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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

As Chinese sellers, Ludhiana traders make English link, interpreters fret

Arjun Sharma, Hindustan Times  Ludhiana, February 25, 2014
First Published: 15:00 IST(25/2/2014) | Last Updated: 15:37 IST(25/2/2014)

The business of interpreters in the country is declining by the day as the Chinese companies dealing in hosiery, textile machinery and cycle parts are acquainting their sales staff with English and not Hindi to deal with companies.

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Interestingly, sales staff who knows English is hired by the Chinese companies that deal in machinery to be sold in India, especially in Ludhiana. There are at least 12,000 hosiery units in Ludhiana that require machines on regular basis.

Not only hosiery and textile industry, but also the cycle and other industries in China are making their sales managers learn English so that they could generate revenue by getting orders of machinery while on tour to India. There have been many exhibitions in the past in which Chinese companies took direct participation and were able to bag orders for their companies from Ludhiana-based industry.

This has resulted in loss to the interpreters who earlier used to accompany the Chinese sales managers to these exhibitions to woo Indian customers. The Chinese companies used to hire these interpreters from Delhi and Mumbai and they would accompany them to Ludhiana.

Leo N Chettiar, who works as an interpreter at Mumbai and had come to the city with a Chinese hosiery machine-manufacturing company at a knitwear expo recently, said the business of interpreters had taken a downslide after the Chinese people started learning English.

"Earlier, the interpreters used to earn at least `2,500 per day but the business has seen a downfall after English became popular in China. This is not the case only with China but also with Japan" said Chettiar.
The expo was organised at Dana Mandi recently and at least 150 Chinese companies participated in the event out of total 400 companies.

Interestingly, Chinese sales managers learn Russian while they go for business venture to Russia, Japanese at Japan but English in India and not Hindi.

"Similar is the case even in the diamond industry," said Donna, who belongs to Zhenjiang province and works for a Chinese textile company.

"Most of the Chinese students are nowadays learning English from different universities. This is done to ensure that no job skips due to the reason that we do not know English," said Donna, who was in the city.
She said Russians would not speak English at any cost and same was the case with Japanese people. "We have to learn Russian and Japanese to deal with them, but in India, we see people speaking English only," she said and was not even aware of Hindi language.

President of the Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation (FICO) Gurmeet Kular said whenever Indians go to China or any other non-English-speaking country interpreters were hired from there only so that the delegation could interact with ease.

 

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