Need of Languages in Sciences

When I speak in my class (teach is still a very big word for me), I have found out that most of the students do not follow languages. I accept English being an alien language is hard to understand but Hindi and Marathi should not be a trouble. All of them may oppose saying that I am certainly wrong in saying this as they speak these languages day in and day out. But, ask them to write or frame a simple sentence in any of the languages which must appear on a piece of paper and they falter. It is not that the adults are very adept in the languages but over the period of time they have learnt few skills which they actually learnt in school, forgot in the due course of time and had to learn again in an advanced age.

Why a student of Physics should be bothered about languages? Or for that matter a cricketer, a musician or a banker. They should not be is the general opinion and is widely preached and practiced. Languages are for the Arts students and we should not be bothered about them. Period.

But we just cannot leave without languages. Before I go into the need let us see these examples.

  1. Gulzar and Javed Akhtar are revered more than any lyricist in the Post 90s era.
  2. Audiences wait for commentary by Ravi Shashtri, Harsha Bhogle, Tony Grieg and Richie Benaud.
  3. A live show anchor means Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Ayushman Khurana and Mir Afsar Ali.
  4. Arun Jaitley, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sushma Swaraj are amongst the best speakers in the Parliament.

The list is only indicative and not exhaustive. But what we see is that these persons are liked because of their linguistic powers. They are not part of the same section of the society and their job profiles are also highly divergent. Yet they are popular amongst the masses. They cultivated the linguistics in their life.

Now let us come to our case. Why students of science need to understand languages. Because most of the students understand what is being taught. But when it comes to write the answers, they fail to reproduce as they cannot express themselves. They are in want of words. And the answers which come out are grammatically wrong and most of the times misrepresented. The same problem is seen in the interviews where interviewees repeatedly fail in lack of words.

In all these years I have seen that if I can understand the word I can relate to its scientific connection but if I do not understand the word, it becomes difficult for me to understand the topic in hand and I have to resort to rote learning. And rote learning everything is not possible. So, it is in our best interest that we take interest in languages. A correct answer supplemented with correct language is a delight to read and mark upon.

All is not lost and make a habit to read story books, use the dictionary and write on your own. I have strong belief in the intelligence of the students of this age and they are bound to succeed.

Remember the loss of language is the biggest loss of all. This loss has eroded mighty civilizations like the Incas and the Aztecs. This loss prompted East Pakistan to fight and become Bangladesh.

The time should not come where one has to resort to extreme measures to regain the languages which were first taught to him when he was four years old. Best of Luck.


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