I might just leak what I know 

To the newspaper.



“Language is the armoury of the human mind and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.” – Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


Researchers study Language Attrition in elderly.

10 Jan 11 @ 04:47pm by THOMAS MORCOMBE

Language attrition is the weakening or loss of a first or second language by an individual. It is more common to speakers who routinely use one language more than the other.The phenomenon of language loss has caught the attention of two McMaster, Canada,  professors who are determined to explore how and why this occurs.

After observing second language loss in their own mothers who were native speakers of Chinese and German, Dr. Denis Yu and Dr. Selina Stroinska of the Department of Linguistics and Languages are researching the occurrence of second language loss in the ageing population. In other words, how non-native speakers who learned English and used it competently in adulthood, begin to lose elements of the language in their elderly years, reverting to their native tongue

Their research has lead them to discover that the older a person is, the easier it is to slip into their home language. If their current tongue is their second language, then the brain will, in later life, recede into a comfort zone where it can slow down and take less effort to process and think. Often they will struggle for words and meanings or not say anything at all. Research has shown that this tendency to slip into mother tongue is often coupled with diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The majority of the elderly may just find it easier to answer/respond in a comfortable and familiar tongue.

The study looked at the environment of the senior; an area where only the person’s second language is spoken is more likely to strengthen this language due to frequency and exposure, however, it they are not being directly spoken to, then they may not employ this language. To accommodate this phenomena, there has been an increase in specialised nursing homes, such as the selectively Greek or German Speaking nursing homes.


Dewi’s Dilemma:

To change the T.V channel or not.


  1. This music is no good to dance to. The beat is too cepat[1].
  2. Duduk di sini[2], my back hurts a little bit. Getting up might help me move around. A young carer came in and changed the channel.
  3. Hari ini hari Minggu. Dia menonton V Video Hits[3].
  4. Aduh! I didn’t know women could move that way. I didn’t think it was physically possible.
  5. Saya suka pakaiannya, dia cantik sekali[4].
  6. I suka[5] So frilly.
  7. Televisi terletak di depan saya. Televisi dekat saya[6].
  8. Saya beragama Catolik[7]. Aduh! Perempuannya kasar sekali[8].
  9. This is Christian Aged Care. Bolehkah saya[9] have some “Songs of Praise” or something?
  10. Saya tidak suka penyanyi yang terkenal ini[10].
  11. Saya lupa banyak[11].
  12. Kadang-kadang, saya suka lupa. Akibatnya, saya tidak harus pikir[12].
  13. The carer is tonton ini[13].
  14. Saya tidak mengerti[14]
  15. Saya berbahasa Indonesia[15].
  16. Saya orang Indonesia[16].
  17. I wonder if they know we don’t care for their Video Hits.
  18. Laki-lakinya akan bermain piano[17].
  19. Laki-lakinya akan matikan televisi menjadi saya mendengarkan musiknya[18].
  20. Tetapi, kapan laki-lakinya, tidak di sini, Katrina mengunjungi aku dan bermain music yang tua[19].
  21. Saya suka sekali Katrina. Karena dia berbahasa Indonesia sedikit dengan aku[20]. Or, at least she tries to.
  22. Tapi saya lupa waktu[21].
  23. Channel dua? Atau tidak channel dua[22]?


  1. Which button do I press?
  2. V Video Hits isn’t on anymore. It’s an advert tentang di laut dan obyek wisata di Yunani[23]. I wish. Saya belum mengunjungi Eropa[24].

[1] fast

[2] Sitting here

[3] It’s Sunday and he’s playing T.V Video Hits.

[4]I like their clothes. So dressy.

[5] Suka: like

[6] The T.V is in front of me. I only need to reach.

[7] I’m Catholic

[8] These gyrating women are not being respectable.

[9] may I

[10] I don’t like these singers.

[11] I forget a lot.

[12] Sometimes I like to forget. Because of this, I don’t have to think.

[13] watching, this

[14] I don’t understand

[15] I speak Indonesian.

[16] I am Indonesian.

[17] That boy plays piano.

[18] That boy turns off the TV so that I can hear his piano.

[19] But when the boy is not here comes to visit and she plays old-timey music.

[20] I really like Katrina because she speaks a bit of Indonesian with me.

[21] But I forget when.

[22] To flick to Channel 2? Or to not flick to channel 2?

[23] about the ocean and tourist attractions in Greece

[24] I’ve not yet been to Europe.