International Mother Language Day

Сегодня – Международный день родного языка. Мой родной язык – Русский! Я горд моим родным языком даже если я не использую его каждый день.

Today – 21st of February – is the International Mother Language Day. My mother language is Russian! I am proud of my mother language, even if I do not get to use it every day.

Apart from Russian, I know reasonably good English and have dabbled in French, Esperanto and – now – Spanish. I feel that starting from Russian, many other European/Germanic languages are easier, because Russian has a very complex grammar system with its conjugation and cases, tenses and moods. This helps with relating features of other languages to the examples in the one(s) I already know. This, of course, does not help at all with pronunciation, which for me is now atrocious in whichever language I speak.

Studying Spanish, I do find omitted pronouns in Spanish, but even that has its equivalence in Russian. Unfortunately, there is no equivalence for conflating conjugation for he/she and you (él/ella y usted). Using accents to differentiate words is a bit confusing too (él y el, qué y que). I am sure as I progress in Spanish, these things will become the second (3rd? 5th?) nature, but for now they do grate a bit.

I find Esperanto the easiest language of all, which is not very surprising, since it was specifically designed to be really easy. If I had to design a language from scratch, I don’t think I would be able to come up with anything significantly simpler than Esperanto, while still addressing the real use.

3 thoughts on “International Mother Language Day”

  1. Are you learning Spanish Spanish or Latin American Spanish?

    The one thing that puts me off learning Spanish in the UK is that, being in Europe, I’ll be taught the Castilian accent and end up with a terrible lithp.

  2. My teacher is from Argentina, so she does not have that accent herself. She does not seem to have Argentinian variations either; probably had to trained it out in order to teach us.

    However, the books we use are from Spain, so they use vosotros and like. And the attached CD delights in throwing differently accented speakers at you for the purpose of ‘improving the listening skills’.

  3. The notorious lisp is not characteristic of all Iberian speakers. If I remember correctly this is more characteristic of the Madrid region. Furthermore the “Vosotros” form is used in Costa Rica and possibly in Argentina if I remember correctly.

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