Bway mi a tell yuh, mi haffi stay weh from Facebook and mi haffi refrain from reading the Observer and Gleaner and me haffi stop from watching the likkle bit a TV whey mi watch becawzen seh the news can be too depressing and the trite remarks and subliminal messaging dat come tru sometimes pan social media from odda people a faas inna odda people business gall mi to no end. Plus, mi nuh really have di time fi read tru plus find suppen pan Google fi post.
But mi ah try mek a p’int in reference to Miss Coopa article, far as the world moves forward, a whey mi wooda guh fi one interview and respond to questions inna mi native tongue fi people undastan? Which healthcare professional mi coulda go give a pitch to, inna mi owna creole? How many potential clients and customers mi coulda talk to dat woulda understand dis? Which high flown job mi bredda or sista coulda fine inna ‘merica fi relate to people suh and which scholarship dem coulda apply fah and to which university? Mi cyan tek it star! Have mercy! Ah ongle Miss Lou mi know seh mek it and she was a folklore entertainer. Unuh can correck mi.
The article in today’s Gleaner from Carolyn Cooper smacks of the same rancor I experienced from Marlene Malahoo Forte’s tweet, which shows a total lack of respect for people, insensitivity to murder, a lack of compassion for pain and suffering of others and a measure of ignorance regarding the immunity of embassies around the world. But it all boils down to arrested development! This thought process is either selfish or cloudy!
NUH HOLD BACK PM HOLNESS
Prime Minister Holness comes with new blood, fresh thought, creative leadership, respectability and the capacity to bring Jamaica’s economy to a level of buoyancy never before perceived. I imagine that a necessary characteristic of such a position dictates a toughness that one must have to be prepared to encounter these negative, disruptive stumbling blocks every step of the way and to quickly move beyond them to progress. Taking Mr. Holness’ words out of context in order to push through one’s archaic egotistical thoughts and ambition is setting up would be forward thinking Jamaicans to come with a negative backlash that could derail awesome possibilities. There is a big difference between “an official language” and an “official second language,” which is what Mr. Holness stated!
The definition of an official second language is: “A language that is not the native language of the speaker, but that is used in the locale of that person,” while an official language means: “A language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction.” In addition to the great benefits that could be gained through trade, tourism and the ability to access excellent higher learning at a far less expensive cost for our fellowmen, I have copied in part here, some amazing advantages of being bilingual for Ms. Cooper to ponder.
“As scientists unlock more of the neurological secrets of the bilingual brain, they’re learning that speaking more than one language may have cognitive benefits that extend from childhood into old age. New research into the neurobiology of bilingualism has found that being fluent in two languages, particularly from early childhood, not only enhances a person’s ability to concentrate, but might also protect against the onset of dementia and other age-related cognitive decline. These discoveries are leading to:
- A better understanding of how the brain organizes speech and communication tasks, and
- Greater insight into how specific types of brain activity may prevent or delay dementia and other age related cognitive problems.
Research has found an enhanced ability to concentrate — a sign of a well-functioning working memory — has been found in bilingual adults, particularly those who became fluent in two languages at an early age. It may be that managing two languages helps the brain sharpen — and retain — its ability to focus while ignoring irrelevant information.
More recently scientists have discovered that bilingual adults have denser gray matter (brain tissue packed with information-processing nerve cells and fibers), especially in the brain’s left hemisphere, where most language and communication skills are controlled. The effect is strongest in people who learned a second language before the age of five and in those who are most proficient at their second language. This finding suggests that being bilingual from an early age significantly alters the brain’s structure.”
Could it be that Ms. Cooper’s thoughts are leading her to think that the number of Jamaicans making waves in the international arena constitute a large portion of the movers and shakers of global society? And in what part of these advancements is her mind telling her that patois has played a big role? You are dead wrong if you believe that people in the diaspora use the same language at work, where they spend most of their day, as they do at home or to “homies” Ms. Cooper.
In 2016, the creole that you stand eloquently advocating for is not even naturally spoken by you; it is “yard language” and it is not spoken anywhere else on earth. Where are you trying to lead our people to? Do you intend to have it learnt to communicate with you only? It is passé! You are one among few in Jamaica who can understand this pidgin especially when you write it. Is your ego so big that you cannot see or understand this or are you just bent on turning back progress?
Mi like you Ms. Cooper, but not enough fi watch you stand in the way of progress.
Founder & Publisher Kotch Magazine (www.kotchmagazine.com)
Link to Ms. Cooper’s article: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/commentary/20160626/carolyn-cooper-que-pasa-jamaica-wa-gwaan
For more on The Bilingual Brain 2008 research see article from: Society for Neuroscience at brainfacts.org.