Monday, October 3, 2016

The war of languages


So, after almost a year I am back to writing… Why... the real reason even I don’t know. But yes, there is one that has certainly played a role in it and that is my last month’s backpack trip to US. I mean I have so much stuff, so many experiences, so many things to share that I need someone and something where I can just pour it all.

I can’t do that with people, guess it can be torturous and I do not believe in torturing souls…<at all>

Anyways, so the first thing that I chose to write about from my bucket full of experiences is about the language. Yes, the language: different kind of languages that different kind of people use in different kind of regions.

While travelling from one state to the other, I just couldn’t resist myself from observing the languages that people from various parts of the world speak (and write, off course).

I was in a plane, which was still to take off. The passenger next to me was a Japanese and he was continuously on his phone. I happened and managed to sneak a bit in his phone (yeah, I know that’s bad habit!) and I saw that his complete phone, I mean all the features were in Japanese, and obviously his whole chat was also in the same language… I couldn't understand anything and that is why I carry  absolutely no guilt of that peekaboo :)

And this is where my obsession about observing languages started.

While I was in Grand Canyon (let me mention it here its one of the most beautiful places I have seen!!), where people from all over the world flock by, I met quite a few belonging to different backgrounds, different countries etc

One of such rendezvous of mine was with 2 girls, from Bulgaria. I spoke to them for a long time. Well, the communication started when poor girls were struggling to take a selfie with the gorgeous Grand Canyon. And I offered to click a picture of them and with that, our chemistry clicked! Pictures and girls, girls and pictures, needless to mention, they have some sort of connection since ages. Anyways, I ended up clicking some 10-12 pictures and they ended up with 20 pictures of mine… Equilibrium I call it!

Anyways, so talking about my obsession, I noticed them speaking in some other language, so I asked them what language were they using, to which they replied Bulgarian…

And then I had this Arabic couple sitting next to me observing and absorbing the beauty of Canyon, and they, guess what were talking in Arabic. <The guess was pretty simple though>

To cut it short, I met or saw or just observed many people and the languages they use, in my whole trip. For instance, Chinese and needless to say they were talking in their native language. There were Latin’s, talking in Spanish…. There were French people and the language… Japanese and their language… amongst few

Then on the way back I met another person from Germany and I just discussed the language thing with him. He told me that in Germany, it is almost impossible to survive without knowing German. Infact, if you get employed there without knowing the language (chances of which are very minimal), you are being given a crash course by the company…

Ditto is with other countries like France, Russia, and Spain etc

Did you notice I did not tell you about Indians. Off course, I cannot be the only Indian roaming around in US! Not for any other reason, but as they say save the best for the end.  And that's what the intention was. 

I saw/ met many Indians…And observed that more than 80% of them were talking or trying to talk in English, without even caring if they are able to speak the proper language or not. As if it’s a rule to talk in English ‘coz you are in ‘Amreeka’…!!! I noticed so many people just struggling with the language! Even Uncles and aunties… You could see that they are using the language forcefully and unwillingly. Especially aunties, who were rebuking their grand-children and guiding their husbands in the canyon in English, rather broken but English with an accent…

BTW, I am not generalizing it at all... I met many genuine Indians as well, who have such brilliant command on the language they were speaking, that it can just leave you mesmerized...

The ones with the fake accent are the ones that annoys people around… but then, deep down when you try to think about this behaviour and phenomenon, you will realize, it's not them who are at fault. It's all of us: Indians, it's our society largely.

Let's be honest here guys, we do judge the brilliance and intelligence of our fellow Indians on the basis of their fluency of English language. If we see anybody talking in a local language, we call them names like ‘Ganwaar’

But why don’t we do that with foreigners, who do not talk in English, who rather talk in their own native language?

And I am bound to ask my fav question, where are we heading to? We are on the verge of becoming a confused society, who is trying to copy west without putting in our brains… Let's face it…

I remember a friend telling me to stop reading and wasting my time on Hindi novels. Instead, I could use that time in reading English ones, as it will also help me build my English Vocabulary…

I know mothers declaring it with so much pride that their children get full marks in every subject, sans Hindi… They don’t know Hindi, they say! Is it something to be proud of?

We remember everything and are also corrected from time to time, about English grammar… Do we remember anything about Hindi Grammar, which is just so vast and logical?

In the seminars and conferences in India, you are bound to deliver the lectures or talks in English language, why shouldn’t you have this option of speaking in the language you are comfortable with.  Imagine, the talent, ideas that will be produced then. Half of the people just do not communicate their ideas because they are not fluent with English language, which is a second and a foreign language for us.

Why are we turning into such a hypercritic society?

I am not saying stop talking in English. All I am saying is let's not demean our own language, which is just so beautiful. Let's respect it. Let's not judge each other on the basis of a foreign language! Let's not alone learn from the west, let's also take and imbibe good things from other countries…  See the way they love their culture, their language, and their things. Observe the way they cherish them and keep them so safe. We should also do that…

They give a damn about the second language. They never care about the accent or about the grammar, for them, it is a second language. They speak in their own accent, own way… They leave it on others to understand… When we don’t judge them, why do we judge our people who talk in Hindi? Is Hindi or any other Indian language so bad?

Out of connotation, let me mention it here about some of the most beautiful words you have in Hindi and Urdu. They sound so poetic that you can't help, but fall in love with them like Jazba, Prerna, Adbhut, Avkash, Chaaon, Rimjhim, Jhilmil, Silsila, Jijivisha amongst million others

I am not demeaning the English language BTW, in any which way. Just that let's not demean ours, just to add a bit of ‘cool’ factor to our personality. Just to make an impression on some hypocrites.

Let's love our native language equally and let’s respect it the way other people from different parts of the world does.


P.S. Just observed, selfie word still shows spelling error! Still not added in the dictionary… How???? And why????


P.P.S. I always thought I would never visit ‘Amreeka’… I thought I would never like it (probably because I am not a great fan of concrete jungles) but this trip proved me wrong! I loved every bit of this visit. The place is much more than concrete jungles. Ok… that’s for the next post J

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