Almost before 20 years from today, a Maharashtrian family had come to stay in the Memnagar area of Ahmedabad. Just adjacent to them a Gujarati family used to live there. The one year old child of Gujarati family used to spend most of his time with the Maharashtrian family. The child used to live with his family but his father used to be away from the house because of his work for many months. Thus, the child had spent the time span from one year to three year with the neighbor family. The Maharashtrian family of six members included grandparents also. Because the child used to spend most of his time with all of them he used to spend most of his time with all of them. He used to listen to Marathi language. When the child turned three, the Marathi family went back to Mumbai and the daily routine of listening to Marathi completely stopped for the child. Then, the child attained proficiency in Gujarati and English language and successfully completed his 12th standard and had to go to Pune for further studies. After reaching Pune and staying there for only one and a half month, he was able to understand and speak Marathi well. He was also amazed that how could he learn Marathi language so fast and effortlessly. He felt that Marathi was his own language and he loved to communicate in Marathi language. The most amazing thing is that between three to seventeen years of age the child had hardly people communicating in Marathi. When his first semester got completed and he had come from Pune to Ahmedabad, he shared his experience with me.
In 2003, a child residing near CHANDKHEDA railway crossing of Ahmedabad by mistake got into a train and reached UTTAR PRADESH. There the child learnt to speak Hindi. For three years the child had just heard Gujarati language and after that for eleven years he heard only Hindi language. In 2014 a Gujarati boy came in the children’s orphan home where that child was already residing. He heard the boy speaking Gujarati language and as if the language that was buried inside his heart, suddenly revived. He gave some information about Ahmedabad and the place he used to live. From that little information, police was successful in searching the child’s parents after 11 long years.
From the orphanage of Germany, a British couple had adopted five year old child, almost in the year 1980. After that in 2008, the boy who had passed his life in Britain had to come to Germany for some official work. From 5 to 33 years of age he had just communicated in English language and was away from German language for almost 27 years. But suddenly he felt a bonding for German language. After that in just two years of span he wrote beautiful poetries and stories in German language.
From all these three examples, we can come to a conclusion that whatever the child will listen, he or she will speak that. Whatever the child has heard after attaining the understanding comes out any time but many a times whatever he or she has heard even before attaining understanding also remains in the heart and brain for quite a long time and if by coincidence he or she gets the same kind of atmosphere it comes out. Many researches on speech reveal the ability to learn a language starts from the 6th month when the child is in the mother’s womb. In one year of span the child learns ten new words. For example, JE JE,BHU, TA TA, BYE ETC. between one to two years, he learns fifty new words and can speak two words together. For example, ‘give me’ etc. Between two to three years of span the child can speak many new words and can join 3 to 4 words and forms sentences. At the end of four years child is familiar with 500 words and can sing poetries also.
Now the speech of the child will develop in proper manner but that is possible only if the child listens to 700-800 words when the child is between one to three years of age. That is why in the joint family when more and more people play with the child and call the child in different ways, the child tends to learn the language very fast. If the child is living in the nuclear family with the parents only, then the parents should try and read newspaper or any kind of magazine in front of the child so that he or she can know new words. During this time, though the child is playing in one corner of the room and he or she is not able to understand the words or the meanings spoken by the father or the mother but they get stored in some part of the brain and will come out in the later years. That is why we many a times see that the child is away from the parents for a very long time but if at all there is a chance of giving a speech in public or a lecture then any of their parents’ image or personality can be seen in the child.
When Rajiv Gandhi used to address the public, people felt that as if Indira Gandhi was speaking. The Brahmins or pandits’ kids who perform rituals and ceremonies and if you happen to listen to the katha you feel that their father’s voice is recorded and is played here.
[DIVYABHASKER APRIL- 2015]