Mother Tongue (noun) – one’s native language
Before you read further, just write down the answer for the below questions, if you don’t know please take your parents’ help (yes parent’s ask your parents too if you don’t know the answer).
- Where is your native place?
- What language is spoken in your native place?
- Can you say this in your native language – ‘I need water’?
It’s good if you have answered all the above questions
Now, can you read and write ‘I need water’ in your native language?
If you can, fantastic; if you don’t know let’s start learning.
Learning, reading and writing in English is important but it will be equally good if we also know to speak, read and write our native language. Excluding Hindi our national language, in India we have 21 official national languages – : Bengali, Hindi, Maithili, Nepali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, Assamesse, Dogri, Kannada, Gujarati, Bodo, Manipuri (otherwise known as Meitei), Oriya, Marathi, Santali, Telugu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Malayalam, Konkani and Kashmiri.
You will be having one of these as your mother tongue. Let me tell you why it will be great if you learn your mother tongue as well
- You will be knowing one more language
- When you visit your native place you will be able to communicate with the locals? There is high possibility at time it will be useful when you even visit international locations for eg: In Malaysia and Singapore most of the locals are from Southern India and they speak Tamil or Bengali if you visit Bangladesh. Likewise with your mother tongue you will be able to connect with non-resident Indians in overseas (foreign countries)
- You will get to know and understand the local culture better – through story books, folk tales through your grandparents. The root of our culture is more than 1000 years old, let’s learn from them too
Now, let me help you to get started and help your kids to learn their mother tongue:
- Take help from parents and grandparents to learn your mother tongue. Encourage them to converse with you in your mother tongue
- Watch regional channels on TV
- During your summer vacation, spend time with your grandparents to learn the language. Start with basic just the way you started reading Hindi
- Once you get to reading at beginner’s level – pick up story books in that language.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. – Nelson Mandela