Kids are amazing. They sometimes do or say something beyond our expectation. Kids’ brains are even more amazing. They are like elastic rubber bands which can hold as much information as possible. Talented kids are able to use this phase to grasp every single new thing they find / get around them. Sometimes without thinking, they become mirrors of what they have just experienced.
“Fresh from the oven” things are their favorite objects. I think it depends on their level of curiosity. Some kids don’t seem to bother that much what goes around them; they are engrossed with their own works. Some others seem to be more attentive, and responsive. When it comes to languages, the first category of kids seem to be quiet, thus it takes forever to know their language proficiency. Being quiet does not mean stupid. The second category of kids seem to be loud as if they were telling to people their existence.I remember some kids in my neighborhood in my homeland in Surabaya, Indonesia: when they speak to me they tend to speak loud, and all speak in unison, I do not know whom I should listen to.When my eyes focus on only one kid, the other kids start to speak loudly, you know to grasp my attention.
I recently noticed some differences in the language usage those kids use.My country consists of tribes which also speak tribal languages. Those kids in my neighborhood speak varieties of tribal languages, but since they are on Java (eastern part)their languages are mixed with Javanese most of the time. Their languages are not pure Bahasa anymore: they have been mixed with tribal languages, slang, and Chinese(for Chinese Indonesian).
(I can’t even believe it that they do S.W.E.A.R! Swearing seems to be normal for kids nowadays. In my time, 80s, I do not think kids swear.)
Anyhow, one time when some kids and I were just relaxing in my cafe,speaking in mixed languages, a 7-year-old handsome boy came to us, and said in a very correct Bahasa:let’s just say very grammatically CORRECT. And every kid that had been spending time with me, who spoke so mixed languages, laughed in a way that they loved to hear it. I did have the assumption that they loved it for the comments and reactions they made. Let’s hear their conversation:
Ungrammatically-correct boys :La, yok opo internete mati maneh. Nggak enak nggak cepet.(Code :Javanese, and Informal Bahasa)
Translation : Ha, the internet connection is cut off. Annoying, when it takes slow.
Grammatically-correct boy :Ya sabar saja ditunggu. Kamu tidak sabar menunggu ya.
Translation:Just be patient! You are not that patient waiting, are you?
I know for those who do not speak Bahasa, this conversation sounds hard to follow, but for those who speak Bahasa, they do know that the second boy does speak grammatically correct.
The reaction of the other boys were re-saying what the second boy was saying. Maybe it did sound funny too to their ears who often speak in mixed languages.
I personally think it sounded nice, soothing and funny in a good way. You know, nowadays, people in my country tend to speak mixed languages that they do not even know what’s the correct BAHASA anymore. My take on this case is rather confusing as on the other side I am happy to know they do not forget the tribal language they are from(Javanese) as I have read that the number of tribal languages are becoming fewer and fewer. In other words some are gone already: none speaks them anymore. I cannot imagine if we have to lose more and more of our tribal languages as a part of our uniqueness as a country. On the other side I can’t take it when kids here say ‘I don’t like Bahasa.’ And they like, say, English more.This is indeed C.O.M.P.L.I.C.A.T.E.D