I grew up in Chikkaballapur town, Karnataka where English was spoken in the schools I studied. I used to score good marks in English. My teacher would appreciate me for my English speaking abilities and tell me that I was one of the best amongst my classmates. I would read off newspapers and explain the context to people around me. I was very proud of my English skills. When I started communicating with new people in Bangalore, you know what, I realized that my English was not up to the mark. Gosh! I picked up books and I started practicing because consistent practice is the key to perfection. I strive to improve my communication skills every day. I have learnt and I’m still learning, learning is a never-ending process.
When you move to a new state, city or country, there’s always a scope to learn new things. English is not a requirement as long as your job demands you to speak the language. But what’s important is that you should know your mother tongue or the official language of the state that you live in. Being an actor, I work in multiple languages. Knowing more languages helps me perform better and communicate with my fans in those states. Most importantly, I would want to know if they’re praising me or mocking me. HAHA.
No matter how much we learn, English will continue to remain a strange language. Words with different meanings but same spellings – Nails, jam , pool , mine and season. Words that have different spellings and different meanings but are pronounced the same way: Right-write, one-won, know-no, cell-sell, sea-see etc. Words that have a silent letter- Muscle, Subtle, Knee and Knife. Words that are spelled and pronounced differently – Sugar and sure, which have no ‘H’ yet are pronounced as Shu-gah and Sh-ow. I feel proud of our Indian languages that have a specific meaning for each word
I feel if the profession doesn’t require someone to speak English, they might as well not bother to learn how to speak the language I recommend not to get stressed over learning a new language. It should be a passion, but not a compulsion. In India, many people view English as an indicator of intelligence and use this ability to belittle others. Do you feel insecure about not knowing French or Italian or does anybody question you? No, right? Because it’s not required here. At the end of the day, English is a foreign language. One cannot be perfect in any language, even if it’s their mother tongue. There will always be words we are not aware of or phrases that you do not understand. You do not have to be insecure about not knowing English. If somebody mocks you for not being good at English, always remember, it is just another language and does not determine your intelligence level.
Image Source: karkara.eus