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Mother Tongue

Maniam PS
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
India attained her independence from the British more than 60 years ago but regret to note that to this day the Indians prefer to use English as their spoken language rather then their mother tongue and this is very much so in Tamil Nadu. Most of the Tamilians whether educated or otherwise either converse among themselves in English or Tamil adultered with 60 of English words. It is very difficult to find two Tamilians conversing to each other completely in Tamil. This is a phenomenon which I observe only in Tamil Nadu. Maybe they feel that by conversing in English they look much more educated but I feel it is a shame if Tamilians cannot speak their own mother tongue fluently. If this trend is allowed to be continued the Tamil language will slowly and steadily be forgotten by the next generation and eventually wiped out from this world. In order to avoid this from happening the Tamil Nadu Government has to take the necessary steps to stop the deterioration of the Tamil language. They have to put in the required legislation to arrest the problem now or it will be too late.

Posted On : 3/31/2009 11:50:56 PM

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Indravadan Modi
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Saturday, January 10, 2009
True Even i watch the same thing in Delhi. the young generations are least bothered to speak in Fluent Hindi .. Hindi now a day has been reshaped as a strange mixture of English and Hindi. Half of the terms are coined mercilessly. Certainly this is the big time adverse effect of globalization what say

Posted On : 4/9/2009 11:54:59 PM

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Priyadarshini Misra
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Monday, August 25, 2008
While the government pays lip service to the idea of teaching and learning in the mother tongue, the truth is that most students have to know English to do well in higher education. I agree with educationists that the child understands better in the mother tongue, but they don t do well later. As a counterpoint, some people will say that people from Bihar, who are taught in Hindi, do well in the civil services examinations. But the exception cannot be taken as the rule. While a student may perform well in a Hindi medium school, he or she may be at a disadvantage later. In the Jawaharlal Nehru University, a sociology student will learn Subaltern Studies. In Rajasthan, even the teachers wouldn t have heard of the subject. Students learning in regional languages do not have the kind of resources they need, as English books are not translated into their mother tongue. Knowledge is available only to those who understand English, and initiatives have not come from regional languages for translation. While some higher education courses are available in regional languages, the demand for these is less. For instance, there is B Ed Bachelor of Education in Hindi and in English. Students who have done the course in English get jobs easily, but not those who have studied in Hindi. The lack of translation of texts is also a major problem. In the late 1950s, the Government of India kept aside a fund of one crore rupees in each state for translation but it s not known how that fund was used. There is no grant for translating textbooks or literature. Central Government is seriously considering a recommendation of the National Knowledge Commission, a body constituted to sharpen India s knowledge edge , to set up a National Translation Mission. There has been a significant rise in the use of English in each discipline in the last 50 years. Most advanced countries have invested tremendously in ensuring that this knowledge is available in their regional languages too. That this is a lesson India would do well to emulate is clear from the high drop-out rates in Urdu-medium schools. Take the situation in Hyderabad, for instance. The Nizams spent a lot of money in nurturing Urdu as a medium. Translations of Urdu monographs are available in the Osmania University, where even a post-graduate course could be done in Urdu at one time. But instead of making use of that, Urdu as a language was neglected. In Urdu-medium schools, vacancies of teachers are not filled and textbooks don t reach on time.

Posted On : 4/10/2009 2:31:41 AM

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Manpreet Bharara
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Given the multitude of problems and the diversity of languages, the medium of instruction remains a topic of impassioned debate. Language is seen as a factor fuelling nationalistic pride in Tamilnadu, for instance, the government introduced a rule in 2000 saying the mother tongue should be the sole medium of instruction, which the high court later struck down. Despite governments trying to kindle linguistic pride, the fact remains that many parents still see English as the language that could help their wards find employment. The tendency to dismiss other languages is worrying experts, who are unsure about the success of multilingualism in India. Common questions include whether the mother tongue is being neglected and English unduly favoured whether the literature and culture in regional languages are being forgotten in schools and whether today s students lack strong foundations in at least one language, be it English or a regional language. Such questions cannot be tackled in isolation for, as experts point out, better knowledge of a language can come only with better teachers and teaching methods.

Posted On : 4/10/2009 2:34:50 AM

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Anju Malhotra
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The census officials for over hundred years and more have faced this problem heroically. Enumerating and recording faithfully and correctly the language information from Indian citizens is a great challenge. Caste names, names of clans, names of professions, names of religious sects, names of speech or language not currently in use, names of villages, regions or provinces, names of animals and birds, and a host of other names may be offered as the name of the language of the individual being counted under the census Only the so-called educated persons, living in their own world of knowledge, wisdom and cynicism, think that every individual in India knows the name of the language he or she speaks. With almost every major Indian language having its own quota of dialects, it is often difficult for the common people in many states to be really sure as to the correct name of the speech they speak. While the official intention is to faithfully record what the citizen says, and for this adequate and explicit instructions and training are imparted meticulously to the field enumerators, yet some enumerators interpret the data given by the citizen as they see fit Fortunately for us the Census of India, over the decades, has built a professional team of language experts who could see through the data and make some really significant findings out of the data collected. The linguistic demography brought out by the 1961 Census of India is still a monumental research work. This Census listed 1652 mother tongues, and a few hundred languages around 400 languages or so , all neatly classified under the four major language families of India Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austric, and Tibeto-Burman . Over the decades, however, there appears to be some attempt at rationalization of the names of the mother tongues recorded in the census. There is also some complacency, and an unwillingness to recognize the possibility of the diversity of responses.

Posted On : 4/11/2009 2:59:02 AM

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Maniam PS
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Your point noted Albert. Anyway a point of clarification, Mother tongue means, the language spoken by one s mother. It doesn t have to be the language of a specific ethnic group. As long as a child can speak the language of the mother, that what counts.

Posted On : 4/30/2009 12:29:57 AM

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