Random Rambling | English-Vinglish
Hello all, first of all I am very sorry for the condemnable late post in this segment. I don’t know how to apologize for this, but I do with utmost sincerity.
Today, it will be a confession post. Possibly all of you have watched the movie called ‘English Vinglish’ that had released couple of months ago. No, no, this is not going to be a movie review. As I said before, I will confess something, and I want to confess that I can’t speak in English fluently. I know it’s disappointing to hear such things from an English Literature student, but I can’t avoid the reality.
I have always been a student of Bengali medium institutions. So, I was never given the opportunity to talk or converse in English. I believe this is the only reason why I couldn’t build up the fluency of speaking English. I don’t say and believe that a Bengali-medium student cannot speak in English fluently. They surely can, in fact there are a lot of people, but the fact is, they need to do a lot of effort and practice, and what I lacked was that companion to whom I can talk and converse.
English has always been my favourite subject. As I always scored well in that subject, it eventually became my favourite one. Later, I found it my most preferred medium of communication when it came to writing. I have always been more effortless in jotting down my thoughts in English than Bengali. I have written Bengali poems too but still English is the only language that I can mould into anything I want. I have never felt hassled while writing in English, but the only thing that have stressed and perturbed me is my inability to speak in English. There were times when I felt very bad about myself, I suffered from inferiority complex. Every time I saw a person fluently speaking in English, I tried to imitate the gestures, the exact articulations but ended up with wrong pronunciations or grammatical errors, though I never had any issues with grammar while writing.
But there is also a good part to the story. Slowly, steadily, I am progressing. I am glad to announce that my verbal skill is improving very much. I am shopping online these days, and every time the customer relation personnel call me I have to talk to them in English. I have noticed that, when I talk to them I never face any problem regarding the verbal communication. This has boosted my confidence. Now I don’t have that much issue with it anymore. I can proudly say that I have improved myself. I cannot say that I am as fluent as everyone else, but I can assure you that I have taken the first step to it. My sister and I converse a lot in English; I read English newspapers out loud to realize my errors in articulating words properly. In one expression, I am trying a lot. I believe, in a month or two I will be able to converse fluently. I still don’t know what you feel for me right now, after reading this; I don’t know what you feel about this problem, but in India, many people like me have to face this problem. Some live with it, some try to improve and accomplish. There is nothing bad in it, but when you are with some people in a room and find that everyone excluding you is speaking English and chatting with each other in English and you are trying to prove your presence by uttering some roughly sewed broken words, you feel ashamed, you feel shattered, and your self-confidence is smashed in a snap.
Okay, okay, a lot of heavy words! Now I am going to share with you some of the tips that I followed to improve my verbal skill-
- Don’t run, face it: Facing the problem is the only solution to get over it. Don’t run away from it. If you know that you have some issues with your verbal power, deal with it, face a mirror and talk to yourself instead of giving up. This is the only way to actually boost up and reconstruct your confidence.
- Read Out Loud: Reading is the best way to learn and reading is also the best way to speak. Grab a book, or a newspaper or a leaflet or anything that is written in English and read it loudly. Take enough time for pronouncing each word and articulate it clearly. Take assistance of a dictionary if needed, to pronounce the words correctly. The more your brain listens to you, the clearer the language would be to you.
- Pair up: No, I am not advising you to go for a prom night. Just ask one of your friends or family members to pair up with you, where they ask you 10 questions and you have to give the answers fast, both in English. This helps a lot, friends. I started polishing my verbal power with this and it helped me a lot.
- Give Speeches: If you’re more a good writer than a good speaker like me, if your pen is mightier than your tongue like me, write a few lines or a speech and try presenting it in front of your friends. Build an audience who will judge your skills, point out flaws and correct your errors. Start with a few lines then expand your limits.
These are the few tips that can improve your oral abilities. They have been helping me a lot. I am sure you will be able to notice the changes in you. What is most important is to believe in you and to build confidence. That is all. You don’t need to join spoken English courses or so. It’s you and only you who can make this possible. Somebody has truly said, “Man is the maker of his own fate”. I hope you haven’t got bored reading this long post. I hope this post proves to be helpful for those who have the similar problem like mine.
At the end, I would like to let you know that I am taking a break from now on. I will be posting after a break. A lot of activities have made me work slowly and I am craving for some fresh air now. I hope I won’t take too long to get back to you. Till then be confident, be you.