Essay on Sociolinguistic Variation in a Second Language

Published: 2021-08-18 23:08:19
640 words
3 pages
6 min to read
University of Richmond
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Hypothetically, people find difficulties ranging from pronunciation to speed of speech in speaking secondary languages. That supposition forms the base of the current study, where the researcher investigates how Africans speak English. To facilitate the study, the researcher looks at some African video clips and tries to relate the information to the hypothesis.


Most Africans have difficulties in pronouncing some English words. A survey by KTNN shows that many of them cannot pronounce the word chemise correctly. Interestingly, every speaker in the TV program has a different enunciation of the word with some calling it chemis, others chemais, some kemis, and many other funny articulations that are nothing close to the correct one, shemiz (KTN News Kenya, 2016).

Further, most Africans have ease in pronouncing words in their native languages. For instance, Betty Kyalo acknowledges that chemise is the same thing that most people call kamisi in Kiswahili (KTN News Kenya, 2016).

Elsewhere, in an interview between Kenyan Deputy President, William Ruto and Becky, CNN, the formers pace is quite slow (E News Kenya, 2017). He takes time to think of an appropriate English word to use in his communication. Further, he strummers a great deal in his responses.

William Ruto is a fast speaker while addressing his citizens in his local language, Kiswahili.


The research highlights that Africans, who speak English as a secondary language, find a lot of trouble in pronouncing some words. From the example of the word chemise, one could say that non-native speakers of a language, often, do not pay keen attention to the rules of pronunciation. Different speakers utter the word dissimilarly. That variation could be attributed to the influence of different native semantics; for instance, one mentions kemis while the local term is kamisi. Besides, the inconsistency could be due to lack of proper enforcement of the language. In a situation where many people pronounce a single word differently, one can only say that the trio did not have a common set of pronunciation rules to observe while learning English.

Elsewhere, the study reveals that people do not have a problem in pronouncing their primary languages. Betty Kyalo pronounces the word in Kiswahili with much ease, but she can barely say it in English without the help of Willice Ochieng. Interestingly, the news anchor can define chemise, but she cannot say it perfectly. That only shows that people often find more trouble in pronouncing words in secondary languages than they do when they utter words in their native semantics.

The question of speed of speech is visible in both the KTN News and CNN articles. Once more, Betty Kyalo can mention kamisi very fast, but she cannot utter chemise with the same speed. Besides, William Ruto finds it hectic to talk at a high pace despite the fact that he is a politician who speaks very fast in political rallies, majorly in Kiswahili. That only shows that people often have a good command of their native language, but never can they be fluent in s secondary.

From that analysis, one can conclude that people who speak a given phonetic as a secondary language cannot exhibit utmost competence in the semantic despite their eloquence in the primary language. Most Africans find trouble in pronouncing many terms such as chemise. Such individuals may be fluent in their local dialects, but the reverse is true with secondary languages. Therefore, secondary speakers of different languages are bound to suffer from slow speech and pronunciation problems.


E News Kenya. (2017, October 29). William Ruto EXPOSES Raila's LYING TRAITS To International Media: Raila can't BELIEVE What was Said. YouTube. Retrieved from News Kenya. (2016, June 24). Mind your language with Betty Kyalo and Willice Ochieng'. YouTube. Retrieved from News Kenya. (2016, November 20). DP William Ruto takes Jubilee campaigns to Mombasa

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: