Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Language. Show all posts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

GuestSpeak: Do you speak English?

"Hey you need to improve your English"
I overheard an English speaking lad who sat right behind me, at the airport with his friend. “but you understood what I said, isn’t that more important? In any case English is not our language so I don't care about the accent" said she and burst out into giggles. I turned around to look at the girl; she must have been in mid thirties, beautiful looking girl who appeared to be a small town girl from north India. The young guy looked at her with disapproving eyes. I could make out he was  not too pleased with her reply but had no answer either and in my opinion she was absolutely right in what she had just said.
source: the internet

Often I come across people who either try to correct someone or look down upon someone who neither can’t speak English nor has an accent to spoken English. It’s surprising to see people address someone uneducated if he or she does not know English. In recent past we have seen the names of few states having been changed back to their original names and also witnessed enough bloodshed in the name of religion, there are people who are not willing to accept Hindi as their mother tongue but we do stand united on English. And that can happen only in our so called Incredible India. Surprisingly after years of freedom from foreign rule we still have not been able to come out of it actually made their stay linger on in our minds. There are several other countries that became colonies of imperial rule but India is one country that seems to have adapted to a foreign culture so well that it seems to have forgotten its own culture, values and life style .Adapting to good things about others is understandable but adaptability to a language to an extent that one feels superior to the other if one has a command over foreign language is quite surprising at least I am not able to understand.

My question to those who think knowledge of English language makes them a superior species, like American Hollywood Nigerians can have a Nollywood and India can have a Bollywood similarly if a British can have a Brit accent, so can an American an American accent why can’t an Indian have an Indian accent. Why do Indians have to be perfect in a foreign language? There are rare opportunities when one may have noticed some one laugh at the other or treat the other person as uneducated who does not have a good command over spoken Hindi for that matter any regional language. Nor have I come across a person say "I am uneducated as I don't know Hindi” but one often gets to hear "Saab padha likha nahin hoon is liye English nahin aati". I think it’s high time we Indians came out of the shadow of the British raj and feel proud as being Hindustanis.

This post is written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by Alka Narula.

You can catch some more of Alka's posts at her blogs here and here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Get Grammar'd

The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words.

—George Eliot, British poet (1819–1880)
Talk about examples that make sense!

Preparing for an professional English test recently, I had to refresh myself on English Grammar.
And I must admit I did enjoy the 'experience'!

I've been fortunate to have had an English language teacher who challenged and encouraged me to better my best, but having met and interacted with scores of graduates since, I believe the general standard of English has taken a bitter plunge. Mediocre books only make it worse

Grammar is interesting.
But like all sciences, you'd appreciate how it functions only if you'd practice it.
Having been a professional writer for well over 3 years now, learning the deeper rules of the language made me sit up and take notes.

We need better examples and a higher quality of instruction. Many of our tutors do not bother to research and are never encouraged to learn.
In a bizzare way, they believe in confusing you, if they can't convince you.

I've seen insanely thick books of grammar that accomplish half of what a concise book on the language would.
Grammar is after all not rocket science. Its just a set of rules that helps you make sense of your writing.
Learn it. Besides the wonderful and wacky examples that it gives you, you'd also learn to appreciate the language better.

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