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Future of English Language in India

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India Map

Although English has got much importance in countries like India, it is just a language for higher education and written communication in Private Sector. Only a small percentage of people like to talk in English. People speak in their mother tongue or in a link language like Hindi.

States in India were created on linguistic base. India is a multilingual country. There are 22 regional languages which are official languages of the specific states, while Hindi is the official language of Central Government and 14 states and Union Territories. Each state and Union Territory prefers to use the language of people in written and spoken form for everything. May it be Government, Administration, Municipal Corporations, Public Sector, Judiciary, Media, Entertainment, Mass Communication, Politics, Religion etc.

Electronic and print media is dominated by Hindi and regional languages, and even if a small portion of people 'Read' English Newspapers, they do not discuss what they read in English, but in their own language or link language like Hindi.

There is a craze of English Medium schools all over India, and the students learn in English medium but most of them speak in their mother tongue or Hindi in schools with their friends. Even after they become graduates and find jobs or start their own business, English never comes a priority language for them.

Although English has become third or second language for a number of people, it never becomes mother tongue.

The main reason of English becoming a 'Written' language in India is that there are over two dozens regional languages and they are written in different script. India is lacking a common script for communication. The Latin (also called as Roman) script, in which English is written fulfills the necessity of common script. But language and script are two different things. As we know, there are several languages in Europe but they have a common script. So non-English countries in Europe do not need English as their 'written' language.

English will remain important written language until there is no common alphabets for various regional languages in India. But this language will never become first language for spoken communication for a large portion of the population.

Another notable thing is that English in India is changing slowly and being modified by people. The syntax and grammar also changing. As there is American English, or Australian English, there is now Indian English. Further Indian English can be divided in regional dialects, i.e. Punjabi English, Tamil English, Hindustani English, Bengali English and so on.

Future of English in India also depends on its future in America and on international level. If English language declines in International usage, or in United States, the importance of this language will go down.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

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© 2011 Mahaveer Sanglikar

Comments

mrigyank on August 25, 2014:

English has now become an important aspect in our lives now. With the advent of globalisation companies require working professionals which are good at communication skills and can speak English fluently. Also the emphasis on speaking English is also growing in our schools. In fact what I feel is that people now have realised the importance of speaking fluent English that they now join various institutes like inlingua to improve their skills so that they can get a good job. In fact English now acts as a linking language in India. Thus whether we accept it or not but in India the importance of English is increasing drastically.

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on August 18, 2013:

English is undoubtedly the best language helping to speak with all people in the world. India being a colonial country has got a good edge on its usage and it gave us lot of opportunities. Our computer professionals are the best example. The case is different in China, Japan, Korea and all countries in Latin America, where they are struggling with the language. But having said that, I need to add that the level of our standard is not impressive as what prasdjain opined. We need to focus more on the topic. Though Indians doing well in writing, their (including mine) level of fluency on the spoken side is poor. We need to improve on that sector also. If you can offer any suggestion, please publish through a hub. All the best.

ken on January 07, 2013:

Some Indian states have same population as France or Germany but are not fully developed technologically.Why we can't provide Instant knowledge source through translation to masses and build industrial base?

Think,How far we are behind in providing general knowledge to masses through Wiki Projects ?

pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on August 25, 2012:

At present English is only tool with us compete globally. We can develop new techniques to learn English and to certify the trainers with licenses. So quality of English will improve.

This language is knowledge based and communication can be done easily through this language.

Advance technologies in this century are written in English, so no substitute instantly available better learn English and strengthen yourself.

Local languages are going weak and no scope for improvisation.

Unless alternative we continue with English.

Mahaveer Sanglikar (author) from Pune, India on February 28, 2012:

rjsadowski,

Yes, you are right. One written and spoken language has benefited America.

Mahaveer Sanglikar (author) from Pune, India on October 21, 2011:

Thanks

Kate P from The North Woods, USA on October 21, 2011:

Rated up and marked useful, awesome, and interesting. I know that you're right because I've experienced the language differences after traveling in South India. Fantastic hub, interesting, and well-written! :)

rjsadowski on October 20, 2011:

A very interesting article. I would think that the lack of a common script and a common language would hinder progress.In America, there are many dialects, but only one written and spoken language.

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on October 05, 2011:

As a method master who taught English method for B.ed students over 25 years,and being a fairly good writer in English, i am observing the students are getting weaker and weaker in English day by day.Many are failing in English only. Lack of command on English is costing them opportunities. On the other hand,parents are opting for English medium. In Karnataka, about 3000 government schools are getting closed in couple of years, as they are Kannada medium schools.

How to achieve good hold on English,Keeping the state language as the medium of language,is our problem now!

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