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Proficiency in English.

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I wish to echo the sentiments expressed by Gail
The English language has been neglected particularly
by the Engineering community.

I agree that the lack of proficiency in using the
language, particularly written English, is widespread.

It is not just engineers in India.
We can perhaps be forgiven.
English is not our native language and besides, with
eighteen recognized languages of our own, most Indians
with education, carry the burden of having to learn
three or four of them in addition to English.

I have noted bad English in communication received
from American Engineers too.

Many of us have taken too seriously the quote

"Drawing is the language of Engineers" and used this
perhaps to justify our lack of proficiency in the
English language.

I have observed that many engineers who are poor in
English are equally poor in drawing!

I worked for 26 years in a Government owned
If I was able to get ahead of my colleagues, one of
the reasons was my proficiency in the English
language, both written and spoken.

Even today, I find that I am able to command more
respect from listeners, due to a better command over
the language than most engineers here.

I have achieved success over the telephone, where
others have failed,  merely talking good polite
English using the proper tone and words.

It has also helped me like nothing else in vibing well
with professionals in USA ever since I retired from
Govt Service here and started working as a free lancer
on overseas detailing assignments.

Our city has made a name for itself, and, apart from
other reasons, the English speaking and writing skills
of our Software professionals have contributed to a
great extent.

The engineering community too, could do with
improvement in this area.
This language is a precious legacy left behind by the
British when they quit India in 1947, even though they
perhaps did not intend to do so.
While the French and Germans kept their distance,
today even they are taking the language seriously.
The Chinese and Japanese too have realized the
advantages and are taking to it in a big way.

English has become the lingua franca of the world
whether one likes it or not.

In India, we had a head start over other Asians due to
British presence here for 200 years.
Unfortunately, some years ago, it became a political
issue and was badly neglected in several states.

The situation is improving, and, with the Internet
opening up opportunities, English is rallying around
in this country.

It has united the intelligentsia speaking 18 distinct
and well developed regional languages.
It has opened up unimaginable opportunities for us
specially after the recent Internet revolution.

I would appeal to all engineers both in India and
abroad to give greater attention to mastering this
language. You have everything to gain and nothing to


G Vishwanath

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