(Ex-Lecturer) ,Department of Applied Science and Humanities
Naraina College of Engineering and Technology & Krishna Institute of Technology,
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Abstract: English is a Germanic language which has its multidimensional roots sprouting and blossoming with communicative fruits. Broadly speaking, it would be difficult to thrive in the modernistic mechanism of this world without adopting the knowledge of English as it is an international language spoken and written in most of the countries both as a native and as a second language. Moreover, it has a remarkable impression of sharing different literatures, techniques and professional facilities prevalent and predominant in various nations. In the prevailing scenario of the 21st century, English language has been a lingua franca of the whole developing world that is passing through a tunnel of spherical amelioration. As a matter of fact, English has achieved the status of the root language through which the process of worldwide communication whether it is concerned with business, medicine, transport, technology, trade, culture, literature or marketing is carried out successfully. In the existing circumstances, it is the master key to unlock or analyse socio-cultural, literal, technical and professional conceptions of both national and international growth. So far as the matter is concerned, the revolutionary impact of modernization as well as westernization is spreading all over the world under the shade of a triangular umbrella of three-dimensional communication ‒ literal, technical and professional. Thus, this paper, fundamentally, focuses on the specific characteristics of English language that is, nowadays, a dominating and fascinating medium of literal, technical and professional communication.
Keywords: English, communication, literal, technical, professional and global etc.
Introduction: The term ‘English’ is derived from the surname ‘Angle’, the name of a Germanic tribe which is thought to be originated from the Angeln area of Jutland, a part of northern Germany. In fact, Germanic people invaded Britain and settled there in the fifth century A.D., and, thus, Britain became the main originating source of English language. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines the term ‘English’ as ‘the language spoken by the Germanic invaders of Britain in the 5th cent. A. D. Now, the language descended from this, used in Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, and many other countries.’1 Similarly, Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language specifies the term ‘English’ as ‘the Germanic language of the British Isles, widespread and standard also in the U.S. and most of the British Commonwealth, historically termed Old English (c 450–c 1150), Middle English (c 1150–c 1475), and Modern English (after c 1475)’.2
By the time the Germanic tribes had settled down in Britain, the land included Scotland, which had hitherto been unknown as a region. Britain thus became a land that accommodated the Scots from Ireland, the Britons concentrating in Wales and the Germans in its southern part. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes soon had accepted a common name for their identity and came to be known as Angles which term came to fix as English, after transformation into Engles and Englese. The southern land became almost their property and was called Angles land which became Engles land, and Engle land and England at last. Their dialects namely Jutic, Saxon and Angles respectively were called by a common name Angles which became English because of the interrelatedness of the dialects.3
Nowadays, English is striving to achieve the status of the most popular language of the world. It passes through multi-dimensional routes sprinkling almost all significant tracts of human offshoots. In the present circumstances, it is not easy to make the stem of human race stronger and longer without the watering of English language. In some countries, it is spoken and written as a native language and in many others as a second language. Moreover, it has an observable impact of dealing with different literary features, technical properties and prevailing professionals which are efficacious in the existing scenario of the 21st century. As a matter of fact, English language is nothing but a lingua-franca of the whole globe developing under the impression of versatile betterment. The process of communication whether it is related to any profession, transportation, medication, science, technology, culture or literary structure is executed successfully with the assistance of English language. More or less, it has all the functional properties of a master key that can open or analyse all the literary, technical and professional aspects of human development. Consequently, it has got the credit of an international language.
English has rather grown enormously during the last few decades because of many scientific inventions. The gramophone, the telephone, the wireless and the tape-recording machine have, to some extent, done for the spoken language what printing did for the written. It is often said that the popularity of broadcasting is leading to an extension of the use of Standard English and a decline in the use of dialect. Because of its inventiveness, territorial expansion, numerical strength of speakers, immense power and influence, richness of vocabulary and expressiveness, and lastly, its fitness for purposes of trade, travel, modernity and culture, its Spanish, Italian, German and although new rivals, such as Russian, Chinese and Hindustani have appeared, they are still in no position to challenge the supremacy of English. 4
In point of fact, English is the most useful and fruitful language in the world. In addition, it has its deep roots in each and every part of the colonial construction which was erected by the Britishers. With the enlargement of British sovereignty, it stepped into India, Africa, South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, America and many other countries with the marks of indelible impression. In the earlier stages, it came to these countries as a language of trade and commerce, traffic and traverse, and exploration and expedition, but, with the passage of time, it became the sole medium of instruction in most of the countries. Nowadays, it has become the official language of the international affairs such as business, air-traffic, shipping, United Nations Diplomacy, world banking, academic research, space travel, worldwide networking and all other disciplines of science and technology.
Undoubtedly, the modernistic world is stepping forward with the advancement of science and technology. It is the role of English language through which scientific and technical inventions of England, America, Germany, France and Russia are brought into the territories of India. Moreover, the modern system of education has intensified the role of English language at the international level because the most famous universities of the world utilize English as the medium of instruction, transmission and communication.
Importance of English Language in Literal Communication: When the process of communication is carried out literally, textually or verbally, literal communication takes place. Indeed, literal communication whether it is concerned with the form of oral or written communication is the basis of conversational, translational and professional transmission between two poles or parties. There are thousands of languages spoken in the world, and none can be able to adopt the knowledge of so many languages; therefore, the utilization of English is needed extensively. In reality, English is the bridge-language that can cover the gap between two different language speakers. It may be used as a common language between two distant speakers though their native or regional languages may be different.
As a matter of fact, the whole world is just like a theatrical stage on which dramatic play of human beings through the medium of literal communication is being showed. So far as the matter is concerned, literal communication plays a dominant role in both human movement and improvement because the existence of human life cannot take place without the exchange of ideas, facts, money and goods; and it is the function of literal communication which carries out all these activities. In a local area, a native or regional language is used to execute this process, but, when the process of communication is carried out at the national or international level, literal communication through English medium is required unanimously.
Significance of English Language in Technical Communication: With the technocratic revolution prevailing in the globular stratum, the significance of English language has become stronger. The technological platform of the world refers to the international market that transfers technological concepts and outlets from one country to the other one through the medium of English language. Since the international market has been more radiative, competitive and aggressive, the importance of English language goes on augmenting. More or less, English language is having a profound influence on the multidimensional features of technical communication, and there is a pressing requirement of English communication which may generate fruitful foundation of universal unification.
Technical communication is a special stalk of general communication and there is no fundamental fluctuation between the two. Shorter Oxford English Dictionary specifies the term ‘technical’ as ‘pertaining to, involving, or characteristic of a particular art, science, profession, or occupation, or the applied arts and sciences generally’.5 Moreover, it is ‘pertaining to or connected with the mechanical or industrial arts and the applied sciences’.6 In this way, it is explicit that the technical communication is the sort of communication in which scientific and technical contents are transferred from pillar to post. Simply stated, technical communication is the transmittance of scientific and technical tenors from one person to another. In this connexion, M. Ashraf Rizvi rightly comments:
“Technical communication is the transmission of scientific and technical information from one individual or group to another, and it includes all the methods, means and media, channels, networks and systems of communication used for the exchange of the information…. In other words, technical communication is a multi-dimensional, dynamic and interactive process that involves the effective transmission of facts, ideas, thoughts, and a systematic understanding of scientific and technical subjects.”7
Broadly speaking, there are three dominant components on which the worldwide movement of human development is founded. The first component is the stream of science; the second one is the gleam of technology; and the third one is the dream of English language. Science provides new inventions to human race, technology offers new techniques to human face while English language is the medium through which useful and profitable knowledge of advancement is transferred immediately from one part of the globe to the other one. As a result, it can be inferred that the real human preferment is based on a triangular shape which is made up of science, technology and English language. In this reference, S. C. Mundhra’s thematic analysis is quite revealing:
“Ours is the age of science and technology, with a small portion of time allowed as leisure. So English will have to make itself more scientific, precise and brief…. Let us remain content with the present English speech and wish for the dawn of a better future. Let us also hope that the flourishing societies, like the Philological Society, the English Place-Name Society, the linguistic Society of America, and the Society for pure English will be able to brave the weather arising from time to time on the horizon of English and steer it through without failing.” 8
Dominance of English Language in Professional Communication: One may be called professional if he is ‘engaged in a specified occupation or activity for money or as a means of earning a living, rather than as a pastime’.9 In this way, professional communication is the stream of communication in which exchange of ideas pertaining to any profession or occupation is done illustriously. Indeed, the term ‘technical’ is concerned with any branch of science and technology whereas the word ‘professional’ is a wider term and relates us to the any branch of science, technology, commerce, trade and business. If any profession is carried out at a large scale, English language is needed as the whole world has thousands of native, regional and local languages which cannot be learnt simultaneously for the communicative purpose. In this case, English plays the role of a mediator between two distant communicators or transmitters. As a whole, English is rather a professional language as it is used in most of the domestic and nationalistic occupations. Moreover, it is the main communicable language of the international transportation.
Conclusion: English is the only language that has the capacity to link one country with the other one. Besides, it is the language that is able to unite the human beings at the international level. We can talk to the persons of the U.K., the U.S.A., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries if we are expert in the stream of English. In the existing world, it is the most dynamic language that can be used as a means of communication for any purpose. It is rather a multidimensional traffic-platform on which the vehicles of human development are running smoothly. Indeed, it has got the momentum of circulation in most of the universities, colleges, schools, Courts and many other official departments which are playing a prominent role in the field of literal, technical and professional advancement. Taking into consideration the aims of English language, S. C. Mundhra rightly states:
“The general aims of learning English have been three: English being a world-language promotes international understanding; it is a medium to come into contact with the best in cultural terms, that is, a medium for the study of arts and science; and lastly, it furthers our vocational or professional interests, like law, medicine, engineering and technology.”10
In these days of globalization, it is explicit that English has become the universal language for literal, technical and professional communication. In spite of numerous cultural and traditional movements in support of vernacular languages, it has been growing and developing without any obstruction for the ages. In order to be successful in the global market, one must be proficient in the communicative skills of English language ‒ Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. In the concluding scenario, H. S. Bhatia’s analytical observation is noticeable:
“The knowledge of English is also essential for understanding the modern science, trade, commerce, technological and industrial languages. In Information Technology, all computer language is based on English, though there might have been some influence thereon of several other languages also in various ways.”11
In fact, the whole world is nothing but a market place where exchange of concepts, techniques and things is done unintermittedly. This interchange of goods cannot be done without active participation of English language. Undoubtedly, it is a living and vibrant language which has conquered all the worldly languages with its popularity, beauty and importance. It has held the potential performance in any sort of communication whether it is literal or techno-professional. In addition, it has sowed the communicational seeds of aroma which are about to flourish into the form of global modernization with lingual unification. However, it is the youngest of all the languages of the world, it has been the leader of all the languages. Admittedly, the revolutionary impression of global evolution is extending everywhere under the umbrage of a triangular umbrella of tri-dimensional communication ‒ literal, technical and professional. Finally, it is right to argue that we cannot communicate literally, technically and professionally without the knowledge of English language if we want to impart something globally.
- Lesley Brown, et al., Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 6th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 834.
- Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary (U.S.A.: RHR Press, 2001), p. 645.
- R. Venkataraman, A History of the English Language (New Delhi: Rama Brothers India Pvt. Ltd., 2012), p. 8.
- C. Mundhra, A Handbook of Literature in English for Competitive Examinations (Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2009), p. 403.
- Lesley Brown, et al., Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 6th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 3194.
- Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary (U.S.A.: RHR Press, 2001), p. 1950.
- Ashraf Rizvi, Professional Communication (New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Ltd., 2007), p. 3.
- C. Mundhra, A Handbook of Literature in English for Competitive Examinations (Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2009), p. 405.
- Lesley Brown, et al., Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 6th ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 2360.
- C. Mundhra, A Handbook of Literature in English for Competitive Examinations (Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2009), p. 406.
- S. Bhatia, English Literature (New Delhi: Ramesh Publishing House, 2009), p. 613.
Notification: Dr. Dhruv Shankar presented this paper in 10th International & 46th National Annual ELTAI Conference entitled Learning and Teaching English in India: Setting Standards at Raj Kumar Goel Institute of Technology for Women, Ghaziabad on 10th July, 2015.
AUTHOR PROFILE: Dr. Dhruv Shankar (b. 1976) has carried out his higher education ‒ B.A. (English Language & Literature), M.A.(English), B.Ed. and Ph.D. ‒ from C.S.J.M. University, Kanpur and collected the teaching experience of grammatical, literary and communicative English from S.M.L.K.S.D. Inter College, Naraina College of Engineering & Technology and Krishna Institute of Technology, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. As a matter of fact, he has got the credit of numerous research articles, four poems and two short stories published in prestigious national and international journals. Moreover, he has contributed, participated and presented papers in many national seminars and international conferences.