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The Nature of Nurture

            The word nurture comes from the Late Latin word "nutritura," meaning act of suckling. Nurture can be used as two parts of speech, a noun or verb. As a noun, nurture is the act of bringing up, something that nourishes your well-being, or sustenance. The verb nurture means to nourish, feed, educate, train, cultivate, or help grow or develop. Nurturing is a very important concept, because unlike some animals, human children must be nurtured for quite a number of years for survival and normal development. Traits of an adult often stem from how the adult was nurtured as a child. Many people may disagree with this statement. There is an extremely controversial issue of whether it is nature or nurture that accounts for a person's traits and behavior. Sexuality is also the center of this long winded issue. Without doubt, both nature and nurture are responsible for a person's future behavior and traits. For the time being, however, we can only change the way we nurture children; we cannot change nature or genetics. .
             Language, I believe, has little to do with genetics, and is nurtured into us. Our quickness in understanding and catching concepts, however, is most likely genetically involved. I am a Vietnamese American raised by fluent Vietnamese speakers, yet I understand and speak only a few words. Although I do not speak or understand Vietnamese, I am able to pronounce words or sounds that many of friends that are not Vietnamese can not. It is mainly the "ng" words of Vietnamese language that they can not pronounce. I remember trying to teach them how to pronounce the word "ngo". What I kept hearing them say was "nyo nyo". "Let it come off the back of your tongue", I would tell them. I believe that hearing these sounds as a child made it possible for me to do them myself. It was nurtured into me. I have always wondered if there are any people that have spoken Spanish since they were a child that can not roll their "R"s.

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