"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela

One can communicate his or her views or express emotions in different ways. It can be in verbal form, written form or even by set of actions. So the main purpose of the existence of language is communication. It is also a reason for making some languages a ‘common language’. It makes communication easier between the states or nations or continents.

Gradually the usage of languages has changed the attitude of the society. It has become a standard to measure the ability of the people. But the first reality that we need to understand and accept is that the ability of speaking different languages depends upon the linguistic intelligence of the person. And it differs from person to person. So for some it is an easy task. They may learn a number of languages within a short period of time. Whereas some may be finding it difficult even to use their own mother tongue.

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The second thing we need to consider is the influence of our mother tongue. When someone speaks in a language other than his/her mother tongue it might not be as perfect as the people from that particular region. For everyone other than their mother tongue all other languages are foreign.

It has become a regular tendency for the society to point out a group of people for their mother tongue influence in the usage of foreign language. Here I would like to quote from the Bible. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Luke. 6:41). As we all know when we point our one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to us.

How would you judge between fruits and vegetables? One cannot degrade vegetables for their sweetless nature unlike fruits.

This is not to discourage those who work hard to improve their ability but just to point out the discrimination on the basis of language and communication. Everybody is unique and has their area of excellence.

About the Author : 

Jisha Poulose is currently pursuing BEd studies at St Aloysius Institute of Education, Mangalore.

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