Blog » Pages, Personal Development, Teaching Page, Education » Hinglish: communication Vs language confusion

There are two potent questions in my grey mind.

(i) Though in my 40 years of teaching no dumb (lacking the power of speech Ref: student applied for admission to engineering. If it were true, should I have had denied him/her admission?). I hope not.. on the contrary the student shall get preference- because of handicap quota.

(ii) What would have happened if I had not wasted my precious years learning German, when I was not to be exposed to advanced literature ( technical or other) right one at right time

The former question has a rider attached. because the dumb has a guised meaning too as it may… [simplify or reduce the intellectual content of something so as to make it accessible to a larger number of people.] In that case the situation is twinned to negative side.

My focus in this discussion is on the 1st problem. Some help is solicited?

Let me recall a real life example:
We had called a professional engineer (from industry) to conduct oral examination over minor projects developed by students in state of Punjab. The examiner is from Madhya Pradesh, and thus comfort level in local dialect is low. However the girl student explaining / answering in stern Punjabi. I, being the Dean of discipline, intervened to facilitate the evaluation- and also better appreciation of the job - asking her to reply in English. The blatant reply was that she was unable.
She even expressed her inability to speak in Hindi, as the examiner (Er A K Saxena) insisted, specifying his inability to understand Punjabi rich in customary dialect, and the fluency with which she claimed her proficiency. Well!, though I must commend the knowledge part, proficiency and clarity of the student, it pained me over the justification of system’s demand which she could not at all meet.

What would happen when this girl faces the written examination in English?

Well language is a medium of thinking, and allowing an exposure to varied cultures (different minds). It allows one to derive a variety of meanings, and connect with the competencies offered in the medium of formal expression. But all such claims are not sacrosanct?

Unfortunately it is problem of the “connect with the incompetencies” in Indian languages (mother tongue) that we inadvertently support English language.

And rather than correcting the basic ill, we enforce bigger rules on the students.

I was motivated at a chance visit to linkedin post and so append below what Mr Pichumani Nagarajan Co-Founder & CEO at Appedo writes with the title:

” The power of learning in mother tongue”
Jan 14, 2016
This is the new world, disrupted by technology and gadgets. A student gets respect when he/she talks in English. Most of the major Indian IT recruiters say, communication is the most critical part to get selected. Studies reveal that less than 20% of the engineering college graduates possess the necessary communication skills! Unfortunately conversational skills are respected more than the real ability and talent.

There is another world. Not the entire world speaks English. In Germany, France, Japan or China, the respective languages rule, right inside the board rooms that deal with billions of dollars. Then why we in India are so maniac about this English supremacy?

Let us take the employment in 2 steps.

Step 1 to have people with great analytical ability and energy.

Step 2, to have people with good communication skills.

How does China or Japan manage to export so much and grow? Very simple - get the step 1 done for vast majority of the people; make them competent in what they do; get step 2 to a limited set of people who interface with end customers or foreigners! But in India, we try the step 2 first and ignore step 1 a whole lot.

How to get step 1 done - how to make people to have great analytical ability and energy? Learn from the fundamental instincts. Mother is the closest relationship to anyone. The warmth, the passion, the care that a mother shows is matchless. When mother tells, the child trusts that and does that. Child learns the mother tongue without knowing grammatical aspects. It just learns by trust and passion. And the first 8-10 years of brain development is the most astonishing one. Why can’t we get this straight? Why can’t we make people to learn in mother tongue?

There are 1000s of such examples, right from the great mathematician Ramanujam to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to people of 2016. If you have any doubts that learning in mother tongue is inferior to learning in English, see this link. Vijay of Paytm, has built a great organization. He learnt in his mother tongue in his school days. He had difficulty in English when he entered college.

Learning in mother tongue gives you absolute clarity in what you learn. It gives greater energy as you move faster. It helps you to express better. That gives more confidence. This no way stops you in learning foreign languages to interface with customers. If we produce more skilled people, we can get the work done, and the coordination piece can be easily handled. This is how China or Japan scaled to greater heights. They learn in their mother tongue.

Concurs Mr Navneet Bhatnagar (Business Head at Cargo Motors, Delhi), stating
Agree to the observations [above]. Japanese, Chinese or German have been able to churn out master pieces year after year as their engineering and R&D guys are normally away from the market place and able to concentrate upon their work by thinking and working locally : often in their own mother languages. Whereas the marketing team , which does go out, is more adept at English or some commonly spoken world languages.

- Posted on January 17th, 2016 in Pages, Personal Development, Teaching Page, Education | 2,240 Views |

1 Comment »

One Response to “Hinglish: communication Vs language confusion”

1. Posted bydrrohitverma on January 17th, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Excellent thoughts.
I can recall how Newton was ousted from School on similar grounds. However, the times and era have changed.
I can not recall any scientific literature, books, journals, etc ever maintained or currently available in Hindi-our own Native language. It is perhaps not unfortunate keeping in view the diversity of the people of India from its distant history to current scenarios. It is a shame we have always been adamant on regional thoughts and beliefs rather than maturing and adopting a common language or belief. This inadvertently requires the students in India to have a minimalist understanding and acquaintance with the global language of scientific correspondence and communication. I mean English.

For China and Japan, the situation has been very different, in terms of ideology and belief they have been united on this front as a nation and practiced it over several centuries. They had been advocating and imparting QUALITY EDUCATION in their native language. This is essential. We can not and will not obtain, attract and nurture great minds unless we shift our paradigm on bringing up the quality rather than quantity. It is need of the hour to realize and take remedial measures in our approachto making business through Education wile still ensuring that the students never become a victim in this approach either in schools, colleges or universities. Let us not setup institutions imparting diluted and compromised learning hiring cheap and overloaded faculty and expecting them to perform para-normally well achieving Herculean tasks. Perhaps an effective monitoring on the quality of education being delivered by us is the need of the hour and I can guarantee we are far behind the International standards in this respect.

Nevertheless, there is a greater need of attaching value to the system of education and teachers in general in our community where people are judgmental on the kind of salary and money one begets in his profession with little or no appreciation for the values practiced by one. We all need CEOs, doctors and Top shot hefty paid engineers for our daughters and perhaps most of us will choose to overlook a sincere underpaid teacher who is truly devoted to this noble profession.

To summarize, we need to grow morally in character as a nation first. Second, we need to ensure quality delivery of education at all levels using mandatory and standardized procedures. Finally, a larger appreciation for the teaching community needs to be realized in the society, one that should also be reflected from their payrolls.

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