English, Ticklish


English has been made ticklish by politicians and language chauvinists (‘Sunday Anchor’ page, Dec.14). It would certainly be emotional and nationalistic to give a clarion call, “Let a hundred tongues be heard.” If students are taught in their mother tongues, the result would be utter cacophony. Instead, we should learn things from China, a nation with just  one national language, Mandarin, which is spoken by  the overwhelming  majority of the people. Yet, since the last decade or so, the Chinese have become enthusiastic learners of English.

Martin Jacques, author of the global best-seller,  When China Rules the World, says: “One teacher, Li Yang, who runs an operation called ‘Crazy English’ has taken to conducting his classes in huge stadiums with over 20,000, all chanting English phrases in unison.” However, this enthusiasm for English in no way points to a decline in the popularity of Chinese. The Chinese language has retained its remarkable pristine purity.

C.V. Venugopalan, Palakkad

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 3:10:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/englishticklish/article10944107.ece

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