Any Law for Language Errors?
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 and grammatically incorrect. It stands to reason that you are
at liberty to communicate to the world irrespective of your grammatical skills
to the extent you have.
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
claim to know a bit more of English than you do. However, somebody else has
more knowledge of the English language than what 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 a very common prevailing psychology which is a very
wrong thing. It goes without saying that such a thought process certainly needs
Fear of speaking is a sort of inhibition, not a prohibition
at all. You cannot be prosecuted for making any faux pas in the language. You
cannot be impeached either for any syntactic, morphological, phonological and
overall grammatical mistakes. There is no prohibition on part of the Government
or society to communicate something grammatically incorrect. No prohibitory
order at all!
Hence, take it from me that you should get a leg up and
express yourself. 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 with a firm belief in the
saying that it’s now or never. Get yourself going and see how it works. There
is no denying that error-making is a normal 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 first and then walk smoothly without ever falling. Though ‘practice
makes perfect’ is an age-old saying yet it is all time relevant.
Once you make up your
mind of communicating something in English, just begin it without a second
thought. After a certain amount of time, you will find that you stand as
error-free as 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 a mistake, so non-standard. To
begin with, you may 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 language that is acceptable worldwide. In due course, you turn out
to be expressive with sincere efforts.
Mark it. Language
learning has four aspects: Listening, Reading, Speaking and 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 and immerse
yourself in it to reap the harvest.
In an Indian context, almost we all are multilingual.
Multilingualism has its advantage which this author has already explained in
yet another article titled as the perks of being Multilingual.
So, if you already
know a language and now you have started learning English, you are brainy and
perfectly alright from all angles. This is an excellent step on your part as
English sets a stepping stone to your overall growth. Many of the students
complain of mental block saying that 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 ostensibly the absurd thinking. 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 them. Therefore, 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.
Even a legal body does not pose any questions if you are
grammatically incorrect or erroneous. Nobody can drag you through the courts of
law for not adhering well to the rules of grammar. There is no law to penalize
you for any language errors.
By Dr Birbal Jha
(Dr Birbal Jha is a noted author, social entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd having a popular trademark ‘British Lingua’. He is credited as having created a revolution in English training In India with the slogan ‘English for all’. Moreover, he is regarded as the Youngest Living Legend of Mithila. )
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