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8 reasons why Indian languages are losing the battle against English

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By Harshmeet Singh

In Indian society, proficiency in English is considered a prerequisite for being cultured and well educated. We ourselves, perhaps, have played the biggest role in undermining our indigenous languages by taking to English with a desire to mingle with the supposedly superior western world.

A number of factors are currently responsible for ensuring that revival of indigenous languages remains a complex task. NewsGram brings you some of them.

  1. Our immense love for English medium schools

Schools using indigenous languages as the medium of instruction are looked down upon by society. Even the poor villagers are ready to spend their precious savings just to ensure that their child gets an ‘English education,’ because apparently that’s what will secure a good future for them! This is a classic example of culture degeneration.

  1. Lack of literature in Indian languages

There have been widespread demands for the introduction of higher education in indigenous languages on a wider scale. While a number of stakeholders agree to these demands, lack of credible literature in indigenous languages is a major roadblock in this aspect. And unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to be doing anything in this regard.

  1. 10% Anglophone master ruling over 90% Indians

The Anglophonic ruling class, well versed in English, makes the national policies for the rest of the 90% Indians, without taking into cognizance their comfort levels and their needs. Until this equation changes, there is little hope for the revival of indigenous languages in the country.

  1. Our blind affection for anything ‘western’

We started wearing skinny jeans because the western nations kicked off the trend, without realizing that it serves their purpose at 10 degrees temperature while we have to endure rashes on our skin for aping this fashion sense in 40 degrees temperature. This is why ‘O God!’ seems more fashionable than ‘Arre bhagwaan!’

  1. English as a common language is acceptable, but not Hindi

South Indian states’ dislike for the Hindi language is no secret. The official language of the courts has been kept English due to this reason only. It is amusing that these states prefer using a foreign language as the common medium over an Indian language.

  1. Because the government doesn’t seem to care enough
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In October, when Modi and Merkel met during the latter’s visit to India, it was decided that German will be taught in Kendriya Vidyalayas as an additional foreign language. In return, Indian languages will be taught in Germany. But which Indian language from the thousands prevalent in the country, no one knew! And there was no further clarification on this from the Government.

  1. Because we consider English as a prerequisite for jobs which don’t need English

Why should an Indian working in an Indian restaurant take orders from an Indian guest in English? Apparently because conversing in English makes us feel more cultured and sophisticated?

  1. Because we think that speaking in Indian languages won’t get us a job in multinationals coming to India

Multinational companies launching their offices in countries like Germany and France are bound to hire people with proficiency and German and French respectively and alter their operations accordingly. But when they come to India, they know that they will easily find English speaking staff and hence, English continues its dominance in India.

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Google India introduces new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian Languages

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Search engine, Google. Pixabay

New Delhi, Apr 25, 2017: Aiming to bring a billion people online and make the web more useful for them, Google India on Tuesday unveiled new products on advancement in machine learning for Indian languages.

Google also announced that the neural machine translation is now available for nine Indian languages — Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.

“Google wants to extend internet for every Indian. We have identified gaps that bar Indians from accessing the internet. There are 400 million internet users in India and the number is expected to reach 600 million by 2020,” Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and SouthEast Asia, Google, told reporters here.

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He added that 300 million Indians access internet on smartphones. Anandan also spoke about Google’s tie-up with RailTel to provide high-speed internet at Railway stations.

The neural machine translation is available in Chrome and Maps to make the translation process seamless and refined.

The company said it does one billion translations everyday and 95 per cent of Google Translate has its usage outside of the US.

“Of over 500 million people who use Google Translate, most of the users are in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Thailand,” it said.

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According to Google, neural networks initially took 10 seconds to translate but the company worked on it and brought down the time to 0.2 seconds in two months.

The company also launched “Gboard” in 22 scheduled languages in India. The users can now search words, meanings and even emojis in local language.

The keyboard now has a new feature by which text editing can be done on the go easily.

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The new Gboard comes with a feature that makes it easy to resize and reposition the keyboard according to a user’s need.

Goggle also unveiled Hindi dictionary in Google Search in collaboration with Oxford University Press.

It also shared findings from a new report by Google and KPMG India, titled “Indian Languages-Defining India’s Internet”.  (IANS)