Hi, I’m Nikolina Page, and today I want to talk about language. Yes, language. What is it? Why should we care? Why do we sound different? What does it do? What does it not do? Today, we will attempt to address these questions and more.
An Obsession With Language
North Carolina & Spanish
I’m Nikolina Page. I have been obsessed with languages my whole life. I started learning Spanish at the age of five when I lived in North Carolina. I was actually born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and my accent was completely different back then. In fact, I still speak a little too fast, but that’s okay.
New Hampshire, French, & New York
When I was ten years old and in fifth grade, my family moved to New Hampshire, where I dropped my Southern accent, picked up the rapid New England accent, and started studying French, specifically Quebec French. It was an incredible experience because my teacher taught it to me from Spanish since I was a year behind. Before eventually moving to upstate New York, where the accent is different from New York City.
I am a self-proclaimed language nerd, and if you don’t love language nerds, this may not be for you. But if you’re intrigued, you’re in the right spot.nikolina page
French & Martinique
During our time in North Carolina before moving to New York, we had a family from Martinique, a French-speaking island in the Caribbean, visiting us. They were there to work on the Special Olympics, and there was a nine-year-old girl who only spoke French. The rest of us, who were also nine years old, only knew Spanish. Despite the language barrier, we found ways to communicate through emotions, words, and French. It was a profound experience that made me realize how language can open doors to other worlds, people, cultures, and food. It had a lasting impact on me and even became the essay for my college admissions, which got me into Brown University. And that’s just the beginning…
What is Language for?
But enough about me. Let’s dive into the topic of language. Language is a fascinating aspect of being human. It allows us to communicate and connect with one another. It is a system of agreed-upon symbols and sounds that we use to convey meaning. However, language can also be complex and sometimes flawed. Miscommunication and misunderstandings can occur due to different contexts, biases, or cultural differences associated with language.
How Are Different Dialects Made?
Even a child can do it
We often take language for granted, as it comes naturally to us. Babies are born with the ability to distinguish and produce all human sounds, but as they grow, their environment and exposure to specific sounds shape their speech patterns.
The coordination of muscles in our face and mouth, such as the tongue, lips, and jaw, play a crucial role in producing different sounds and accents. While learning a new dialect or language can be challenging, it is possible with practice and awareness of our own oral posture and accent masks.
Embracing linguistic diversity and breaking down biases
Our dialects and accents are influenced by our upbringing, environment, and the people around us. We naturally adapt our speech based on the context, formality, and the individuals we are interacting with. The way we speak can change depending on where we are, and it is a personal choice to navigate different dialects or accents. It is important to embrace and appreciate the diversity of language and to let go of unconscious biases and judgments associated with certain accents or dialects.
Embarking on a Language Journey
Learning new dialects or accents can be a vulnerable process, as it requires us to step out of our comfort zones and coordinate our facial muscles in new ways. However, it also opens up opportunities for deeper empathy and understanding of others’ experiences. By exploring and appreciating different dialects, we can enhance our communication skills and connect with people from various backgrounds.
Where to Begin?
If you’re interested in delving further into dialects and accents, I offer a Digital Dialect Club, which provides online courses and exercises to help you improve your pronunciation and coordination of facial muscles. I believe that everyone has the potential to enhance their communication skills and embrace the richness of linguistic diversity.
Creating a World of Boundless Communication
In conclusion, language is a powerful tool that enables us to express ourselves, connect with others, and explore different cultures. By embracing the complexity and beauty of language, we can foster greater understanding and empathy in our global community.
Thank you for joining me on this language journey, and please feel free to reach out if you have any specific topics or questions you’d like me to address in future discussions. Спасибо, пока, goodbye, au revoir, adios, ciao!