Saturday, November 10, 2012

English Vinglish

Hi Pals,

Some people are so energetic and inspiring that their energy is very contagious and your spirits also get elevated. I got to meet one such person recently and believe me, hez like a mobile encyclopedia, a knowledge bank indeed. You ask him and hez got it. I should really thank my lovely hubby for arranging a meet with that wonderful person. Inspired and totally fired up to do something exciting in life!!!


If my title says it all that this post is going to be another film appreciation notes, you are mistaken. I just borrowed the title, but the content is going to be different, not entirely, but certainly to an extent. 
For people who live in big cities & metros, especially who live in urban communities this has become very normal...almost a part of life. Wondering what I mean??? I meant English. Yes, a language most spoken around the world and is used as the biggest communication tool as well. So it definitely deserves to be a part of our life. The British have really outdone everyone else in the world in this aspect. They spread their culture through their language to the nooks and corners of the world.  

Though many countries including America made English as their national language..we have resisted it. The fact that we have several different languages in our country did not allow English to creep into our cultures for quite long time. But,in recent times the influence has really gone overboard not essentially the Brit influence but the influence from the west(American) blew us out. Well, in the name of adopting western culture, we have literally erased all boundaries and went crazily ahead of the west in some aspects. One such is the language which is an integral part of any culture and can  hugely influence too. Our officially recognized 22 languages are struggling to weigh significantly with English these days. 
The western influence has also reduced the standards of English. Seems weird but true. The reason I said so was because, my grandfather was educated during the British reign, when the medium of instruction was English...He used some very sophisticated terminology, for which we need to go back to the dictionaries to find the meanings. The British standards were undoubtedly top notch. No offense to American English, but they have adopted an easier way of cutting short the words while speaking, pronouncing it differently, and writing an easy spelling too. Ease attracts the most, and that's what we are adopting these days. Thanks to the internet, which made this more easy and Microsoft word which corrects automatically to American spellings. While not only losing the original essence of English and adopting to the modified version, we are also losing our own language. 
The sad part is parents encouraging their kids to speak English even at home in recent times. When asked why at home, they say just to be more fluent. Well, I never spoke English at home with my parents (before and after my foreign stay) but I never really lost the fluency. The fact that loosing fluency when not in touch does happen with non mother tongue, but English is spoken everyday at school, college, office etc. Why would anyone loose fluency if not spoken at home??? This is no way a justified answer to ignore one's mother tongue. Its okay to broaden our horizons, embrace new cultures but need not ignore our own. I observe this happen in my apartment complex, many parents do not speak their mother tongue with their children. I am not sure, if they do this just in public or even at home. Even the toddlers are fed in English by the fancy parents. It appears like they take pride in speaking English. I can't help but leave a satirical smile at their stupidity. I pray that I shouldn't end up like that!
Just yesterday my teen cousin asked me which English do we speak...American or British? I said neither of them, we have an Indian version here with insertions like 'da's, 'ki's, 'na's and 'no's in unnecessary places. These words have officially crawled into the Indian version of English. In fact every region has its own touch called the MTI(mother tongue influence) to the language. Our so called most fluent English speakers also have this jargon. Probably, that's the tribute they think they can give to their mother tongue. How generous of them.. isn't it?. 
Going back to the film 'English Vinglish', when a homemaker can learn and speak English in a short time, why can't the kids whose primary medium of study is English excel in the same?? Simple fact ignored!!
Like every story, this one also has a flip side. That is, there are people who take too much pride in speaking their own language that they do not learn/speak English even when it is necessary. They superstitiously think that those who speak in English are too fake and fancy. 
Both these scenarios cannot be supported, English is certainly the most prominent language in the world today. Learning to read, write and speak properly is important. However, ignoring one's own identity and getting succumbed to something that is not own is not a positive move. One request I can make is that, please take pride in speaking your mother tongue. While learning to adore our culture, learn to appreciate others too. 




  1. Ever since I started working, I feel my English fluency is deteriorating. As you said people around me use lot of 'da's, 'ki's, 'na's and 'no's. sometimes with out my conscious I end up speaking in the same way.

    since few days I'm making conscious effort to not use those words. So far I'm doing gud :)

  2. I know Radhi,only trick to avoid that is, you influencing others with your special touch...may be an accent :)