Monday, April 16, 2007

Talking Neapolitan with someone who is not Neapolitan

The other day I had my first conversation after one and half a year working with Bèrto ëd Sèra who you might know from the Piedmontese Wikipedia - among others he also spoke Neapolitan with me and: he can do this really well having his accent and so one understands that it is a learnt language for him and not the mothertongue. Strange enough I had a problem myself. I speak Neapolitan most of the time with my husband, neighbours, people here in the city and it is normal for me to simply do so. The strange thing is: hearing him talking with that accent I had the same reaction people had at the beginning when I came here when talking with me. I had like a mental block - even if I wanted: no word in Neapolitan would come out of my mouth. I had to speak either Italian or English. I believe that is what many people here have as a reaction ... only when you are considered to be part of the place where you live they talk "their language" with you.

This also shows me another thing: our less resourced linguistic entities need help - a lot of help - they need to become languages like all others that people learn and where people (me included) will not have that mental block that does not allow you to speak that language ...
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