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English - the Paradigm of Globalization

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Eshan Wadhwa

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English- The Paradigm of Globalization

According to The Washington Post, it is estimated that more than seven thousand languages are spoken globally (Noack and Gamio, 2015). Moreover, every region has a different dialect which makes it harder for people from different localities to communicate with each other. I believe that a common language should be adopted to strengthen global communication, especially considering the importance given to globalization; and this language should be English. Although there is a possibility of other native languages being affected, English should be encouraged and taught all around the globe.

The benefits of English can be seen in many sectors, such as tourism, as it greatly reduces communication barriers. How can a tourist communicate with a local unless one of them knows the other person’s mother tongue? The solution to this issue is English. Last week, Ms. Akshara Nair was interviewed and asked whether English should be considered as a mutual language between everyone for an ease of communication and her reply was concurrent to my stand. She told, “Albeit English is not the most widely spoken language in the world, it is predominantly used in most of the fields, so, instead of opting for another language, it is better to continue with English.” Five years back, she faced huge linguistic problems when she visited Thailand as most of the Thai people, like taxi drivers and vendors, did not know how to speak English. Since online translating tools do not always give the right translation, it was arduous for her family and her to communicate with the locals regarding some basic issues, like asking for directions. Her experience attests that learning to speak English is imperative.

Additionally, knowledge of this language has a major impact on not only globalization but also the corporate world and one’s career. English is crucial to study because of its potential to expand our perception of globalization, which in turn, will create a more mature world. Sanjay Tiwari’s story highlights the benefits of English. Tiwari is the son of an uneducated security guard. He had only studied the regional languages of Marathi and Hindi in his school years. Despite his underprivileged background, he now works as a marketing executive. Tiwari credits his success to the English language, as in his later years, he understood the importance of English in one’s professional life, and hence, decided to teach himself the language (Joseph, 2011). Thus, people must learn English in daily life as it is an essential tool to possess a job. Furthermore, English can be seen as a ‘corporate language’ because most corporate documents are typed in English and employers expect their workers to communicate with each other in English as well. The first thing asked in a job interview is whether the candidate knows English. It is difficult for a candidate to survive in this competitive world without the command of English. This has been one of the primary reasons for the universities to mandate English courses. Nowadays, not only American but also Spanish and South Korean universities have been implementing English as the primary language of instruction to attract more international students (Carvajal, 2007). English is considered the common language despite a person’s nationality or background; thus, making communication much easier. So, to attain something in our lives, we should learn English.

With an exponential increase in the popularity of English, some people are concerned about the decreasing importance of their regional languages. Some people, like Raj Thackeray, Maharashtra’s politician, argues that if everyone begins to speak English, native languages and consequently native cultures will be affected (Joseph, 2011). To an extent this might be true, however, it is not enough to stop English from globalizing and being taught all over the world. I was born in Delhi, India and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. Living between two different cultures, I can say that it depends on a person’s lifestyle and the frequency of him speaking his native language. I know four languages- English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Thai. Regardless of being taught in an English-medium school, I am fluent in those four languages, as I prefer conversing in Hindi and Punjabi with my parents, rather than in English. Therefore, the predominance of English would deplete the importance of other languages, but would also increase people’s exposure to common media, such as movies, songs, books, and websites.

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