For them, English may be only Greek and Latin, but young Indians are heading to foreign language teaching institutes. Although starry-eyed students, beaver-loving employees, and unemployed youth pound books to master Japanese, German, Spanish, Mandarin, etc., Arabic and French lessons remain the talking point of the city in subways across the country.
Thanks to globalization, the demand for foreign language experts in multinational companies and Indian conglomerates is on the rise lately. And with glossophiles laughing on their way to the bank, it’s no surprise sophomores are flocking to courses offering short courses or degrees, even in Arabic, spoken by 230 million people in more than 40 countries.
While the Alliance Française, which promotes French language and culture around the world, trains no less than 500,000 students a year in its 850 centers in 133 countries, Max Mueller Bhavan also records 175,000 German learners dreaming of speaking with a plum in the mouth.
“Mastering a foreign language opens the door to countless career opportunities,” says Margie Sastry, director of the language division at Gujarat Vidyapith, a sprawling university established in 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi in Ahmedabad in the Indian state. western Gujarat.
Sastry, who knows French and Mandarin like the back of her hand and is an expert on Indian culture, told this correspondent that a growing number of people of all ages are now learning Arabic, which is also taught in schools in India. ‘states like West Bengal, Kerala. , Bihar as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
Apart from several universities offering graduate and postgraduate courses, even Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Young Men’s Christian Association and Indian Ministry of Defense School of Foreign Languages all offer certificates, advanced diplomas and courses of interpretation in Arabic, a very rich and easy language among all the other dominant languages in history which recalls the glorious Islamic civilization which ruled half the world for 1,400 years.
“Arabic would be child’s play for Indians familiar with Urdu and Hindi. Moreover, Arabic words contribute the most to the Bengali language. So learning Arabic has been a walk in the park for a Bengali like me,” says Calcutta-based quintessential writer Sujan Bhattacharya.
On the one hand, housewives like Razia Iqbal Khan are learning the language to better understand the Holy Quran, and on the other hand, Arabic teacher Dr. Salma Shaikh says that Arabic is a sought-after language in different sectors in India due to growing business with Arabic. -language country.
Dr. Salma Cheikh
Indeed, decision makers in areas such as publishing, advertising, entertainment, mass communications, aviation, hospitality and tourism, education and training, public relations and information technology information are constantly looking for candidates who know Arabic.
In the customer support industry, many leading companies operate Arabic call centers in Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, etc.
But while Dr Shaikh struggles to explain Arabic learners in English, Hindi and Urdu, at Alliance Française the teachers only speak in French and avoid using English for translations.
“We don’t teach them, but we help them learn the French language,” says Professor Dr. Dhaiwat Shukla, a well-known doctor who takes time off from his busy schedule to help students learn the ropes.
According to Frédérique Terzan, Director of Alliance Française (AF), Ahmedabad: “We provide our students with an environment to explore a whole new culture through various cultural activities, concerts, lectures, workshops, film festivals, library , exhibitions, French cuisine at our café, etc.
According to Khayal Trivedi, coordinator at AF, every year, the French Embassy in India and French companies award scholarships worth Rs 70 million to 300 deserving young Indian graduates wishing to pursue their higher education in France.
Alliance Française students
“The French education system is the seventh largest in the world and the best management programs in the world are in French, spoken by 130 million people,” points out AF professor Tejal Vyas who has an eye-catching library filled with 14,000 French books. and countless movie DVDs as well as music CDs, two French TV channels, audiovisual presentation facilities, etc.
Young people have also taken a liking to German, Japanese, Spanish and Mandarin to land a lucrative job in a multinational company with the help of a resume that boasts of a foreign language, unlike other candidates.