English is a very complicated language. It just so many intricacies that many people, especially those who don’t use it as a first language know. Just a quick look around the Internet will yield hundreds of cases of mistakes, one of the most notorious of which is that a lot of people don’t know how to use “they’re, their and there” as well as “you’re and your”. The reason I bring English up is, my dad and I were talking this afternoon and got into a bit if a confusing back and forth over my incorrect use of “yes” and “no”.
When I was going to school in the Philippines, we had an English class in every year. They seemed to teach more technical English, focusing on sentence structures, literature and stuff more along those lines. They never really focused on conversational English, basically they gave us the tools to hold conversations but never really delved into the nuances of having a conversation. Of course, since English was very common in our household, I did get a lot of conversation practice. However, there was quite a bit that I either didn’t pick up on or didn’t care to learn. One of these things that still confuse me to this day is when someone, for example, asks “They’re not there right?” (assuming they aren’t there), my answer would be “Yeah”, short for “Yeah, they’re not there.” but my Dad would say “No” short for “No, they’re not there.” Both sentences, in my mind at least, are true, as long as the context behind them is understood by both parties. For me and my Filipino friends, we never got turned around by it, so I use that way. Funnily enough, if the same conversation were to be held in Filipino, I would actually use my Dad’s way, I guess it’s because I learned conversational Filipino instead of really bothering with the technical side (and thus, my Filipino grades were… not too good).
When me and my Dad talk, he does understand what I mean since we have conversed with each other for years. For most of the other people I converse with here though, I see a lot of confusing times ahead. I’ve made a few friends from my guild in a game, and sometimes, we just like to chill and hang out in voice chat with each other, it’s never really been an issue with them for some reason.
I guess this is one thing I’ll have to adapt to while I’m here. A lot of the things are different when it comes to English here compared ti the Philippines. It might take a while, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it. This is of course just one out of many things that I’ll learn are different when it comes to English, even though I’ve been speaking it my whole life. I wonder what other things I’ve been doing wrong this whole time… eh, probably a lesson for the me of tomorrow.