One of the primary concerns in teaching a language, for any teacher, is to make sure that the student also learns the cultural nuances that are inextricably linked to the language. Any teacher of French will tell you how they make it a point, from the intermediate level itself, to introduce nuances of Cartesian thought, the basis of any advanced learning of the French language, in order to aid the students to feel at ease with a way of thinking that may not be normal to their culture. This cultural aspect of French which prides itself in its tradition of argument and rational discussion might sound alien to a culture where opinions are the crucial points that can win a debate. On the other hand is the Japanese way of argument that is nuanced in complex ways, where the author’s opinion is hidden behind layers of facts, metaphors and philosophical musings that one might miss the point altogether if they did not pay attention or did not grasp the one crucial point where the idea was clinched! Spanish comes with its openness, hospitality, and strong familial ties, that sooner or later shade the language that you speak in. Little do we pause to ponder this with our own mother tongue and the culture that we live in. How is my way of thinking influenced by the unique urban Indian mix of Bollywood, Regional films, Hollywood, American points of view, Victorian cultural influences, and the essential Shakespeare and English literature in school? How will a foreigner who comes in contact with us urban Indians describe our use of English? 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s