How naïve I was to think that I am the only one in that palace and the people inhibiting that place can only see the moon and no one else could! I use to ask my mom when dad not use to be with us because of his official work when he has to travel frequently to attend programs else where. I use to ask my mom: “Mom! Could dad might be seeing this same moon in his place?” My mom use to show her love and her approval to whatever I use to say in my blabbering tone with her contended-smile at my innocent questions. I come of age a bit more and then started wandering how people might be communicating in another community.
It took me more than 26 years to realize that our lingual is only different, in whatever language we communicate, we all have one thing in common – our language have the same touch of feelings and expressions. However cool or weird it might sound listening to another language, it is obviously interesting and mesmerizing to know that we all have the same thing to say, same way to express, same attention to get, same attitude to make – we all are same in everyway!
I think of myself being fortunate in this regard when it comes to language since I was born in the society where my mother-tongue is Maithali language, which is basically used in our society which is interspersed in the Indo-Nepal boarder area, second is national language – Nepali – which I stated speaking after joining my school, third is Hindi language which I started understanding since my early childhood because of the influence of Bollywood movies which have millions of viewers in Nepal itself – this is because of our Sugauli Treaty signed on December 2, 1815 and ratified by March 4, 1816, between the British East India Company and Nepal, which was a kingdom during that era. This was again fortified with 1950-treaty of Indo-Nepal treaty of peace and friendship. Since then Nepal and India have free movement of people and goods between the two nation. My third language is my English which has been one of my most favorite languages and one of the most dearest languages I speak today – And its been like more than 20 years I have been using this language as one of my second language. Other languages includes Urdu language which I can understand a bit though I can’t speak it fluently and Bhojpuri language which is a kind of local ethnic language used in the neighboring towns of my home town – this language is being confused with Hindi language and my own mother-tongue (Maithali).
Though English language is an international language, depending solely on one language will only marginalize us in the global competition. In Thailand’s perspective, what I can see here is that the kids are taught Chinese language, Japanese and South Korean language because of the influence of those countries on Thailand in terms of business and bilateral relationship. Other languages adds up to their profile and considered as more privileged when it comes to getting job in multinational companies. Now, the day is not far when native English speakers will be considered as secondary option over the one who is proficient in multilingual conversation – because, these days more or less everybody can speak English language, and they have been studying and using English language since their early childhood. For example: In Asian region, Pakistan have English as their official language despite Urdu as their native language while India and Nepal are other few examples where English is most widely used.
Mastering multi-language is not only beneficial in terms of finding job, but it will also makes us independent in most circumstances. It shoots our emotional level and emboldens us with more confidence than just having one language in our profile. It gives us an extra virtue through which we can mingle with multicultural society in quickly and easily. The issue of cultural transformation to multilingual is becoming increasingly more famous and more emphasis has been put forward in transforming the future generation to multilingual, multicultural society especially in the English speaking countries where English is the sole official language and mother-tongue.
One best and latest example of expanding social, cultural and linguistic collaboration is ASEAN collaboration, European Union and SAARC collaboration. How can we expect to benefit and get the best sustainable and fruitful results depending on monolingual pattern of working environ?