Monday, November 17, 2008

bicultural, bilingual

2/12/2002 (part 2):
had a series of interrupted, interesting conversations with Cheryl in Yaounde. we’ve only sat and spoken to each other twice... so it was nice having such comfortable conversation with her now. she has quite a personality and a head on her shoulders. not to mention class.

we talked about family, moms, brothers, marriage, our biculturalism and Africa... Cameroon, Mali, South Africa and Morocco, in particular. she’s thinking about extending service for a year in Mali. Bamako, actually. had some advice for me about Morocco, too.

about bilingualism... won’t go into depth now, as i’m tired. i’ll elaborate later. basically, every time i go from Francophone to Anglophone Cameroon i come back thinking/speaking French. can’t just turn it off. it confuses me.

i guess it’s the same when i come back from Syria to America. it takes a while to readjust to the different zone and – hmmm... mentality? it's the same confusion that has me wanting to start writing English from right to left and Arabic from left to right (see 4 languages post). i wonder if that confusion translates into, or is reflected in, the national cultural identity of Cameroonians?

during the African Cup of Nations i couldn’t help but be totally amused by the commentary. 5-10 minutes in French, then 5-10 minutes in English. even the pre/half/post-game shows were simultaneously bilingual! 2 anchors... one Francophone, one Anglophone. and often one will be speaking directly to the other (or their respective guests) in one language and receive a reply in another.

“can you say IDENTITY CRISIS?!” i don’t know???... is it forced? is it working? it is strange... at least to me. and talk about a legacy... colonialism’s, that is.

well... i guess i’m not that tired. i did elaborate. that’s all i have to say about language here, for now.

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