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Language and you: facts and myths – Feedback from readers

[By Humphrey Kapau]

Your column is interesting, simplified and educative, and has a unique perspective. – Professor Felix Banda, University of the Western Cape, South Africa.
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Captivating! I am drawn to your passion for language, esp. about the ancestry of Zambian languages… thank you for availing data on the ancestry of Zambian languages – Lt. Col. Lisimba, Zambia Army Headquarters.
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When you know you know! This is one gentleman I was, I am and shall always be proud of! I always see an improved, amplified and magnanimous me in the young man! Will always be on a look out on Fridays! Having found some bit of time to go through one of the articles, I can only sit back and admire the ingenuity of it all! – Mr. D.K. Likando, Kaoma.
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Give us more please! We are really enjoying. Having grown up in Bulgaria and Russia, I liked your take on African languages and our brain’s ability to acquire more languages…I even know there are people who are monolinguals, bilinguals and multilinguals…may God continue to give you wisdom. I have been following your column from day one. Thank you for the articles! – Mr. Muleba K. Mwenge, former policy advisor in Chiluba Administration.
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This is great and good scholarly approach. It is very inspiring..! I love the simplicity to a layman like me. These studies are making me develop more interest in the field. Your articles are enlightening so far. – Mr. E. Miyombo, Harbin Engineering University, China.
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I had to rush to town late in the afternoon to access a hard copy of “The Mast” so that I read in print your article on the effects of mother tongue on a child’s intellect and identity. Well-researched and articulated piece. Indeed, one can never go wrong with mother tongues. I always look forward to your next article every Friday. Rare topics and well-researched. – Mutukwa Moya, ZNBC TV and radio personality.
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Wow! What I love about your column is … it looks at issues relevant to and affecting our society and individuals in our time in manner everyone can understand… not about how to speak good English! Bravo! One of its kind indeed….! – Steven, Chalimbana University.
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Even away from home, I am a follower of your articles on the website for “The Mast” newspaper because I know when it is you writing, so much is offloaded for the reader. So educative and inspiring. – Mrs. Lucy Phiri, University of Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania.
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This is great…we eager to learn more for the betterment of the society. I like the way you present your work … stay blessed! – Mr. J. Numwa, Kaoma.
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Very nice articles! I like how you simplify the articles for the layman reader! – Royd Malisase: PhD Candidate, North West University, South Africa.
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Waiting for the column…always enjoyed your lectures at the University of Zambia, you made phonetics [the study of human speech sounds in general] look so easy. – Mr. Chiyoba, Choma.
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Always proud of you. I have no choice but to be buying the paper just for this. – Mr. Kennedy Matakala, Lusaka.
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Looking forward to reading more of your writings in the paper. I’ve always enjoyed reading and listening to yo linguistic productions. God bless u for more works to come. – Mr. M. Simataa, Mwinilunga.
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I’ve read the first article on the “effects of mother tongue on a child’s intellect and identity” … I totally agree. It is sad that some parents feel embarrassed that their children speak their first language fluently…mother tongues are the best we need to embrace them. – Mrs. F. Luwisha, Ndola.
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Wonderful! I must confess that you are a great writer. I learnt a lot as I was going through last night. And I look forward to the topics you have lined up. I told my wife and my daughter to look out for your column…. – Mr. E. Chanda, The Mast newspaper.
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I will definitely follow your writing Doc! You are an inspiration! – Mr. B. Hakakwale, Zimba.
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This is great, being left handed myself, I had so much interest reading [your article on] how left handed people deal with language. This is nice …. – Mr. Chola Chanda, Mufulira.
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Fantastic! Brilliant articles! They are thorough, clear and precise … and easy to understand by both linguists and non-linguists. I will be looking forward to the next article. It is good practice to share knowledge with society outside the classroom. That is how to contribute to the growth and sustainability of language. Let us leave nouns to classroom teachers. – Dr. D. Mwanza (PhD), University of Zambia.
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Allow me to quote you: “Children who know the true value of their mother tongue will not feel like they are achievers when they speak a foreign language…” (Kapau, 2021). This part caught my attention the most. Too much knowledge here, Doc. The article is fire! – Mr. C. Chumpie, Kabwe.
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Are you a contributing columnist for this newspaper? I think you are doing a great job dispelling misconceptions about the importance of mother tongues. I need to read each and every article that you write. They are great… can be comprehended by a lay man. ¬– Evidence Kantini, Cape Town.
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Interestingly, I did search online for your second article just after I sent you an email on the effects of mother tongues on child identity, intellect. I read it and learnt something. I enjoyed it as it spoke to the questions I had. I look forward to following this interesting column…. We have embraced Western culture for far too long. – Mr. Muyangwa Mukuni, Lusaka.
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Very informative articles. You know how to simplify complex knowledge for non-experts. We are enjoying. – Mr. P. Siame, Kapiri.
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I walked into a restaurant in Livingstone and found people talking about your column. It is an interesting column. – Mr. Mufuzi, Livingstone.
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Thank you for educating us. I like how you have simplified the articles for even historians like me to understand language issues! – Dr. Liwakala Muyoba (PhD).
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I read your article on the advantages of having children learn an indigenous or the mother tongue first before they learn a foreign language. As a scholar of language who also happens to have been one of your students at UNZA, thank you for answering my questions about language acquisition in children in a home; and the effects of bilingual environments on a child’s mental development. – Mr. Nchimunya Simatende, Livingstone.
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Great works and great topics! Most people have underrated the importance of mother tongue and rush to introduce their children to a second language (L2). As a result, the child is denied benefits of learning from known (L1) to unknown (L2). – Ms. Esther Situtu, Chingola.
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Looking forward to reading your articles…and interesting piece of art. Keep it up Dr. – Mrs. Catherine Dowati, Chipata.
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I will not miss any of your articles going forward. I quote [you]: ‘smiling in English immediately after coming from the mysterious Kingdom of the Womb’ … You write so well… – Mr. Mulawa, Lusaka.
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This is rich. Thank you so much for this wealth of knowledge. Sincerely appreciated. – Mr. Christopher Chitumbo, Lusaka.
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This is wonderful! It’s useful in forensic, criminal investigations and psychology among investigators…. – Mr. Gilbert Tolosi, Kabompo.
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Can’t wait for more of these articles my lecturer of psycholinguistics! All the best and happy new year!!! – Mr. Vik AK.
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Thank you for the column. This is truly great my brother! – Ms. Manyando Kayangula, University of Namibia (UNAM), Namibia.
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Well done son, we support you! – Dr. Sylvester Mutunda (PhD), University of Zambia.
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Next week’s topic: can the mastery of a mother tongue in childhood help delay memory loss in old age? Ensure to buy a copy of The Mast for next week Friday as I shall take you on a journey through cognitive linguistics. You can also access the articles online at www.themastonline.com on the material day. To get in touch with me, use the contact details provided below.

The author is a systemic functional linguist and Special Research Fellow (PhD) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His other research fields include neurolinguistics, forensic linguistics, psycholinguistics, semiotics, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, African languages and literature. He has also taught language at UNZA. Contact: hmksettings@rocketmail.com; WhatsApp: +260 956 315380.

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