In learning /rediscovering your own ancestral language for yourself, one factor that I find is not brought up enough is the way you are made to feel in your past about learning/rediscovering your own ancestral language.
One way is being compared to your own aiga/family members such as siblings, cousins that are tupulaga/around your own age or peer group, friends kids or my favourite, random Samoan people across the road who apparently look like they are better at it than you are.
(Disclaimer: I thought I had made up the term, comparinitis up then saw this. I don’t know Jenny but it’s a case of same thing, different day.)
Here’s how to deal with this and it’s probably not the answer you are thinking of: FORGIVENESS.
As an adult, it can be hard to let go of some of the most dumb a#$ things you’ve heard from different people like your parents, teachers, church and random people about why your accent is not “really” Samoan/ fill in the gap language, how you are a plastic for even trying for the Samoan group or when you mispronounce words that sound similar so when you get it wrong, is really embarrassing for those listening, especially older people e.g. in fa’aSamoan: fai’aiga = to consummate marriage and faiaina – to lose a game, etc. Tell me how I know.
You can ruminate over and over again about how you could’ve done better or needed more time but you made a mistake. Many of these experiences are from people who were a’amu/criticised you because they had nothing better to do. Now it’s time to move on or in more formal circles, move forward.
Here’s a tangible way of doing this: Be in a quiet space , write down the experience and forgive it now. You can’t change it and are still feeling rubbish about. We all live having revenge fantasies but the best revenge is to let it go and create space so you can build up your vocab, hang out with other speakers and practise speaking your ancestral language. Practise framing you speaking and understanding a couple of words or phrases a day as possible, instead of being a victim of the past.
Forgiveness sounds hippy but I’ve found it works. Doing this lessens the power of the s#$t experience over you and is a real start. #Tauivi ia manumalo = fight to succeed.