Decifering a language of languages

I translated this from a book on Portuguese grammar.

“While analyzing our own way of speaking, each one of us is capable of perceiving that we dominate various “languages”, in other words, we have various ways of “registering” our language. Every moment, we are making use of one of these registers.

Observe: a child of two years, when he falls, he can say that he hurt his bum-bum. His mother, upon making him feel better, asks: “Ah, did my baby hurt his bundinha? A more serious problem occurs at this point. Upon taking him to the doctor, the parents will probably say that the problem is in the nádegas. And the doctor? Well, he can write down that the pain is in the region of the glútea

See that all of these expressions are within our knowledge and we know, almost intuitively, which is the most adequate moment to employ one or the other.”

The point I’m getting at though is that Portuguese presents a problem that is often born organically out of the viewpoint of the learner and the teacher, a problem in the sense of knowing how one wants to teach or learn. Of course, it is said that you must learn the rules before you can break them but in the end, I suppose it’s up to the learner and how or what he or she wishes to learn. The last part of the section I translated speaks to how we must approach the subject and I happen to be in complete agreement with it. Mastering one’s own language and knowing how to navigate through it at will can be very useful in all kinds of situations.

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