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Posts Tagged ‘loss of mother tongue’

ibyangThe image above shows Korean words written on the back of a photo. It’s a black and white photo of a Korean girl/me holding  a piece of paper with an identification number K-6714 written on it like a prisoner.

The Korean girl K-6714 had written it in her last days while she was being emptied of her words and filled with foreign words.

Every word of her mother tongue was  extirpated from her until it became a foreign language and the foreign words become her mother tongue.

My mother tongue is French. I’m an old-stock Quebecker who was born in her body with her memories.  I remember my life as her, a Korean girl, my real self. I remember losing  my words. I remember some time having no  language at all which made me unable to think. And I remember having written something on the back of that black and white photo but I feel like I had written it in French.

When I think of the Korean girl, I feel like my body is her coffin.

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I lost my Mother tongue when I was a little girl.

Transported to a foreign land, I was colonized, emptied of every word you taught me and forcefully penetrated by foreign words.

I feel guilty for speaking their language as if it was my mother tongue.
I feel dirty speaking and thinking in the language that took the place of our Mother tongue.

My ‘mother tongue’, as defined by Statistics Canada, is the language I speak now, the language that was forced upon me.

I feel guilty and dirty for using their twisted definition of a mother tongue.

Our life together, I remember vividly.
The words you told me, I remember them as if you had told them in the language I speak now. The things I said or thought, I remember them as if I had said or thought them in my ‘mother tongue’.

I feel raped in my soul thinking of our life together in my ‘mother tongue’ that forcefully penetrated me leaving no space for our Mother tongue.

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