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Enzo Ball
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English vs. mother tongue

27 June 2014, 12:58

Something that’s been bugging me for a while now; why do black people speak English to their children, at least when in public? Off course I am generalising but I refer more specifically to the black people I come across at my kids’ school. From their accents these people are clearly not English speaking, yet without exception they speak English to their kids.

In our school there are many different nationalities/races and it’s not uncommon to hear the odd German, Italian (I think) and lots of Afrikaans being spoken between parents and kids.

Off course one has to be sensitive not to offend others by speaking a language they don’t understand, but what I refer to are clearly private conversations between parents and kids, not involving anyone else. I hear them speak English to each other whilst getting out of the car, so it appears that this is also the language spoken at home.

I think one should stick to his mother tongue when talking to your kids, but that’s my view. Would be interesting hearing from the black community.

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