Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The role of English language in our society

Language is a systematic means of communication. It is a way of expressing feelings, emotions, aspirations and symbols. It is a code that we use to express ourselves and communicate to others. Language is so far specific to humans, and is the basic quality that distinguishes human beings from all other living beings. According to linguist “Language is learnt through use, through practice. The more one is exposed to the use of language, the better one leans.” English is one of the most significant languages of reasonable importance. It is a national language in many of the western countries. There, it serves as a lingua franca' i.e. the language which serves as a medium of communication between different linguistic groups. In Pakistan, although it is not used as a national language, yet it holds a very important place in our society. The language is playing a decisive role in various educational institutions and technical fields. It is very crucial to mention that English language is challenging Urdu language, as it is given more significance in different institutions. English language is looked upon as a proof of literacy. People understanding and communicating in English are considered as erudite. They are appreciated and privileged in various fields. No doubt, it is gradually becoming a universal principle that 'civilization is based upon English' i.e. the civilized man should know the basic concepts of English language. English is a worldwide communicative language. It is neither Urdu nor Hindi, French, Chinese that is understood and appreciated in the entire world. It serves as a bridge of conversation among people belonging to different areas of globe cultures. This reveals that English is the language not specific to * some groups or some countries but it belongs to all. According to Derek Walcott:- “English is nobody’s special property. It is the property of imaginations: it Is the property of language itself’ This is the language which is rich in the treasure of knowledge. When British invaded and subjugated Sub-continent, all the scientific knowledge at that time was available in English language. In order to advance and progress, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan stressed upon Muslims to acquire English knowledge. When they refused to do so, then all the material knowledge was translated into local languages. No longer did the Muslims realize die importance of English language and they started practising it. The language is not difficult to understand, learn and practice because it has evolved from many different languages and it is always undergoing a process in which new words are continuously added, old and disagreeable ones are eliminated. Jackson Brown has beautifully expressed; “Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English, it means he knows another language”.
English is an educational language. Students in elementary school need to learn it. They should be made aware of its basic concepts. Teaching English language at elementary stage is very essential. Students come to know that learning English language is boasting their confidence in their social lives and enhancing their hidden talents. English is an official and professional language. In 1973’s constitution of Pakistan, it was declared that English would be retained as an official language for a period of fifteen years but still it is serving as an official language. In Pakistan, it is remarkably an eminent and distinguished language. Every professional field implies use of it. English is a language of latest business management in the world. It is a means not only for international commerce but also it has become increasingly essential for interstate commerce and communication. English is the language best suited for foreign dealings. It is the most acceptable language for the process of import and export with foreign countries especially the western countries. The most suitable language used in the field of science and technology is English. All latest developmental projects and principles of inventions and discoveries are being prepared in the same language. One basic quality of people working in the field is that they should knowledge and literature enshrined in it. English is available to us as a historical heritage in addition to our own language. It is a tool to establish our view point. Many of the schools in the country have English as the sole or additional medium of instruction. Present day English is an immensely varied language having absorbed material from a number of other languages. The Standard English has lost its original significance. The English used in our region is a blend of American and British accent. There is a great contrast in the intonation of words among the people of our region. This deterioration of Standard English has been beautifully summed up by a scholar:-
“The major cause of deterioration in the use of English language is simply the increase in the number of people who are using it.”

English language has made our people distant from their mother tongue-Urdu language. Our own leaders are in favour of English language. Many of them who denounce English send their own children to English medium schools. Urdu is our valuable cultural heritage and identity but alas! We are losing it gradually. No doubt, English has a realistic value but we should not allow it to surpass Urdu language.

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