swift at BISHOP.BISHOP.HAWAII.ORG
Fri Mar 1 17:07:41 CST 1996
No doubt, it was "linguistic imperialism" that brought the english
language to my old country, the Philippines. I
learned English since first grade; it was the medium of instruction
in both public and private schools, still is.
When I became politicized in college, I resented very much
that it was forced on us, together with many other things. The students
used it only in the classroom but speaking it outside of the classroom was
thought "showing off," "elitist," or being an "American lackey."
But now, decades later, after I've lived in two other countries aside
from the US and learned other languages, both European and Asian languages,
I am thankful I learned English as a second language. I don't
consider it "imperialistic" anymore than the Philippine Constitution
written in English.
The English language is a unifying force in science, trade, travel,
you name it. Its usage does not make someone's mother tongue
less important. On the contrary, it opens up our mother language to other
languages; it serves as a "universal conduit" or "universal transformer."
When I use the English language, I don't even think American or British
English, or imperialistic. I think COMMUNICATION, UNDERSTANDING, UNITY,
PEACE. Enough said. Sabina :)
Sabina Fajardo Swift E-MAIL:swift at bishop.bishop.hawaii.org
Bishop Museum PHONE: (808) 847-8217
Department of Natural Sciences FAX: (808) 841-8968
P.O. Box 19000
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817 USA
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