So which language should I learn? Should I try learning Spanish or French or should I be practicing Swahili or Quechua? Why would a man want to indulge in different languages if it is meant for daily living?
From my point of view you need to know about three languages in total. First I would suggest your mother tongue so that when you wish to communicate with your parents or siblings you are able to do so. So your language of absolute necessity is your mother tongue. Why mother tongue you may ask? Your mother who is the epitome of love talks to you more than your dad. She feeds you, clothes you and generally takes care of all your needs as a child. So knowing your mother tongue is imperative.
Next comes the language of the region you live in. It is the state language or the language of the land. Some people construe it as region specific so be it. Only if you are not willing to move around in different zones or regions should you know specific to that region language. As an example, if you are from Tamil Nadu and know Tamil as the region lingua Franca, then it is perfect. But assume, if you were to shift states then what do you think you should be knowing? Should you learn Bengali if you are in Bengal for two years and then you shift to Maharashtra so learn Marathi and later to Gujarat so learn Gujarati? No way unless and until you wish to learn or have a taste for it. This can be solved by the de facto language of the country. Whether you say India doesn’t have a national language or say Hindi is the language or whatever, know that you need to know that one for sure.
I advocate Hindi and that too Bollywood Hindi because you love to watch Bollywood movies. The diehard Hindi grammarians may crucify me but know for sure, most of the world watches Bollywood films. The people from Americas or Africa love watching song and dance routines of Shahrukh Khan or Amitabh, so isn’t it important to know what you love watching? So the common language could be Hindi and that too Bollywood Hindi.
In response to some questions arising in your mind, let me give you some examples worldwide. Let’s say you stay in Europe in France then you better know French and English. Why English, you may ask? Let me come to it in the next paragraph. Suppose you live in Singapore then you should know mother tongue then Singlish and English. If you live in USA and have come from South America, then again you should know English, Spanish and maybe one more. A Telugu speaking person in Mauritius should learn Creole and English also. Now coming back to India, most people have shifted from different parts to metropolises then they should know their mother tongue, Hindi and English.
Like I said in this paragraph I will emphasize the knowledge of the language of work or that which will give you your daily bread. For most of us it is English. So pay respect to English and know the working language. This gets you food on the table and your livelihood so know it well. Since you might have to write mails and speak at meetings, it’s better to have working knowledge of this working language. Get your grammar correct and your pronunciations too.
You may not agree with me since you may be a diehard fan of your own lingua Franca, so be it! You live in your world happily and let us live in ours. Sometimes you have to stop being the frog in the well and know these few things about the world outside. So jump out of your well and see the world.
Last but not the least, Google always helps out. They have the translate app and if you are a bigger dodo then use sign language. Ah, that reminds me, now that aliens from outer space are going to land, we better practice sign language.
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