Monday, February 16, 2015

Is it necessary to know GOOD English?

I came across this discussion with Indian author Chetan Bhagat on NDTV. One of the topic they discussed was that is it necessary to know English or good English to make a mark in your professional and personal life? English is very celebrated and powerful language in India from decades. This might be mainly because of our colonial history but English commands a special status in Indian society. Person knowing this language and able to speak and write it fluently is often considered as a scholar and intelligent. Many people from India still think person is an intellectual just because he/she knows how to speak English. I myself learned to speak and write English very late in my life, my entire primary education was in Marathi and even though in college medium of instruction was English no one really spoke that language. I was first exposed to spoken English when I joined for my PhD at National Chemical Laboratory where people from all over India were there so Marathi was not a really option as a language of communication with everyone for me and from there onward I am constantly surrounded by people speaking in English. One can easily understand by reading my blog posts, comments, tweets or Facebook posts that English is not my native language. I am very comfortable with communicating in English as it allows me to connect with people all over world but I am also aware of the fact that my English skills are not that GOOD, but the question is, is it necessary to know GOOD English?

Having powerful command on any language is amazing thing, I really admire and respect everyone who have impressive command on any language. This skill gives that person a power to put his/her thoughts in very articulative way, they become master in craft of playing with words. Reading artistic expression of opinions, thoughts or articles and books is an amazing experience. Beautiful combination of words mesmerizes us, it leaves deep impact on our mind. That is why we have so few successful professional writers. But it it necessary to know good English or any other language in order to express your thoughts in it? I personally don't think so, we need some medium to express our ideas and thoughts and language is one of that medium. Purpose of any language is to allow us to express our thoughts in a manure which others can understand. If we can do that then we all are using that language effectively. I admire talent of people who are masters of expressing their thoughts in beautiful manure, I will keep on trying to learn their craft but not knowing that shouldn't stop me from sharing my views. As it is not only right of people with good voice to sing a song, it is not a rule that people with good command on that language should write in it. We all can express our thoughts in whatever language we feel comfortable. I see many people hesitate to communicate with others just because they think their language skills are not good enough, I always encourage them to at least give it a try and see how easy it is, you just have to get over that hesitation. Just get over that initial hesitation and start communicating in whatever language you are comfortable with, after all thoughts and ideas matter not the language in which they are communicated.  

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1. Dialogues with Chetan Bhagat

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