The More The Merrier
THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 MUMBAI
THE MORE THE MERRIER
BY AMI GANDHI
Mastering a foreign language can be beneficial in more than one ways
English has become a global communication tool but knowledge of other foreign languages is also becoming vital, thanks to the rapid globalization. With increasing international relations, being proficient in a foreign language is becoming a definite advantage. Some people believe that knowledge of various languages helps in an overall development of an individual while others wish to master the different lingos simply for the love of languages. Global economy has brought many foreign companies who are setting shop inIndia. Also,Indiacontinues to expand its export to various foreign firms, professionals trained in the particular foreign language are the need of the day. “For this purpose, knowledge of foreign languages will be in great demand in the coming years and keeping in mind the growing investment of foreign firms in Indian market, the demand of language experts continues to rise,” says Sandip Gupte, director of Professional Foreign Language Centre. Despite the growing demand, there is a huge dearth of foreign language professionals inIndia.
- Some of the major languages that are taught inIndiaare French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Chinese and Persian.
- The candidate should have completed 10 + 2 in any discipline for enrolling for a Bachelor’s degree in a foreign language which is a three year full time program.
- After completion of the Bachelor’s course, one can opt for M.A, M.Phil and Ph.D program in foreign language.
- One can also opt for Diploma or certificate courses of 6 months to 1 year.
Proficiency in any foreign language will not only enrich communication at international level but opens more channels and avenues making an Indian student well equipped and competitive. “Languages not only fill up one’s knowledge bank, it also helps to interact smoothly with people from different nations. Knowledge in more foreign languages enhances employability skills,” says Dinesh Govindani, an instructor and founder of Academia De Español, a Spanish teaching institute. Foreign language is being considered as an additional advantage for students at the time of interview. People with multilingual skills are given preference by several companies. “Second language always enhances a student’s resume. If a resume includes 4-5 different languages it’s an upper hand which increases the chances of an individual to get selected in an international or a multinational company,” says Govindani.
There is a great scope for foreign language seekers with excellent job opportunities. According to Gupte, “From the perspective of finding a job, foreign languages serves to be an extra credential for a student as a mere graduation degree does not help these days.
The employment options are available in:
– Translators in industries, government sectors and research organizations.
– Data interpreters
– Tourist guides
– Air hostesses
– Hotel services, in various levels of hotel management
– Freelancers, content writers
– Public relation officers
According to the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) World Fact Book, only 5.6 % of the world’s total population speaks English as a primary language. The number doubles when people who speak English as a second or third language are counted. This estimate proves that over four-fifths of the world’s population does not speak English. “Learning foreign languages does not mean learning English alone. The main purpose of learning a foreign language is to be able to reach to the international community and also contribute by expanding trade and cultural and social relationship with the people of other countries and India,” says Sandip Bhattacharya, principal and director of El Dorado Academy, a language training service institute.
Importance of foreign languages:
– Improves employment potential
Companies that plan to do business abroad have a need for bilingual or multilingual employees. Knowing languages gives an edge over monolingual applicants.
– Enhances Education
Many colleges have a foreign language as an optional subject. Opting for different language can increase his/her knowledge and can help a student to score well in exams.
– Expands study abroad options
Many students believe that their language proficiency isn’t adequate, or that they wont be able to fit in or understand the culture and therefore they don’t apply for foreign institutes but knowing a language can make one a better suited candidate for studying abroad.
– Builds contacts
One’s ability to speak other languages and interest in other cultures can connect an individual deeply with people around the globe.
– Makes travel easy
If one knows the native language, then he/she can successfully find the way in all sorts of situations while traveling abroad.
– Increases global understanding
For survival in the global community, a person must be competent in other languages so that he/she can bridge the gap between cultures. Without an ability to communicate and understand a culture there is misunderstanding and a lack of inter-cultural sensitivity can lead to mistrust.