Chitra Deepa A

The world is shrinking beyond one's imagination, thanks to the Internet.

Rapid advances are taking place in technology and the concept of global citizen is emerging. In such a scenario, learning a foreign language is not just an advantage; it provides an edge to those who want to grow in their respective field or career.

Besides the frequent travellers and those in the IT industry , there are many fields that require linguists conversant in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.

The scope is great for language specialists in areas such as hotel management, tourism, and aviation. Teaching and translation, transcription, interpretation, are other areas provide scope for foreign language experts. The demand for language experts is there in the BPO industry and call centres also. Thus multi-lingual skill is surely the passport to the world of opportunities.

At The Hindu Education Plus Career Fair 2006, P. Seralathan, coordinator, Language Department, Max Mueller Bhavan, Chennai, spoke on the advantages of learning a foreign language.

He said theadvantage was the difference you makes in the job market by learning a language other than English. Integrative and instrumental orientation is the motivating factor in this process of learning of a foreign language, he said. "For Indians learning a foreign language is not a difficult task, for most of us are proficient in English and a native Indian language. We are linguistically capable," he said.

Language skill matters. So, foreign language learning may no longer be just a hobby but provides a viable livelihood option too.