Language Matters: English and Culture

We at VocabNetwork think that learning English is a great thing, an effort to be proud of.  Others think differently.

Rajnath Singh, the party president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India, said recently that the widespread use of English has led to the loss of “our language and culture,” because fewer and fewer people speak Sanskrit.

Do you agree?

On the one hand, he is correct that changing the language of a society will inevitably change the culture of that society.  An India where no one speaks Sanskrit would be a fundamentally different place, even if all other cultural norms stayed the same.

On the other hand, knowledge of English is increasingly important in today’s globalized world, especially in the realms of business and academia.  English is considered the international language, so speaking English is the only way to be a part of the global conversation.

Could the English language become so prominent that other languages die out from lack of use?  Or is it possible for an international language to exist alongside local, cultural languages?

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