Language Attitudes

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An interview on language attitude and background of a particular person is very unique and interesting. For this interview, I interviewed Jason Wong because there is a big contrast in language background between us since I grew up in a rural city in China while he grew up in an urban city. Jason is a multilingual man from Hong Kong who learned Cantonese and English at school in Hong Kong. Indeed, his mother influenced him to admire and enjoy speaking Mandarin because she loves Mandarin and has always believed that being able to speaking fluently in Mandarin is a representation of being a real Chinese. According to Jason, he always indicates to other people about knowing how to speak Mandarin is not only important to himself, but to the majority of the Chinese. In my perspective, uncommon rural Chinese language can be symbolic and significant.

Every person’s language background is very unique, and this applies to me and the interviewee Jason too. Jason was born in Hong Kong in the early 80’s and taught by using Cantonese and English. However, English was considered as his second language, also, he loves his accent and speech because many people can define him as a HK person by his accent and speech. Moreover, schools that he attended were stern and excellent. Due to his stubborn personality, he extremely refused to participate in any activities that his teachers created, such as speaking English during English class; he rather chose to stay silent for the entire class. On the other hand, his mother made a great impact on Jason; he thinks that hearing Mandarin is a pleasure, and Chinese existence and symbol. Therefore, he started to teach himself Mandarin by watching Mandarin channel. In other words, there were many uncommon Chinese that he might not be recognized that could be somewhat significant too. In contrast, I was born in a rural place Tai-Shan, where it provided limited education on languages. I did not get a chance to learn English until I immigrated...
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