What does nativization of English mean in the Indian context? 450 words

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marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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It is often the case that a foreign language can have such power and influence over an individual or country as to be adopted into their culture and way of life. 

As in the case of India, the English language was introduced decades ago and used prolifically by the English colonists who settled there and governed the country for over one hundred years.  It stands to reason then that some nativization of Indians could and did occur!  Especially since Indian natives were used as servants, nannies, workers, and comrades-in-arms throughout the years!  The Indians literally lived, worked, and associated with the English in every aspect of their lives,  adopted their dress, ate their food, and learned to speak their language.  Then, these natives took that culture back to their own homes and influenced their own families.

Over the years, because every Indian was exposed to the English language, it started to become a way of life for them.  The merchants were English; the schoolteachers were English, the government officials were English; the factory owners were English.  Everywhere they turned were the English and their language!  They had to speak it in order to live their lives!  Even after Mohatma Gandhi's work liberated India in the 1940's and the English government officials had gone home, the English culture and language still remained, having become entrenched in their society.

Within the last 65 years since freedom was granted to them, Indians have interacted internationally with the rest of the world, and speaking the English language has become an almost absolute necessity.  Most Indians have become modernized, their children get college educations, and a lot of them use computers. In the case of Indian children:  the English their parents introduced into their homes is their language now!  They speak it fluently and sometimes prefer it to their own native tongue. 

The danger of the total nativization of the English language into the Indian society is the eventual breakdown of their own native tongue to the point that it becomes obsolete and is no longer spoken.  To counteract this, Indian parents need to keep their native tongue alive in their homes by speaking it to their children and requiring them to learn it.  Indian schools need  to teach it as a required course to ingrain it into their students.  And, all responsible adults of India need to teach their young people coming up that they have a beautiful country, a rich heritage, and a unique language that must never be lost! 

 

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