Russian?” by Alina Dizik in Tablet.
“So, our Russian-only household will stay, and when she finally does say her first word, it will likely be in Russian. In a few years, I’ll watch her struggle with her accent as she babbles to her nursery schoolmates in English. And then I’ll watch her accent fade away as she goes to school. That’s how it was when I learned English as a 7-year-old. But I’m hoping she, unlike me, actually gets some use from her Russian—and won’t just use it as an excuse to take a few extra shots of vodka and talk about people behind their backs.”
My experience isn’t exactly analogous, because I’m the only Russian speaker in our household. But I have been speaking 100% Russian with my kids since they were born, and the oldest one (now 5) understands everything I say, watches Russian videos, attends Saturday Russian school, and can do very basic reading and writing, though he’s not wild about speaking it back to me. Still, an interesting perspective from another parent struggling with bilingual-kid issues.
- “U.S. Ambassador Speaks Pidgin English; Nigerians Love It” by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton on NPR’s Parallels.
“Make I tell you say U.S. no get any candidate for mind. The only ting wey go sweet us be say make the election dey transparent, credible and concluded,” Entwistle said in Pidgin. “Make Nigerians pick candidates wey go sweet their belle, wey go do well well for them.”
Also with video.
- “Angst In Germany Over Invasion Of American English” by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, also on NPR’s Parallels.