This and many other questions like “How can I overcome my inhibition in speaking English?” or “What is right? A English, An English, or The English?” People often ask such questions about English Language. To them I always say, the more you speak the more you learn. But there is always a rider to my advice. Speak English (or any other language for that matter) and allow those you speak it with, to correct you.
As far as languages go, English has had more than its share of ridicule – particularly in India. So the question is “Is it necessary to learn English at all?” My answer to that is a simple and unequivocal yes. The reason – apart from being my language of choice – well here goes!
It is the most popular international language
You may well say, I am here in India (or any other part of the world) and have no intention to go anywhere else. Maybe so but can you really predict the future? You can see any number of examples around you. Just look around you and see for yourself. You will surely find a neighbor or relative who have to visit an English speaking country, not by choice but to visit a close relative such as a sibling or a child who had migrated. And when you do, if you are not fluent in English, you would be completely dependent on them for your travel which automatically means cutting your visit short so that they can get on with their lives or facing rank boredom cooped up in the four walls of the house simply because you do not speak the language fluently enough to be able to make your way around. Neither is a very palatable option don’t you think?
It is the language of Science
True there are scientific papers in many other languages. But because English is the most spoken language around the world, you must have your paper either written or at least translated into English so that everyone can read it. And since it is your paper, who better to write it than yourself?
It is the language of Technology
The internet for one and any computer for another – most technology and technological devices understand nothing but English. So knowing English well is a definite advantage if you want to use these devices. Oh you can use them even if you don’t know the language but the experience is not quite the same is it?
It opens up new doors
Job interviews these days are conducted with an international perspective in mind. The internet has opened up huge possibilities for collaborations. More and more business organizations are tying up with those in other countries. The ability to speak English fluently is a definite advantage in this scenario. You may lose out opportunities in a number of industries such as airlines, tourism, and hospitality to name a few.
Being able to speak English fluently opens up new career opportunities that you may otherwise miss out on. For example if the next level of promotion involves interaction with foreign clients or collaborators, you may be overridden by your colleague simply because you do not speak English fluently, despite the fact that you are better qualified in other ways! And that’s a big no right?
For your Child’s Future
Admittedly English may not have been a very popular language choice in your heyday. But today – with the world a much smaller place – it has assumed great importance. Thanks to the likes of FB, kids these days interact not just with other children in their neighborhood, city, or country but with kids all over the world! They can learn a lot from these interactions – if they know the language of communication – English. So even if you did not learn English as a child learn it now with your children and help them make their own future bright and make the world a better place.
And last but not the least, learn it simply because you want to. English like any other language has its share of quirks. But then which language doesn’t? Your reasons for learning a language – or not – should be based – like anything else – on your need and desire and nothing else. So let’s learn English!