Do You Speak a Second, or Third, Language?
I speak English, Malayalam & Hindi with bad grammar. The main problem I have with speaking in Hindi is I stopped watching Hindi movies by the age of 7 and have never been much of a Hindi music listener either. Having not practise speaking in Hindi regularly since 1995-96 I seem to have lost the confidence of speaking in Hindi, as I know that I will make a hell of a lot of grammar mistakes. So I avoid speaking in it although I understand a lot more than I can speak. We don’t speak much in Hindi in most of South India anyway and certainly not in Kerala, unless you have non-Keralites or Keralites who have spent a big chunk of their lives in places up north or central India.
Oh yeah and I never learned to read and write in Malayalam but I am conversationally good enough, although there are some formal words that I do not know/understand and hence I use normal everyday words for them or the English word for them. I wish I could speak Tamil & Kannada. And ofcourse French, Spanish and Italian. The former two for ease in India and the latter 3 because they sound exciting and fun!
Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times