At a time when rapid technological advancement is making communication easier and the world is becoming ‘one nation’, the importance of learning multiple languages is being understood by one and all.
With increased exchanges between major powers like China and Japan coming up, India is becoming one of the prime economic hubs in Asia. Therefore, plenty of job opportunities are unfurling for those who can master multiple foreign languages, including English. There are several institutes in the city where you can start learning one or more of these languages.
Of these, the School of Linguistics and Language Technology of Jadavpur University (JU) has one of the best infrastructure and resources to impart foreign language. Apart from the three native languages of Bengali, Sanskrit and Hindi, the school offers certificate, diploma and advanced diploma courses in seven foreign languages, including French, German, Italian, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese and Japanese.
One of the advantages this school is that all the classes are held in evening. “This ensures maximum utilisation of university space too. Also, students can learn a language while pursuing another degree in morning hours,” said Mahidas Bhattacharya, director of School of Languages and Linguistics, JU.
The school has been offering a yearlong certificate course in linguistics since 2010. This year the school introduced MA sand MPhil in linguistics. This is the second school in the state after University of Calcutta that teaches linguistics. You can do a doctorate in linguistics at this school.
To pursue the two-year linguistics degree course here, the admission procedure requires clearing an admission test and interview. The session starts from July every year. On the other hand, language courses are of one year. Those who pass Class 12 can apply for this one-year certificate course in various foreign languages. The session for these courses start in January.
“Many of us want to learn a new language but cannot devote two or three years for the same. The one-year course is not only easy to pursue but also gives an in-depth knowledge about the subject while completing another full-time course or working too,” said Shyamakrishna Pujari Karmakar, who is pursuing a linguistic certificate course.
“A good number of foreign students, especially from South Korea, USA and Japan, also apply in our school every year. About 20 of our 300 students are from foreign countries,” said Bhattacharya.
Universities, multinational companies, market survey firms and those that do medical transcriptions recruit translators and interpreters in large numbers. Mastery in more than two foreign languages, apart from English, can boost your curriculum vitae.
“Knowledge of language is essential for understanding of development of human mind and society. Plus, to follow whatever is happening around the world, knowledge of language is needed. The courses at our school have been crafted keeping these factors in mind,” said Samir Karmakar, assistant professor of the school.
“Those who are looking forward to make their career in industries like computational linguistics, clinical linguistics and language teaching get added advantage after passing out from our school,” said Bhattacharya. He said the projects of Indian government on linguistics survey also recruited many students of this school. Many former students of this school also got placement in the C-DAC project of government of India.
For a certificate course in any language, the fee is Rs 2400, while a diploma course in the same costs Rs 1800. The fee for one-year-long certificate course in linguistics is Rs 3000. Foreign students have to pay US $420 to pursue any course at the school.