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Language, Our Very Own Cameleon

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Language, our very own chameleon

Imagine that your brain functions like a gearbox. You use it to alter your way of spoken language. Let's say you are hanging out with a couple of your friends. Here you would be speaking in relaxed and rather crude English. In this situation you would be in a low gear. Later on that evening you have dinner with your parents. Now, you might have to gear up a level or two into a little higher intellectual level of speaking. A few hours after dinner you have an important job interview. This is where you really need to speak as well as you possibly can. Now is probably when you would be in your top gear level. I believe everyone is bilingual in one way or another. We all use different types of language depending on the situation and whom we are speaking to. I can guarantee that every person has several variations of his/her language. This is something I have been aware of from a very young age.

Variating our language is something we all are experts at. I personally have always spoken differently, depending on the people I have spoken to, especially my parents. Even as far back as when I was five years old I remember speaking differently to my father than I did with my mother. Then again, they both spoke different languages with me. My father spoke primarily Swedish with me while, my mother only spoke English. However, this isn't the only difference in the language that I used to speak with my parents. I have always spoken as proper as I can with my father, trying to speak to him about sophisticated subjects depending on what age I was at the time. I am guessing I do this because of the respect I have for my father and how much it means to me to impress him. Then we have my mother, a person who I have always seen as a friend. For some reason I have always spoken to her in a rather crude and almost immature manner. Unlike my father, my mother and I only speak English with one another. The only time my mother speaks to me in Swedish is if she's talking about non Swedish speakers in the room.

Changing your spoken language, depending on what type of friends you are around is also something we all do. Most times, it's something we don't notice. Coming to America from Sweden, I only spoke to my Swedish friends in a particular way. Sweden is predominantly white. so there isn't much of a cultural melting pot. The first week of middle school was very interesting for me. I was somewhat shocked over how everyone spoke the same language but in many different kinds of ways. My first few months of school in America was mostly spent observing the languages, trying to find a group that



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