Being Bilingual

People have very different opinions on what bilingualism really is. For some it means speaking two languages fluently and with little to no effort rather strongly consider a person bilingual, if it has perfect pronounciation in both languages and makes very few grammatical errors while talking.

The truth is that, even with a bad accent and making some mistake, being able to speak in two or more languages rather than one has practical benefits in an increasingly globalised world.

Multilingualism

Multilingualism has been shown to have many psychological and social advantages that can go something simply as

  • watching movies with no subtitles
  • to having less problems in traveling and
  • even getting a job or business opportunities specially in tourist areas.

Types of Bilingualism

It is considered to be two types of Bilingualism

1. Compound Bilingualism

Compound Bilingualism, also called addictive Bilingualism happens for example when a child is raised by bilingual parents and both languages are used in home, the child grows when both languages are used simultaneously in the same environment.

With this type of Bilingualism, the person does not see the two languages as separate it is common to hear such people speaking different languages in the same sentence or using a word of a different language from the one they’re talking to better express themselves.

2. Coordinate Bilingualism

This is the second type of Bilingualism also know as Subtractive Bilingualism. In this type, the person perceive two languages as separate because he learns them separately and in different environments in context.

I am an example of coordinate Bilingualism, most of the time i talk Hindi when I’m in my college environment or to people who talks only that language, I use the language specifically for those context but to my family members i usually talk in Bengali which is my native language, the language related to my home environment. I see these two language as separate since I learned and used them in completely different environments.

Officially Monolingual Countries

Only a few countries in the world including the U.S, England, and Australia are officially Monolingual but even in these countries only a considerable percent of people who speaking and understand more than one language.

Advantage

Researchers suggest that bilingualism can slow the advance of age-related mental issues such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 4 years.

Also in bilingual adult, brain tissue called grey matter is denser compared with Monolingual adults.

Although speaking more than one language does not necessarily make you more intelligent person, it helps stimulates and increase brain connections. Learning a new language is like an excercise to the brain that will improve your Cognitive skills and even if you grew up in a Monolingual environment, it is never too late to start learning a different language.

LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE OF NORTHERN INDIA

The languages were evolved at two levels namely the spoken and the written language. The old Brahmi script of Ashoka has uneven letter size by the period of Harsha, the size of letters become even and regular. By comparing the scripts of Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi, we can easily discover the changes of how they slowly developed over a long period. About 200 languages are prevailing for spoken languages in India. But some of the languages are spoken in only particular regions. Out of these only 22 languages have been recognized by our constitution. Hindi is spoken by different people in different forms. Rajasthani, which is a language spoken in Rajasthan is another variant of Hindi. This classification is based on the literature written by several poets over years. The Hindi that is spoken now is called Khadi Boli. In the 13th century, Khusrau has used Khadi Bholi in his compositions. But the extensive use of Hindi has started in the 19th century and also it shows some influences of Urdu.

PERSIAN AND URDU:

By the end of the 14th century AD, Urdu emerged as an independent language. By the existence of Turks and Mongols in India, Arabic and Persian were introduced. Urdu was served as an interaction between Hindi and Persian since Persian served as a court language for many centuries. After the conquest of Delhi (1192), the Turkish people acquired this region and slowly Urdu has become a formal language. As time passes, many people around Hindi started speaking Urdu. It became more popular in the early 18th century. Poetry in Urdu is also written by some Mughal emperors.

Khusrau(1253-325) is the earliest known Urdu poet. He was a follower of Nizam ud-din Auliya and he was a poet in the court of Sultan Balban. About 99 works have been completed by him. Laila Majnun and Ayina- I-Sikandari dedicated to Alau-din-Khalji was the most popular works written by him. Ghalib, Zauq, and Iqbal were the other well-known poets in that period. Iqbal’s “SareJahann se achcha Hindostan Hamara” is sung in many national celebrations of India. The Nawabs of Lucknow patronized the Urdu language and slowly it reached its height and now it has been adopted by the Pakistanis as their state language.

Most of the literature was written in Persian since Persian was the language of court during that period. Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan Dehelvi wrote poetries in Persian. The account of kings, important political events, and incidents during that period was written in Persian by the historians like Minhas-us-Siraj and Zia Barani, and Ibn Batuta. The tuzuk(autobiography) of Babar is originally written in Turkish by him. But later it was translated to Persian by his grandson Akbar. He patronized many scholars and got Mahabharata translated to Persian. Another unique piece of literature in Persian is Jahangir’s autobiography (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri). The history of Akbar is dealt in it. Abul Fazl’s Akbarnamah and Ain-e-Akbari. Another good piece of poetry was written by Faizi. The Shahjahan’s days were written by Chandra Bhan. By the 20th century, Iqbal wrote some good poetry. All of these have become a part of Indian culture.

HINDI LANGUAGE:

During this time, there was growth in many regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, Marathi, and Gujarati. The 1st book in Hindi was Prithviraj Raso. It dealt with the exploits of Prithviraj Chauhan. The language has undergone several changes as the area where it was originally spoken expands. Many Hindi writers had looked to Sanskrit classics for guidance while writing literature. Due to the influence of the Bhakti movement in southern India, many poetries and prose written in Hindi were affected. Between the 7th and 8th centuries AD, the Hindi language has evolved during the Apabhramsa stage. This was characterized as Veergatha Kala (early period). Many Rajput rulers have patronized the poetry written in this period. Kabir and Tulsidas were the famous figures of this period. Surdas wrote Sur Sagar in which he talks about Lord Krishna as an infant. The festivals of Rama and Krishna are still celebrated grandly. Another important poet in this period was Nandadasa. Rahim and Bhushan wrote spiritual stories. In the 17th century, Bihari wrote Satsai which talks about shringar(love).   

Many writers have contributed to the development of modern Indian literature over the last 150 years. And in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore Tagore became the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for literature (Geetanjali). Hindi prose came into its own during the 19th century. Bharatendu Harishchandra and Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi translated the works in Hindi from Sanskrit and other languages. Vande Mataram, a patriotic song in Sanskrit was composed by Bankim Chandra Chatterji (l 838-94). IT was later translated to Hindi and became very popular. Swami Dayananda has also contributed to the growth of the Hindi language. His SatyarthaPrakash was the important literature. Mahadevi Verma was awarded Padma Vibhushanis the first woman writer in Hindi to highlight issues related to women. Maithili Sharan Gupt is another important name. Jaishankar Prasad wrote beautiful dramas.

HINDI LANGUAGE MAKES PROGRESS IN MODERN PERIOD:

By the end of the 18th century, the development of modern language was started. The main writers of this period were Sadasukh Lal, Inshallah Khan, and Bhartendu Harishchandra. Shakuntala is translated to Hindi by Raja Lakshman Singh. Many proses of Hindi literature were written by Bhartendu Harish Chandra, Mahavira Prasad Dwivedi, Ramchandra Shukla, and Shyam Sunder Das. A great contribution to the development of Hindi poetry was given by many poets like Jai Shanker Prasad, Maithalisharan Gupta, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Mahadevi Verma, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ and Haribans Rai ‘Bacchan’ made a great contribution to the development of Hindi poetry. Prem Chand, Vrindavan Lal Verma, and Ellachandra Joshi were great novel writers of Hindi. 

Advantages of Speaking English – Reason Why?

There are more than 6,500 languages around the world spoken by billions of people. Why close yourself off from the rest of the world by only sticking with your native language? If you don’t know which language to start with, you can’t go wrong with English. Spoken in many countries across the globe, English allows you to communicate with a large number of people.

One of the most useful languages to learn is English. 1.5 billion people are speaking English today. Across the world, English is the default choice of countries and major industries. You might even be surprised some of the countries that become more accessible to you just for learning the language. The benefits of learning English are immense and vast.

Today, we’ll explore some of the fantastic benefits you could acquire from learning English. Some might even surprise you!

English makes travel easier

English is the most generally communicated in language from one side of the planet to the other. That’s a big advantage unless your goal in life is to remain within 40 kilometers of where you were born throughout your life.

English skills get more respect

It is weird but true. We in India give more respect to those who speak in English. I don’t know the reason and I don’t like this but that’s not important. Judge people on their inner worth, not the language they speak. But, till the time everyone begins doing it, learn English so that you are not judged unfairly.

Biggest movies and books are in English

Hollywood is the biggest movie industry. Almost all prominent books in the world are either written or translated into English. English language music is huge.

Why would you want to miss out on such a huge body of fun and mind expanding stuff?

English helps the world know our culture

This is important. The world today is not about forcing people, it’s about convincing them. It’s called soft power. With our 5,000 year old culture, why should we be defensive and behave like frogs in a well? Why not study the culture and present it in front of the world in the best possible way? Didn’t Vivekanand do that? Didn’t he do it in English? Isn’t he one of the brightest torch bearers of our glorious culture?

English skills are our national advantage

Yes, and that’s no exaggeration. One of the very few areas where India beats China is the number of English speaking people. Major advantage and we don’t want to surrender it to our friends from Shaolin.

English communication gives power & influence

Knowledge is in English, knowledge is power and you need power to fight for yourself. Most of the modern day knowledge and communication tools work in English:

  • Courts, law books, websites – most of them work in English.
  • Social media works in English.
  • Mainstream media has a majorly influential English segment.

If you don’t know the language, you are denying yourself more than half the weapons.

I was trying to learn English and I was very worried about my accent. I’m sure I’ll always have it but I remember Tom Hanks said to me, “Don’t lose the accent. If you do, you’re lost.”

Antonio Banderas

Being able to speak English as a second language is a very positive addition to a person’s skill set as many careers are opened up to people who know another language, in particular, English.

4 Tips for Effective IELTS Preparation

To migrate or study in English speaking nations, one needs to give an IELTS test. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assesses the person’s ability to speak, write, listen, and read in English. The test is designed to understand how you will use English in your daily life such as in university, workplace, or other social situations.

Before providing the tips on how to do the preparation, here is the breakdown of the types of IELTS test. There are two types: Academic and General. The IELTS Academic test is for those willing to pursue undergraduate or post-graduation or join a professional organization in an English-speaking nation. Second, the IELTS General Training test is for those who want to train or study at below degree level, to work, or to emigrate.

The formats of these two tests are a bit different, but the test assessment will still be on four skills: Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

Reading Test: This will include a wide range of reading skills such as attention to detail, a general sense of the passage, meaning derived from it, understanding of writer’s opinions, attitudes, and how will you understand the development of the argument.

Listening Test: It assesses how well you recognize opinions, attitudes, the purpose of the speaker, and also factual information and general ideas.

Writing Test: The Writing test is designed to measure the wide range of writing skills including grammar, vocabulary, how you can write responses, organize ideas, and recognize mistakes.

Speaking Test: The IELTS Speaking Test assesses how fluently and accurately you communicate in English. You can be asked to speak on various topics and express your opinions.

Getting back on how to crack the IELTS exam, just like any other test IELTS to needs some preparation. These four tips can help you ace the IELTS exam.

  • First and foremost, Read! Read! Read! Whether it’s a book, newspaper, magazine, or any written material. While reading, always have a credible English-English dictionary with you. This way you will work out the meanings of the new words making sure you don’t translate back to your language. You can also read an English newspaper every morning and listen to English news channels. It will enhance your reading and listening skills as well as keep you updated about the happenings in the world. Sounds good?
  • Improve your vocabulary! The more words you are exposed to, better will be your vocabulary. Jot down the words you have heard recently or you don’t know and highlight them with a marker. Check out its meaning in the dictionary and then start putting these words into daily speech. Using new words frequently will help in making your English fluent. As a fact, it takes from 10 to 20 repetitions to make a word part of your daily speech. Do see its pronunciation online if not sure. Speak those words while talking to your parents, friends, or somebody on call. This will increase your confidence and you will be well versed on the day of your exam.
  • Listen to English radio, shows, or news channels. After that try to write them down and analyze. Also with that, separately write words or sentences that were appealing to you. Use them while you write essays or speak. Don’t watch videos online since you can pause or rewind them. This won’t help as it will break your flow of listening. Hear it once only. After you are done repeat whatever you recall from the show, use stress and intonation appropriately. Make sure you record it so that you can find out your mistakes and improve accordingly.
  • So far whatever words you have learned, phrase them into sentences and then into paragraphs. While writing always set a timer. This will keep you at pace and improve your speed during the exam. Check for comma mistakes, full stop, and grammar. See-through the sample papers and find out what is the word limit given in the writing paper. Accordingly, write if say the set limit is 200 words don’t write just 150 words. This will lead to losing marks. Generally, a person is ok reading, speaking, and listening but they have a hard time writing, in that case, while practicing start with your favorite topic. Start with as basic as possible. Suppose you like chocolate ice cream, write on that. Sooner or later, you will get used to and can start with difficult topics. When you plan your essay, always have some spare time in the end to check your work.

Taking the IELTS test can be stressful so don’t forget to put these helpful tips. It will equip you to be ready for the exam. Commit and practice thoroughly. With this, you’ll feel more confident and be able to tackle the test and get the desired score.

 

4 Productive Things To Do During Quarantine

REMINDER: IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE PRODUCTIVE EVERYDAY. YOUR WORTH IS INDEPENDENT OF YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

PART 1

Here are 4 productive things to do during quarantine:

1. Learn to play an instrument

Playing an instrument is a great skill, you could start with an instrument that you have always thought of playing- a guitar, a ukulele, a tabla or an instrument that is fascinating to you. Though it will take some time to get used to the habit of following YouTube tutorials or online lessons, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll realise just how rewarding it is. With so much time on your hands you’ll not be under any pressure to reschedule your day and make time out of you busy schedule, instead you’ll be able to take it at your pace and pay more attention to details. 

Here’s a list of easy to learn instruments: Top 15 musical instruments you can easily learn & play

2. Read more books

There are hundreds of thousands of authors and an even bigger amount of books you could read. Books are an essential item for improving your language as well as your vocabulary. They develop your knowledge – and like instruments, they help sharpen your memory. If you don’t want to shell out money from your pocket and/or are sceptical to order paperbacks online from stores like Amazon or Flipkart, the easier way out is free e-book websites. 

You can try and give EPDF or PDF Drive a shot. 

3. Bake

Baking is incredible and extremely fulfilling: mix a few ingredients, put it in the oven – and bingo! You have a tasty treat for yourself. Baking can also be advantageous for mental health as it is very therapeutic and calming for the brain. Research show that it is a great stress reliever and can leave you feeling happier and more positive.  

Here are some YouTube channels that will make you want to run to you kitchen to get your supplies

  1. Bake With Shivesh
  2. The Terrace Kitchen
  3. Spice Bangla

4. Learn a new language

If you want to level up and attempt a more challenging activity, which will benefit you exceedingly- learn a new language. It is scientifically proven that learning a new language makes you smarter and helps in developing cognitive abilities. Learning a new language help strengthen your listening and multitasking skills. Research also suggests that it helps prevent the onset of Alzheimers. 

There are plenty apps and e-learning wesbites that can help you learn a language. These include: Affordable yet excellent language courses on Udemy and Coursera also offers such free and paid courses by prestigious universities from all over the globe. 

For the Love Of Lingo !


Haruki Murakami, the renowned Japanese author quoted “Learning another language is like becoming another person”. The journey of learning a second language is indeed a beautiful one. For a language carries within itself the ethos of an age old civilization, its traditions and the glorious tales of its evolution. It is rightly said, ‘To learn a new language is to posses a second soul ’.
Sounds fascinating right? From the groovy Spanish number “Despacito” to watching Korean TV series or going gaga over the K-pop band BTS , we’re are all in awe of these rich languages. Sometimes that fascination of ours leads to learning. Yes, you guessed it right; we embark on the journey to learn that language. And if you haven’t considered learning a new language until now ,then let me introduce you to the benefits learning the lingo!!
· Travel: Are you a wander who loves to explore new places and cultures? Travelling across lands is one to the most enriching experience if done right. By right I mean immersing oneself into the local culture of the place, far away from the luxury hotels. Interacting heart to heart with the locals. That’s where knowing the language comes into play. Who knows what hidden gems, tales you might discover besides making memories of a lifetime. Hey you!! Do add a language holiday to your bucket list for a cherishing experience.
· Friends, Family and Culture : With new language comes new friends and the world feels like a family. Exchange of ideas, coming together of speakers of different languages inculcates a sense of mutual respect, empathy and admiration towards other traditions. Imagine going to Brazil and cheering your favorite football team or appreciating the all time classic French movies in their original form. From deciphering the Arabic scripts on the Islamic tombs or the new found confidence within you on being able to read those complicated street signs in Chinese script. It’s no less of euphoria than the “Eureka moment “, right?
· Food for the Brain: Here comes the good news! Did you know learning a new language not only boosts your brain power but also enhances your memory? Studies prove that multilingual people have an edge at multitasking and decision-making skills compared to their monolingual counterparts. Also, learning the lingo keeps Alzheimer’s at bay.
· Career Boost and CV skills: Having a second language on your CV is like cherry on the cake. It gives you an upper hand over others, opening new career avenues. As a student, it increases your chances of selection for Student exchange Programs and being a part of global immersion. On the professional front, one can apply to Embassies, language translator and various other promising profiles.
· Diving into the world of literature : Learning a new language helps one discover the real gems of literature whose essence is lost in translation. Be it the original works of Persian poet Rumi, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, the heart wrenching tales of Nazi Germany expressed originally in Dutch by Anne Frank in her Diary. They all offer insights into the realities of world ,broaden our perspectives and help us embrace the world with kindness. Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian) have similar roots and knowing either of one makes it quite easy to learn another. Having prior knowledge of Portuguese myself, I found Spanish quite easy to comprehend.
Still wondering when, how and where to start from?
Let me help you with this. The answer is pretty simple.
· When: If not now then when? There’s no better time to learn a language than now. It all starts with a simple step.
Just set aside an hour from your busy schedule everyday and start learning the language you’ve always dreamt of being fluent in.
· How: Here’s an interesting answer. Pick that one language you are passionate about. It could be as simple as impressing your love with French ( most romantic language in the world ) or maybe German cause you want to move there for higher studies . I’m sure you have plenty of reasons to pick your Lingo! ( For me , It was reading the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in Portuguese )
· Where: Start from the basics, build a strong foundation. There are plenty of online resources available such as Coursera , Duolingo , Memrise along with various podcasts and resources available on the internet . There’s an entire ocean to choose from, you just have to pick your pearls.
Remember, Change is hard at first, Messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” This journey of learning the lingo might be frustrating. There are gonna be times you’d feel frustrated and wanting to giving up. Be consistent because Rome wasn’t built in a day. Eventually, you’ll fall in love with the journey and the language itself.
P.S. Carpe Diem Folks!! (Live the moment, Live the lingo)
Happy learning !