Monday, August 2, 2010

Accents, dialects and blah blah !!!

I am sure this is not the first time I have seen someone being ridiculed for a funny accent, be it an East Indian speaking Hindi in Delhi or a South Asian speaking English in north America.
Language that was meant for communicating and building bridges between peoples and cultures is often used to discriminate and divide them into self-sustaining groups (aka islands).
While a tinge of humour in a group of people is acceptable and even likable but deriding somebody because of the way s/he speaks is disrespecting to human intellect.
Language should only be a means to communicate and once the meaning is understood, the means should not become more important than the end. Some people are trained in the faculty of languages and are fortunate enough to be able to express themselves in different languages, which is a commendable skill. But the lack of it should not be a reason of concern. Excellent speech and its various forms are just good enough to amuse and relax and perhaps motivate but are not anything more than that. Its like looking at a good picture or a listening to a good song. Constructive and persuasive arguments are different and are not dependent upon accents and dialects. They are more like mathematical theorems that stand on their own feet. To my mind oratorical magic is an art that can be used to persuade the gullible and not the intelligent. Consider somebody like Dr Steven Hawking, I am sure he does not depend upon some language to either motivate him, amuse him or to express himself.
One reason why most of the people in this world are considered unread or illiterate is because we do not value the language in which they speak and thereby deny ourselves of the collective wisdom of a big group of people.
But there are people who are able to rise above this mindset and focus on important and more constructive things. I wish this was true for most of us.

7 comments:

anamika said...

I recently shifted to Hyderabad where people speak English in south Indian style..Initally it was little awkward but these people are so intelligent that now this thing doesn't bother me.

a great thought Sneha.

Gaurav Kant Goel said...

Very valid point raised! :)

Megha Pareek said...

kya likhte ho....
ghazab.......

R. Ramesh said...

absolutely valid point buddy...hey how u doing yar? take care..wishes

ASWANI said...

Bilkul sahi likha aapne. It is a common scenario especially here in the southern part of India. Language should never be a barrier in any case. We need to think beyond the means..very well put up. Kudos !!

Harshita said...

You always come up with such posts that make me praise you for your intellect, opinions and observation power... Well said...

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