French continues to be one of the favorite subjects for students – the subject is even offered at school level, but as an optional subject, which also leads to better grades. Looking at the big picture, French is also spoken around the world and boosts the CV. Geeta Mahadevan, a teacher, mentioned that the language was part of their curriculum in the 1960s, due to the French colonies in India. She further adds, “The language is quite easy to understand as it has a syntax similar to that of English and the syllabus which the students study contains snippets of history. It also gives them insight into French culture, which is very intriguing.”
German is also offered as a subject in schools in the city, but some students choose to learn the language during their graduation years. This is clearly to increase their chances on the labor market in German-speaking countries. Also a student who wishes to continue his studies in Germany, make it a point of honor to master the language to be able to converse better. “Studying the market, I thought German recruiters are looking for prospects who know the language, which is why there are so many people signing up to learn the language,” says Syed Raad, a student from Germany.
German seems complicated at first, but it is actually easier than several other foreign languages. It is easier to learn German if you know English. One of the biggest similarities would be that both languages use the same “Latin” script. The grammar part is a little difficult to understand, but once cleared it’s really easy to frame the sentences. The best part about German is that, unlike English, you pronounce the word exactly as you spell it. This reduces spelling and speaking errors.
Raad adds: “Personally, I think you need at least basic knowledge of German if you plan to live in this country. That’s because you have to use it for almost everything, from buying things in supermarkets to carrying out official documents. It also helps to mingle with the natives and understand their culture. In Germany, having good German skills can give you several job opportunities in fields such as engineering, management, etc. Another advantage is that it can also be used in countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria.”
Japanese looks very interesting because it is pictorial and instantly grabs students’ attention. Some also take it up as a challenge. Students say that it cannot be called as difficult because it is very different from other languages. It takes about six months to master the basics. The only downside is that the script is completely different from English and takes time to pick up. Also, most alphabets look alike, which adds to the confusion. “I was introduced to Japanese at my college. I picked it up for no particular reason, but once I started learning it, I was really fascinated by the language. The program highlights the culture of the country and gives you insight into their eating habits and more,” said Sejal Rawat, a student.
Spanish is also gaining popularity among young people, just as French did a few years ago. Spanish music and dance forms are already at the forefront and now students are honing their language skills. “The difficulty of learning the language can be considered moderate because one can easily grasp the dialect. Getting the accent right can be the problem, but regular practice can fix that too,” said Priyal Sen, a tutor. Learning the language opens up many opportunities for students considering migrating or seeking opportunities out west.
It’s not a language offered in school and colleges, but it’s a language that seems to be a big hit with business students. Students who plan to join their family business, prepare in advance in order to make things easier. Mandarin is widely spoken in China and those dealing with the country feel the need to know the language. a difficult and time-consuming language to learn, but when it comes to doing business in China, knowing the language is beneficial. The northern and southern regions of China have different spoken versions; it’s like Marathi which changes from region to region. So you’re likely to get confused, but knowing the basics helps a lot.”