Minor language annoyance
So there’s a new teacher at the kids daycare. Apparently I’m not as “undercover” a South African as I’d hoped because less than a minute after introducing herself to me she launched into the “its SO good to meet another South African!”
Really? I can’t for the life of me imagine why. Besides, we live on the North Shore… you can’t walk 10 paces without bumping into a South African.
Anyhoo, that’s not the annoyance. The annoyance is that she now speaks to my kids in Afrikaans. The Diva just blinks at her blankly and DestructaBoy smiles and waves because our kids don’t speak or understand Afrikaans! If it was our first language things might be different but it isn’t. Our kids will have a second language, but it’ll be Maori.
When I’m in a predominantly SA environment – like the SA restaurant we went to over the weekend – then speaking and hearing Afrikaans is comfortable, it feels right. But when going about my daily life in this very English speaking country, when someone speaks good English, it feels rude to switch into a foreign language that the people around you don’t speak.
Guess I should politely tell her that the kids don’t understand Afrikaans and then just let her speak whatever she chooses, right? But when I respond it will be in English and if she wants our kids to understand her she’ll need to switch to English.
Not very patriotic, I know!