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My idiolect

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During the span of my life till today, I have experienced many circumstances which has shaped the way I think and my overall personality and morals, these have structured my idiolect in today’s society, there are many influences in my life that have shaped me, such as my family, culture, friends and media (internet or TV) . Although I am immerse by my upbringing and I am greatly influenced by the family, neighbors and friends, I also inculcate my own experiences and actions in life. Such as trying to adapt to situations to suit others.

I feel that along side with media and culture it boils down to the main question: Do I change my language to adapt to its circumstances or speak to please people happy? And why do I do this? As a teenager myself I feel that the media has played a strong part in the influence of young teenagers, especially by the internet and TV. Often slang words such as ” OMG, peng, lol, fam and convo etc ” these words are commonly used on social network sites like Facebook, Twitter and MSN messenger; slang like this is becoming a vast growing trend with the click of a button a new word can be made and used by thousands of teenagers all over England.

Whilst I was growing up, TV was big influence on me and it still is today as it is portrayed in American programmes such as family guy and jersey shore etc, these particularly use slang words like ” shawty and dude”. This has had an impact on my idiolect as changing my accent and vocabulary is my own way to achieve this. It is also my way of converging to what everyone believes to be socially accepted. My family has been the largest influence on my idiolect in my life. For example speaking different languages with different people.

I speak two languages Konkani (my mother tongue) and English, however English has always been my first language and was always the most comfortable to speak at home with my parents and my brother, the problem was when I visited my grandma’s house in goa or some elderly people who only could speak and understand Konkani , I had to insist myself to atleast respond in short , when my Gran asked me “ baba koso haa” I would very well understand what she meant i. e. My dear, how are you? Just to avoid putting her in an embarrassing situation I would reply “ Asam borom” and would give a cheesy grin making her feel I am a good conversant. spoke Konkani to maintain my ego and being looked upon as a foreigner, I had to remain loyal to my mothers tongue. However I found that when I came to england, some goan people took more of a westernized way of life rather than holding on to their roots. However I preferred having two tongues rather than one because If I didn’t know how to speak Konkani I would have been humiliated and ashamed in my birth place by speaking a different language I would have found it extremely difficult to even shop in goa , because most of the local shopkeepers proudly speak Konkani( being not thought the English language) .

I have realized whilst I am in goa on a holiday , my senses immediately codeswitch to my mother tongue, so I can communicate easily and maintain my cultural identity. I consider myself as a Goan living in England, I speak English with others because for one: they wont understand konkani for it is a foreign language and is a dialect. Another reason may be that speaking Konkani around different cultures may be rude and make others around feel that I am backbiting about them.

However I do try and speak with very few people but only feel when it is really necessary, you could say I speak konglish which is a mixture of both English and Konkani. though my friends are more comfortable to speak Konkani and it is the key to cultural identity, being in a multicultured country with its diverse languages I feel that everyone has too respect each others culture, because sometimes however you are judged by others and are labelled with names of discrimination, which really puts you in a very awkward situation and makes you feel as if you are from some alien planet.

This is one of the main reasons I would consider speaking English rather than my mothertongue in England because I am feared of being labeled, and Discriminating is one of the worst things someone can go through it actually feels like a form of bullying. Goa is one of the smallest state in the map of India but is rich with hospitable and loving people.

It is the only place in the country which has a great influence of western culture than the Indian culture in all respects, for it was colonized for more than 500 years by the Portuguese people, this encourages me to able to speak different languages and accents to different people. Although I am a Goan, I am proud that I am a roman catholic as well. I do practice my religion and have the opportunity of listening to the services in Konkani as it was done in Goa however we also attend English masses in uk.

Though I enjoyed watching the folk dances and Konkani dramas back in Goa inspite of my low communicating skills I was really thrilled about the humor and hilarious jokes these dramas were packed with from which I have learnt more Konkani words. I remember accompanying our maid for these shows. She enjoyed every bit of the drama as Konkani was her first language and she didn’t have a good education in English and would interpret to me in English with some bits of bilingual words, i still remember these mixture of languages from when I was a child.

I would have a hearty laugh every time she bursted in laughter sometimes not realizing the actual meaning of it until it was translated to me by her. Although these dramas were basically in Konkani, after watching a few I developed good interest in it and would go every time I got an opportunity ( sometimes with my gran ) Finally I would say that the idiolect that shapes in is to suit it best to myself in all circumstances. Sometimes it would automatically appear at the spur of the moment seeing the situations .

It may sometimes be influenced by the majority—I mean if I am with some old traditional type goan people I would put the best of my effort to speak in my best Konkani making a belief that I am still patriot and loves our mothertongue inspite of living in a distant land and in a developed country like UK and expecting a pat on my back from them saying “ well done boy, you are deeprooted some of this soil” I would rather put on my best form of my mother tongue with Konkani speaking people rather then putting them in situations where they would choose and pick some words in English an fix them up together to make senseless English sentences which would definitely make me laugh from within for their attempt and putting them in stress. i finally conclude believeing that code switching is best and convient for me in all situations when with family, friends and evan in goa, making it a lot more easier to communicate. .

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