Ludwig Wittgenstein once said: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Whether we like it or not, gone are the days when people use to live their whole lives with one regional or national language. Also, we may have Urdu as the national language of this country but the fact remains that official and corporate language has always been English for this part of the world. Though our education system hasn’t done much to address this issue in order to prepare the youth for the job market as we still have Urdu Medium vs. English Medium schooling system in place for any reason better known the people in authority in this country.
We must understand that language fuels our brains, frames our thoughts and makes complex communication possible. The words, expressions and quirks unique to our language largely define how we see and understand the world. If you’re monolingual, that world has clearer limits for you. But in an age of borderless communications and global travel, it seems almost archaic to be limited to one language only – even if you’re lucky enough to speak a global language i.e. English.
But is being bilingual – speaking two languages – or even multilingual – does it really open up the world to us when Google Translator can do so in one easy click? Can it make economies more successful, help us earn higher salaries, maybe even lead to a happier, more connected lives? And is it, as popular culture likes to claim, the secret to bringing up super smart children? The answer is Yes. It opens the gateway to progress and much more.
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