The importance of English... By Mohsin
07 October, 2013
The English language has become the fastest increasing scientific language in the world. Nobody would suggest that the English language should continue to dominate our educational system, culture, civilisation and administrative set up. However, on the other hand, it would be entirely unjust to ignore the vital significance of this language not only in Pakistan but in international fields also. The English language is at present occupying the position of a commercial language, connecting East with the West and South with the North. It is the language of political negotiations, science, commerce and industry. We should be proud of our national language but, under the hysteria of this pride, we should not refuse to know other languages and cultures. It cannot be ignored that Pakistan is, scientifically and industrially, a backward country. This is only because of the negligence of understanding other languages.
According to many sources, there are at least 33 languages spoken today in Pakistan. Diversity of languages has both its advantages and disadvantages. The diversity of languages and dialects was so great that it was very difficult to choose a common language, which could be granted the status of national language. Nobody can deny the fact that it is against the national pride of Pakistan to retain the foreign language as lingua franca after the exit of our British masters. We may hate their atrocities on the Pakistani people during their rule over Indo-Pak but we love Shakespeare for his literary genius. Homer, Voltaire, Zola and Tolstoy cannot be read and appreciated for their realism until we know the English language because their Urdu or Sindhi translations have yet to be made available.
Keeping in view the international significance of the English language, it is of the foremost importance to promote this language along with our national and regional languages. To continue the wheels of progress at the national and international level on all fronts, we need to enhance our sanguine approach towards learning other languages. To keep ourselves in touch with the best and latest in the world, we should also promote the English language. As Andy Kirkpatrick has rightly said: “Those who are without multilingual competence are at a greater disadvantage in the international job market”.
MOHSIN ALI MAHESAR