Musings on language flexibility: Is it Kinyarwanda, French or maybe English?

The other day and for the nth time, I went for yet another of those interviews where they invite you to create a smoke screen of fairness in job allocation while the job finally goes to a predetermined individual.
Developing a language laboratory would be one of the options.
Developing a language laboratory would be one of the options.

The other day and for the nth time, I went for yet another of those interviews where they invite you to create a smoke screen of fairness in job allocation while the job finally goes to a predetermined individual.

One member of the interview panel commented that my Kinyarwanda was not “perfect” which was true of course. The problem though is she pointed it out: does anyone expect all Rwandans to speak perfect Kinyarwanda?

And what is perfect Kinyarwanda anyway? Kinyarwanda spoken in Musanze, Rusizi, Nyagatare and Nyamagabe is different and imperfect in one way or another.

People should help enrich the language with changes that allow it to develop because any language that does not adopt new words and terminologies, dies.

I cannot speak French and I believe will never speak it. Years ago I tried to learn it but my teacher would tell me to repeat, repeat and repeat pronouncing all the words to the point that my mouth would become so dry, I swear I would spit powdered saliva.

How did she expect the son of an African to twist his tongue trying to speak like a Frenchman from Paris. The last straw was that all nouns had gender; masculine, feminine and if not even gay or straight.

You know, stuff like the trouser is feminine and the blouse masculine. I decide that I will not study an inflexible language still in its formative stage.

I believe the reason English is spoken more widely is its flexibility and tolerance. If every English speaker was expected to speak Cockney like Londoners, I guess people would give a vote of no confidence in it.

One time my Australian teacher shocked me by asking, “are you going home to die?”

It is respect for my superiors that stopped me from calling him a wizard; why would I, son of an African, decide to leave school and go home with the purpose of dying? I explained that I intended to go home “today”.

My boss was a nice man, most especially when he gave instructions in English. He would say “vee ya you noo vant moo weicoz to load at Mombacha, vill you vait forr dem to rish here and create chipechi?

“Naa Bana you dwit , weico rish no problem” he would say. My other friend would complain, “ma broder  inGaana or nyigyeria evryting you do, you do it fo mone oga”.

My other friend thought he was sort of an Economic analyst and would argue; “en sathafrica we need more benks in ewe lend. Lend es en important esset end we mest heve eccess to the benks”.

Another friend was infuriated by what was happening to his home country. He said, “ze rebolz are to brame forrr zeruworr.”

“Orr paritiz have become porriticorr in Somalia’. English is so flexible you can bend it.

Consider “Ma ded is a principled men. He woud say ‘evry barri move. I ron gerry peiri ove rraime  so ron expect ma service afra three . I ain’t no gonna have no marcy on nobari.”

Another would chip in to say “ini mai kawuntre we grow mene kuropsi laike kottoni , kofi and cocowa bati the Gavanimenti  makes themu to pay many takisezi”.

Of course there are spoilers like a newsreader on a local radio station who announced that next was the English news and I wondered how they had gathered news about England and its nationals or residents.

I later found out that he had meant the news in English (language). Other journalists put Mrs. before every female name spinster or not like Mrs. Jane Mukabitama.

Mrs. Should be reserved for married ladies who have taken on maiden names and otherwise use miss for those without such names.

But spoilers or not, English remains flexible and user-friendly and those who love Kinyarwanda should borrow a leaf from it and enjoy the variety.

Otherwise the latter will die a natural death. French is on its death bed and will soon follow its father the Late Latin unless its speakers allow it to be flexible and not expect everybody to speak it like a Parisian.

Contact: ekaba2000@yahoo.com

 

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