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Friday, October 4, 2019

Any law for language errors?


Dear Reader,
Think! Is there any law on earth which may punish you for your language errors whatsoever and wheresoever? I am sure that there is no law in any part of the world to take legal action against you if you are found to be linguistically wrong. It means you are at the fullest of your liberty to communicate to the world irrespective of grammatical skills. 


Friends! Language skills are a comparative term, not an absolute term that we find in mathematics like two plus two is equal to four. I know a bit more of English than you do. However, somebody else knows the language more than that I have acquired. Hence, language skill is always a comparative term. 

Many of the language learners often hesitate either to speak or write something thinking that they may be grammatically wrong. That they may be laughed at! This is very prevalent and common psychology everywhere. This is not a good thing.


Fear of speaking is a kind of inhibition, not a prohibition. You cannot be prosecuted for any faux pas in the language. You cannot be impeached either for language mistakes. There is no prohibition on part of the Government or society to communicate something grammatically incorrectly. No prohibitory order at all! 

Hence, take it from me that you should take a step ahead. Lo! There is a proverb- A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Your communication is bound to be as good as you want to, provided that you start a linguistic journey now. There is no denying that error making is the process of learning a language.

Mind you. When a toddler begins to walk, it often falls. It is not possible that the toddler will master the art of walking at once and then walk smoothly without falling. Though the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ is age-old yet it is all time relevant. 

 Once you make up your mind of communicating something in English, just begin it. After a certain amount of time, you will find that you stand as error-free you would be expected. So what is an error-free language? There is a standard that I should say "I am working" not "I is working" where the use of "is" is wrong, so non-standard. To begin with, you will form wrong sentences, possibly grammatically incorrect. However, with practice, you will develop a language sense which will pave the way for the grammatically correct expressions. Thus, you will reach the standard of laguage that is acceptable worldwide. 

Mark it.  Language learning has four aspects: 1. Listening 2. Reading 3. Speaking and 4. Writing. The first two, Listening and Reading are inputs for the output of Speaking and Writing. Hence it is advisable for you to do a lot of listening and reading in English if you are interested in this language. Having said that, you need to surround yourself with English environment like British Lingua, an institute of international repute for English communication skills has developed over a long span of 26 years. As lacs of students have benefited by associating themselves with the Lingua family, you too can be a proud member for your English language skills which the entire world prefers to communicate in.

In an Indian context, almost we all are multilingual. Multilingualism has its advantage which this author has already explained in another article titled as Need for multilingualism in India.

 So, if you already know a language and now you have started learning English, you are perfectly alright from all angles. This is an excellent step on your part. Many of the students complain of mental block as they say they do not get the right words at the time of speaking or writing something. They begin to refer themselves to a psychological block which is absurd. Such a thought process must be nipped in the bud.

Moreover, psycholinguistics says that it is natural for one to fumble for words while learning the second language for that matter English in the beginning. Once you have acquired the skills, you are fairly good at recalling words as and when you need. So, in a normal case, fumbling is not at all a case of any mental disorder.

Law does not prevent you from learning English or speaking even incorrectly. It poses no questions if you are grammatically incorrect or erroneous. There is no law to punish you for any language errors.

Dr Birbal Jha is a noted author and the Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd having a popular trademark brand ‘British Lingua’. He is credited as creating a revolution in English training with slogan ‘English for all’ in India.


Aradhna Thakur



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