Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Is it all about English Vinglish?

This question has been boggling my mind for quite a few days. Is English a global language? Is it globally accepted or just forced on the worldizens (citizens of World)? Very recently we had been to Paris and what a magnificent city! Rich culture and so much of history. Almost every monument narrates you its story. A promenade around the beautiful architecture depicts that how progressive human being were! In this world of technology where only mini robots are created now..yes aren't we all kinda robots? Our addiction to technology which is taking us away from little pleasures, killing our creativity is a matter of concern. It was during the evolution of human beings that first pictures were a form of communication followed by sign language and then perhaps so many languages evolved. So coming to the point - What is the harm in being proud about your mother tongue? Is it quintessential that we succumb to English? Frankly if you don't know English your IQ isn't changing or it doesn't mean that you are dumb. Probably on an international platform you might be unable to express yourself, your views but I guess with so much advanced technology language can't be a barrier anymore. Well coming back to Paris, the Parisians are proud about French. I experienced that some of them prefer French first and then English. Did you know about a saying that 'wrongly spoken French is English!' We Indians are very much at ease with speaking, writing English rather in many families English has taken over their mothertongue. It is a personal choice but practising English should be an individual's choice and not imposed. I have also seen that your status can be linked with your knowledge about English. Some Indians strongly relate sophistication to English knowledge.

How and Why did English emerge as a global language?

Hate it or Like it, an unwritten law is that English is a global language. If studied deeper then there are reasons behind English taking over the globe. It all started with Britain ruling more than quarter of the globe and colonization strongly influenced propagation of English. All the official matters were dealt in English during their rule and even when they left, English had creeped in the education system and took over as an official language. In a country like India where more than 1500 languages are spoken, it is difficult to have one language as a National Language. Though Hindi is widely used in all government offices but there are states who have Hindi aversion syndrome. So in India English has flourished more than any other language in unison but we should not forget our mothertongue. 
Later English widely spread due to US as all the softwares developed were in English. So basically English is favored more due to technology. Imagine if the softwares were in Chinese...would Chinese be the global language? Probably not due to Mandarin being a difficult language to learn. The easy grammar that English has makes it more popular, lesser words so more preferences.

A Proper Balance

I am not against any language and every language needs to be respected. I would love if my daughter AS could learn all the languages on the planet! This is just impossible. At home I speak with her in Marathi and KS in Hindi. KS being a punjabi munda doesn't know fluent Punjabi and we do feel bad about nice it would have been if AS knew Marathi, Punjabi, Hindi and English which anyways she will pick up at school or while growing. On a positive note knowing more languages is so beneficial, keeps your brain active. I know 5 Indian languages and can read French (understand a bit) which is so useful. I can easily connect with people due to this. Frankly there should be no aversion for any language. It is the duty of mankind to preserve all languages and being a multilinguist adds to your personality. We met a Romanian woman in Paris who is settled in Canada. She knew French, Romanian, German, Croatian (related Scandinavian languages) and American English. She also said that Americans expect that everybody should speak English and if they can't then they aren't developed. This attitude is growing more and more, hence I say a fine balance is required. My Aai (mother) flew to London from Mumbai all alone. First time in flight and that too international. Knows to read and write English but basic and simple as she did all her schooling in Marathi. I was so worried about her whether she will make it all alone. And yes she did it! I am so proud of her as she proved that knowing English is not THE thing. She is an example to many in our family & friends now.

Finally it is not all about English Vinglish. If you don't know to speak fluently or write correctly then don't feel inferior. You learn till you live so keep learning and keep living....



  1. Very well written as usual.......could not agree more!!

  2. I didn't know you know 5 languages, that sounds cool :) To me, English is a very nice language and definitely, it can't be the parameter on which a person's sophistication can be measured... Well written piece

    1. Thanks Nivedita...yeah 5 languages as in Marathi, Hindi, English, Marwari, completely understand Gujarati, Kannada (inhibition of speaking but again it is my mothertongue). English is definitely a nice language and I do like it...:)

    2. there are many who feel inferior due to their inability to speak English...well one should definitely learn English but certainly if anyone doesn't know it...chalta hain is not our first language!