Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Rey Chow


Although the period of ecu colonialism has lengthy handed, misgivings in regards to the inequality of the encounters among ecu and non-European languages persist in lots of components of the postcolonial international. This unfinished situation, this lingering ancient adventure of being stuck between unequal languages, is the topic of Rey Chow's booklet. a various workforce of personae, by no means earlier than assembled in the same demeanour, make their appearances within the quite a few chapters: the younger mulatto taking place upon a photo approximately epidermis colour in a favored journal; the fellow from Martinique listening to himself named "Negro" in public in France; name heart brokers in India knowledgeable to Americanize their accents whereas conversing with buyers; the Algerian Jewish thinker reflecting on his relation to the French language; African intellectuals debating the professionals and cons of utilizing English for reasons of artistic writing; the translator appearing by means of turns as a traitor and as a mourner during cross-cultural trade; Cantonese-speaking writers of chinese language considering the politics of nutrients intake; radio drama employees straddling the different types of conventional storytelling and mediatized sound broadcast.

In those riveting scenes of conversing and writing imbricated with race, pigmentation, and sophistication demarcations, Chow indicates, postcolonial languaging turns into, de facto, an order of biopolitics. The local speaker, the fulcrum determine usually accorded a transcendent prestige, is realigned the following because the repository of illusory linguistic origins and unities. via putting British and post-British Hong Kong (the urban the place she grew up) into the languaging controversies that have a tendency to be pursued in Francophone (and sometimes Anglophone) deliberations, and through sketching the fraught occasions confronted via these dealing with the specifics of utilizing chinese language whereas negotiating with English, Chow not just redefines the geopolitical limitations of postcolonial inquiry but additionally demonstrates how such inquiry needs to articulate ancient event to the conduct, practices, impacts, and imaginaries established in sounds and scripts.

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