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You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Dilemmas > English or Hindi?

English or Hindi?

In today's world, which language should an Indian parent lay stress on?

Parents in India are sometimes confronted with a dilemma. Should they send their child to an English medium school or to a vernacular medium school?

33-year-old Sanjana put her son in a Hindi medium school, and her younger daughter in an English medium school. Her younger daughter speaks English and Hindi with ease, but her son struggles with English. Seeing this, Sanjana now plans to change her son's school and put him in an English medium as well. According to Sanjana, "If a child is put in an English medium school, he would still be able to speak Hindi fairly well thanks to the daily exposure to Hindi film, Hindi music and conversations in Hindi at home with parents, grandparents or the help. But the reverse doesn't usually hold true. A child that goes to a Hindi medium school doesn't usually get a very good grasp of the English language."

Their love and pride for their motherland makes them want to opt for a Hindi or vernacular medium school, but then they wonder whether poor may prove detrimental to their children's careers later on.

It is best that you know both sides of the story, so you make an informed choice.


Appearing for entrance exams

First of all, know that most standard admission tests or entrance exams for postgraduate study like MBA, test your English skills. In fact an entire section, of such tests, is devoted to English. Similarly, if your child ever wants to study overseas in the UK, USA or Australia, he will need to prove his proficiency in English before he can gain admission.


Working with MNCs

With India fast becoming a global player, chances are by the time your child is an adult, he will have access to people from various countries and nationalities, speaking various languages. Possibly the only language that will bind them all together is English. In addition, poor English skills will not help your child get a job in the numerous multinationals mushrooming all over the country.


Writing for newspapers or magazines

Despite there being so many Hindi reading and speaking Indians in the country, the largest selling newspapers are all English newspapers. A greater number of Indians cannot read. Out of those who can read, some read Hindi, some read Marathi, some read Punjabi…. Regional papers may sell very well, but they sell well mainly in the relevant region. It follows that as English newspapers sell more copies, they have more bureaus, are bigger, have more staff, get more advertisements and pay higher salaries. In addition, the Internet has opened up a whole new medium of communication - mostly again in English. If your child ever wants to write for a newspaper, magazine or online website, chances are that he will have more options open to him if he is well versed in English.


Scriptwriting

Hindi television channels on the other hand, are doing far better than English channels. New Hindi serials are cropping up every now and again, and needless to say, the demand for Hindi scriptwriters greatly exceeds the demand for English scriptwriters. In fact almost all English serials are Hollywood imports. Similarly, Hindi movies require scripts in Hindi, and Hindi news channels, which have a greater viewership than English news channels, require newsreaders that are fluent in Hindi. Here's where a strong command over Hindi will hold your child in stead.

Fluency in both languages should be encouraged. There is no getting away from the fact that English is here to stay, and its importance and popularity are only going to increase, but make sure your child is fluent in Hindi or some other regional language too. Children who live abroad should especially be encouraged to learn their national language, so they stay in touch with their roots and culture.

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Recent comments (23 comments)
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Comment: 
Name: kapil
Country: India

i would like to know list of hindi medium schools in delhi. kapil
 
Name: vijay kasiram mithal
Country: USA

it's important to know the english language as well as a second ethnic language. english, being the standard language, could assist in easing the learning of a second language, in order to comprehend your culture and roots. this would definitely reduce stress levels in nurturing a child.
 
Name: vijay kasiram mithal
Country: USA

it's important to know the english language as well as a second ethnic language. english, being the standard language, could assist in easing the learning of a second language, in order to comprehend your culture and roots. this would definitely reduce stress levels in nurturing a child.
 
Name: Ramnik
Country: India

today's world is very competative, parents have stand on their forefoot with regards, to the career of their children. they have to take a right decision......
 
Name: mom of two
Country: india

i think they should know both the language
 
Name: JOSH
Country: india

well good base in both language will be give better future...as my view is concern we give kw in both to child
 
Name: gautam
Country: austria

it is not true that english newspapers have a larger readership than hindi newspapers. on the contrary, according to the recent national readership survey of india the ten most widely circulated newspapers are all in indian languages such as hindi, bengali, marathi, tamil and malayalam. the national language should always be given preference as it is the case in germany, france and japan. as a foreign language english is definitely important, but not at the expense of hindi. or do you really want that your child will be able to write intricate essays on shakespeare but will not be be able to write a simple letter in hindi ?
 
Name: ANJBEEN JAMAL
Country: India

i would like to know where we could find magazines in hindi language for children.
 
Name: devendra
Country: India

i would like to know list of english medium schools in ghaziabad.
 
Name: Laurence Hamdan
Country: united kingdom

i think that the native language is the important one as the it will always let you remember your roots no matter where you go in the world. english should be learned as a second language, like me. i am from lebanon and i speak english and arabic. but my preference is arabic because speaking it makes me feel proud of my cultural roots.
 
Name: Reca
Country: singapore

the world 2 largest population countries: china and india!!! these two are also the world longest history countries! they should feel proud of themselves!!! china is using her own language! she is spreading her world longest culture!!! india? such a big, strong & long history country does not has her own language? what culture does india want to spread? helping the british to spread another culture other than shakespear with english language? if that is the answer, indian will always be a 'second class' race in his own country. the worst is: other countries will assume that india is more than happy to be a second class country in term of culture!!! (such a nightmare!!!) think: how others will look on china? think: how others will look on india? why america have more worry about china than india? because china has her own culture, own character. that lead them to have her own way, own path. maybe america think she can hook a ring on india elephant and lead her everywhere she like! (my god!!!) you may question why singapore is also using english as a official language.... just compare the size and population between india and singapore. singapore is just like a small leaf floating on big sea. she follow the wave creat by big countries. india should be the 'wave creator'!!!
 
Name: Reca
Country: singapore

as long as the language is come from the mother land of the indian. english is important but no matter how it is forced in by invading india. if india does not have its own mother land national language, indian is always a second class people in term of language no matter how advanced india become in the future. with the size and population of india, without its own mother land national language, indian will always live as a lower class race under his invader 'english'! india is big & strong, should live with his own charactor! why keep remain yourself so low under your invader since you already independent for so many years?
 
Name: B.K SINGH
Country: India

i am stammerred please help my my address b.k singh sanyog matrim0ny near baba talab satna raod maihar distt. satna mp pin 485771 india
 
Name: Rishi
Country: Singapore

learb 1 more language and you've hit the record -6 languages . english , hindi , malayalam , kanada , french . i suggest learn german or my mother-tongue marahati . will be easy man coz u got the base
 
Name: few things
Country: Singapore

having lived here for 4 years now i get a bit of what the previous enteru said but i doubt many would get its meaning . i am not going to bother translating it but i am going t raise my point . the local educationsystem offers english as a first language , medium of instructionand students from kg-12 learn a compulsary secondlanguage . in the interest of indian parents , tamil , hindi and panjuabee are some of the languages offered . i learnt hindi before when i was in india and i have been learning it in school here too. standard wise in my opinion , the standrd is the same . at the end of the say , i am equally proficient in hindi , english and malayalam (my mother tongue that is spoken at home ). i also am doing french a third language that i am ok at speaking and i also speak kanada as i lived in banglire befor i moved .
 
Name: Mukund
Country: India

indians are spread in all parts of the world. many of them follow english. if the parents are moved to europe or in different country, they try to adapt local language. for the extended stays, parents tries to teach their children local langauge. this helps them to interact with local people and environment. its always good to make the children learn their mother tounge, local language and their respective national langauge. i for one teach hindi (indian national langauge) to nri children. they are more than wiling to learn in friendly atmosphere. now a days, even foreigners are learning hindi, realising the importance of the language. there are few who learn this exciting langauge for different personal reason. its good to learn foreign language and second language. for that matter, it could be hindi, marathi, english etc.
 
Name: sfghh
Country: India

hindi is best
 
Name: VEDANSH
Country: India

to make a mistake is not a mistake but repeatating it is a mistake.so please don't repeat the mistakes.
 
Name: Mukund
Country: India

i fully endorse recca's views.
 
Name: Mukund
Country: India

indians are spread in all parts of the world. many of them follow english. if the parents are moved to europe or in different country, they try to adapt local language. for the extended stays, parents tries to teach their children local langauge. this helps them to interact with local people and environment. its always good to make the children learn their mother tounge, local language and their respective national langauge. i for one teach hindi (indian national langauge) to nri children. they are more than wiling to learn in friendly atmosphere. now a days, even foreigners are learning hindi, realising the importance of the language. there are few who learn this exciting langauge for different personal reason. its good to learn foreign language and second language. for that matter, it could be hindi, marathi, english etc.
 
Name: Manish Jain
Country: India

hello everyone!!! today i would like to tell my story. i am a hindi medium student whose younger brother was in english medium in school days. i have always been warned of difficulties ahead by people, but with strong courage i have proved everyone wrong today. after clearing my x standard exam, initial days in junior college was tough, but i scored well in my xii standard exam & stood first in college surpassing all convent medium student in college. i cleared my all mbbs exams in first attempt despite all negative energy around. today i am standing respectfully in the middle of british people in uk who originated the english language. this is to all those hindi medium students who think they can never match english medium students but infact they can do similar or better if equipped with strong willpower. dont be discouraged in life with what you have but move ahead with getting maximum from it. thanks. dr manish jain
 
Name: San
Country: India

english is the best. it unites everyone from different countries
 
Name: Raj Kumar
Country: India

@mukund,@gautam india doesn't have any national languages. english and hindi are the official languages of central government.


 

 
 
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