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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
www.ndtv.com
www.ndtv.com

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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Snapchat Unveils New Feature To Support 5 Additional Indian Languages

Snap recently teamed up with Reliance Jio for a first of its kind "Jio's Got Talent" creative AR challenge

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Snapchat
Snapchat which has an average of 218 million daily users is trying to build a local product for India where Facebook-owned Instagram is very popular. Pixabay

Snap, the parent company of photo-sharing app Snapchat, on Thursday rolled out support for five additional Indian languages Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.

Snapchat currently supports Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi, which were introduced last year, bringing the total to nine, the company said in a statement.

“We continue to roll out new features and experiences that reflect the culture and values of our community in India. We are excited by the growth we’ve seen here as we have almost doubled our daily users over the past year,” said Nana Murugesan, Managing Director, International Markets at Snap Inc.

Snapchat which has an average of 218 million daily users is trying to build a local product for India where Facebook-owned Instagram is very popular.

The company opened its first office in Mumbai last year and established a team focused on expanding local partnerships, building an engaged community of creators and users and supporting local advertisers.

The company has so far announced partnerships with TSeries, NDTV and WWM Times Group.

In addition, it launched aLandmarkers’ a”Augmented Reality (AR) experiences – for the Taj Mahal and the Gateway of India, as well as AR Lenses, Filters and Stickers during Indian festivals.

Snap recently teamed up with Reliance Jio for a first of its kind “Jio’s Got Talent” creative AR challenge.

Iphone, Smartphone, Social Media, Phone, Mobile Phone
Snapchat currently supports Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi, which were introduced last year, bringing the total to nine, the company said in a statement. Pixabay

“India is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, and we want our platform to be accessible to as many people as possible,” said Murugesan.

The average number of Snaps created every day has grown to more than 3.5 billion while the average time spent per user is 30 minutes per day.

On average, 2 in 5 Snapchatters watch Discover feed content every day that offers more than 450 premium content channels worldwide.

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Snapchat recently launched a unique form of personalised entertainment with Bitmoji TV, featuring the Snapchatter and last snapped friend in a 10-episode series. (IANS)

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YouTube India to Focus on Regional Languages For Driving Creator Growth

According to the company, for the past several years, video has increasingly been a medium that inspired and fascinated Indians and also became the canvas for their imagination

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YouTube
YouTube creators have become effective storytellers, with more than 1,200 Indian creators crossing the one million subscriber milestone, while just five years ago, there were only two creators with a million subscribers on the platform. Pixabay

Google-owned YouTube, which has more than 265 million monthly active users in India, will focus on regional languages to drive the growth of creators on the platform in 2020, a top company executive has said.

According to Satya Raghavan, Director, Content Partnerships, YouTube in India, the company’s focus on Indian languages will continue and it will encourage more creators to find success on the video sharing platform in the next year.

“In the last three years we saw good growth in regional languages, especially Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. We saw uptake for content in Tamil initially, and Telugu and Malayalam picked up later too,” Raghavan told IANS on Friday.

Other languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi started to evolve on YouTube India in 2016.

These Indian languages continued expanding their verticals, from comedy to gaming to beauty, and today they have a full range of content on the popular video sharing platform.

“In the twelfth year of YouTube’s journey in India, 2019 has proven to be a coming-of-age year in more ways than one,” he noted.

This year, genres such as farming, gaming and learning, grew into categories worth mentioning on YouTube, and hit massive reach and engagement.

According to the company, across categories, women creators were seen leading from the front.

YouTube
Google-owned YouTube, which has more than 265 million monthly active users in India, will focus on regional languages to drive the growth of creators on the platform in 2020, Pixabay

While 2016 had just one woman YouTube creator with a subscriber base of over one million, this year saw that number shoot to 120 women YouTube creators with over a million followers.

Asked if women creators did particularly well in a specific genre, Raghavan replied: “They did well in almost every category.”

To further encourage the engagement of viewers and also the growth of creators and content, the company will focus on learning and gaming verticals in the next year.

“We expect to focus more on growing the learning vertical, and especially gaming which will continue to see uptake among people,” noted Raghavan.

Earlier this year, the company, at its annual flagship event Brandcast, had said: “India is now both our biggest audience and one of our fastest growing audiences in the world. YouTube today has become the first stop for users to consume content, whether they’re looking for entertainment or information.”

YouTube
Other languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati, and Marathi started to evolve on YouTube India in 2016. Pixabay

YouTube creators have become effective storytellers, with more than 1,200 Indian creators crossing the one million subscriber milestone, while just five years ago, there were only two creators with a million subscribers on the platform.

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According to the company, for the past several years, video has increasingly been a medium that inspired and fascinated Indians and also became the canvas for their imagination. (IANS)

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Google Assistant Gets More Optimised for Indian Languages: Report

Google also introduced a refreshed design for Google Search in India that will highlight queries in local languages

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

US based search giant Google on Thursday announced a major update for Assistant users in India where one can now make Assistant talk in Hindi by just asking “Ok Google, Hindi bolo or “Talk to me in Hindi.

Besides Hindi and English, users will also be able to find content in Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam.

The new update comes to the Google Assistant a day after Amazon announced that Alexa will support Hindi and Hinglish conversations.

“For many Indians, voice is increasingly becoming their preferred way to search, and today Hindi has become the second-most used Assistant language globally — after English,” Manuel Bronstein, Vice President, Product Management, Google said in a statement.

Google Assistant
Google Assistant. (IANS)

The feature will be accessible on all Android, Android Go and KaiOs devices.

Google also introduced a refreshed design for Google Search in India that will highlight queries in local languages.

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The search giant also announced that interpreter mode will be coming soon to the Assistant on Android and Android Go phones in the coming months, which will help translate from one language to another, helping unlock more relevant information and content for even more users across India. (IANS)