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Home » How is English Degrading Culture; What Does Terry Eagleton Say?

How is English Degrading Culture; What Does Terry Eagleton Say?

How is English degrading culture| Ground Report | New Delhi: Language is a medium to connect, to relate, to sharing not with just the people nearby but with people from different cultures as well. It is not new that language building has helped and played an important role in the evolution of the human race. All the different cultures, ethnicities, countries, races have their different languages which are one of the distinguishing factors when it comes to comparison. Diverse cultures home diverse languages. 

How is English degrading culture| Ground Report | New Delhi: Language is a medium to connect, to relate, to sharing not with just the people nearby but with people from different cultures as well. It is not new that language building has helped and played an important role in the evolution of the human race. All the different cultures, ethnicities, countries, races have their different languages which are one of the distinguishing factors when it comes to comparison. Diverse cultures home diverse languages. 

How is English Degrading Culture? 

Since human life began on this planet Earth, communication has been an integral part. From people communicating through drawing and scribbling to inventing a language, people have done everything to communicate. Language is a structure of words, sounds, and actions through which humans communicate. If looked at the history of language, it traces back to the times when humans were created first.

The world is full of different people so the world is full of different cultures. If reports are to be believed,  some 6,500 languages are spoken in the world today. In India alone around there are around 22 different official languages, some 121 languages, and more than 270 mother tongue languages, isn’t it incredible? Similarly, every country has its share of different languages.

But since a native from one country cannot understand the language of a person from a different nation,

English there comes as a savior

English holds the position and honor of being the universal language, a language that is spoken all over the globe. And people use it for international communication or sometimes even for intranational communication. 

The English language widely enjoys being the most universally accepted. However, there are some people, some nations, and some language experts that believe that the English language is degrading the language culture. For example in some languages, the experts believe that including English words in their particular language is distorting the essence of their language.  

Increasing use of English is a threat to social cohesion

Académie Française Report

Académie Française a French council which was established in 1635 during the reign of King Louis XIII looks after the issues and matters about the French language. Its purpose is to save the French language from any distortion and to preserve the Pure French. Recently they released a report which stated that the increasing usage of English terms in media, and government or any industry is highly enraging.

They believe that using English words in the French language has given birth to hybrid words, which neither are French nor English. The council also claimed that increasing the use of English is a threat to social cohesion and the public. The report stated that “the overuse of English has the contradictory consequence of risking an impoverishment of French vocabulary and growing discrimination among sections of the public.” 

However this is not just about the French language, many experts believe that the English language is threatening the languages of other cultures. Even upon looking around, it is quite visible how people try to speak more sophisticated English, the most amount of threat according to scholars and researchers is to the usage of mother tongue languages. Meanwhile, some people are also of the belief that the English language is not a threat. They believe that it is important to know English to know about other cultures as it is universally understandable. Different people have different opinions. But what needs to be kept in mind is that one should never let their culture be distorted or degraded by anything or anyone. “It is in your hands how you preserve your culture. English cannot be a threat agar aap khud apni zabaan aur apni saqafat ki hifazat karaengae (if you protect your language and your culture on your own,)” a girl told Ground Report on grounds of anonymity. 

However, upon looking around the discourse these times one will see and notice that English indeed is given priority over other languages. In schools, universities, colleges students are encouraged or rather “told” to speak in English. That is alarming because that way the native mother tongue of that culture will not get its fair share. It is very important that the mother tongue, the native languages are given equal importance as it is given to the English language. 

“In educational institutes, we are judged based on how much English we know. If you can speak English you are considered intelligent. There is no place for you to speak in Urdu or Kashmiri while giving a presentation or anything regarding academics or class activities. Even in schools children are told to speak in English. This is how other languages are losing their place,” said a student of the University of Kashmir. 

What Has Terry Eagleton Said?

English theorist Terry Eagleton wrote an essay “The Rise of English”. He believes that the English language rose because “English as a field of study is an ideology.” He argued the value of literature and how important it was. He also said language gives a person cultural identification

As put by him in one of his quotes taken from Literary Theory: An Introduction, “Language always pre-exists us: it is always already ‘in place’, waiting to assign us our places within it.”

This shows the importance of language and how it is connected to the culture. It is not just about languages it is also about the culture. It is important to work towards the preservation of cultures. Many pieces of research suggest that there have been many minority languages which with the growing popularity of English vanished away. So it is very important to hold onto your culture and language. 

It is also pertinent to mention that people are of differing opinions about the English language for some it is not degrading the culture but for others it is.  But what needs to be kept in mind is that language is inseparable from culture, it is a part of one’s identification and one should always preserve its culture and its language. 

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