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Monday, May 16, 2005

Language Complex

Life itself is so complex, but people apparently do not find it complex enough. They have created/named complexes like superiotiy, inferiority complex etc.

I would like to add one more to the list....that is 'Language Complex'. It affects people, not at a international level, but only few, especially in the country of India.

All over the world, language is a tool for communication and just that. As much as some people would like to crow around professing religious fervor towards language, it does not change the ground reality that, for societies to interact, communicate, exchange cultural ideas, there should something common, akin to currency for trade.

English has been accepted as defacto-official language for the same. People from British colonies, generally seem to have better liking for english than their native tongue. Quite understable considering centuries of subjugation at the hands of the Royal crown.

I work at a place, that has ethnically/linguistically diverse population. It is interesting to note that people from all over the world speak english with a native accent (not desi's reference to 'US' accent). Their English grades would make their report cards not very flattering....but hold on a second, they are not ashamed. They accept & understand their limitation, work towards improving their language skills and don't feel ashamed at not being able to match the 'american accent' word-by-word, syllable-by-syllable.

Most importantly, they don't ridicule & belittle fellow countrymen at their inability to give american's a run for their money in the race to match the accent.

But, why is it that, many of our countrymen, pass judgements on how the desi we know, can't speak accented english or even worse, glorify & adore people who can !.

Dudes/Dudettes, let us face it... we are not born with a tongue for american accent. We are born to speak our native tongue. If you can speak accented english, great !, If you can't, not all is lost, work towards improving your language skills.

No, am not condoning the fact that lack of mastery over english language is not very good, but to judge, malign, belittle, glorify people, on purely the english they speak is simply unacceptable.

Once again, this does not mean that your ability to communicate need be compromised. Communication, by the way, is a two-way traffic. You should be able to articulate your thoughts/ideas and be willing to listen to others at the same time. Without adequate communication skills you will NOT be able to survive the globalization factor, similar to how one can't survive the world without currency that has a global equivalent !

Next time around, shall we let ourselves be judged before we try to judge others ?

On a lighter note, when i place phone orders with Baja Fresh, they ask for a name and when i oblige, it invariably ends up as Arby, Arve, Rovin, Ari,Aven etc :-) we always laugh it away ! and yes that is the spirit !

Peace unto all !

Related Note : Siva,as his wont, had dished out a 'karamana' (spicy) blog, on language....check it out


Eshwar said...

dude...actually its kind of very refreshing to listen to the many different native english accents at the workplace. And being so diverse, its just absolutely amazing that with such different ways of pronouncing the same word, ppl still understand each other quite well. Unless ofcourse one has a thick native accented english, others seem to pass off as non-eye poppers.

Actually, I for one have kind of taken a liking for the spanish accented english. Kind of sounds very ....

Arvind said...


ola & chao are what i've learnt so far and they are cool...grass on the other side is always greener, I guess

I am not sure whether you've taken liking to the speaker or spoken ;) clarifications appreciated :p

Shiva said...

Eswar of course has taken his liking 'coz "it sounds good to him"

Eshwar said...

You mean...

"Ith saunds goodth tho him" !!

Arvind said...


Whath dho 'you' mean ?

cosmicblob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cosmicblob said...

Very nice post....and so true!!! There is another cause/effect here...the abcd vs desi indians. Guess desis try to get rid of the 'desi' tag and therefore want to fall in line with the abcds who naturally have the american accent, having been brought up here.

I for one - get a mallu accent if i have been speaking to a mallu for 30 minutes !! :-)


Arvind said...


Thanks :-)