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Pune scenario:New languages are the future for the global desi

Considering the demand of multilingual individuals in various industries, educators pointed out that German, French, Chinese and Japanese are the popular choices among students.

pune Updated: Apr 20, 2018 16:04 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,new languages,global desi
More and more Pune students have been enrolling in foreign language classes to boost their communication skills and career opportunities. (SANKET WANKHADE/HT PHOTO )

Aspiring to become a global desi, more and more Pune students have been enrolling in foreign language classes to boost their communication skills and career opportunities, said authorities of prominent foreign language institutes in the city. This trend showcases a change in the outlook of youngsters as a response to the increasing influx of foreign companies, said experts.

“There has always been a steady growth in the number of students enrolling for classes in German, but since 2016, there has been a 20 per cent jump. This is possibly because more and more German companies are now establishing themselves in the city,” said Renu Jamgaonkar, cultural secretary of Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Pune.

Considering the demand of multilingual individuals in various industries, educators pointed out that German, French, Chinese and Japanese are the popular choices among students. “Japanese is one of the most popular languages and we are among the few institutes providing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in it, along with several scholarships and exchange programmes,” said head of the department of Japanese language,Shrikant Atre,Tilak Maharashtra Vidyapeeth.

Setting an example for future students, 40-year-old Yashodhara Gadgil learnt Mandarin, the official dialect of Chinese, in private and founded a Chinese-language institute, Ying Yang, in 2015. She is also one of the few Puneites to have worked on various Indo-China collaborations, both on the corporate and government-policy level.

“Professionally, I am an Ayurvedic therapist, and I wanted to understand and draw out similarities between Ayurveda and the traditional Chinese medicine. After developing an interest and delving more into the language, I realised that the language opens various job opportunities in and beyond India. At that point of time, there were hardly a few people who were fluent in the language and through private classes, I went to become one among those few,” said Gadgil.

After finishing her private instruction in Mandarin, she went to complete two advanced courses fromSoochow University (Suzhou) and Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). She became the first international volunteer for the Chinese government’s tourism project in 2015. In addition to this, she has also been the official interpreter for the municipal corporations of Pune and Jinhua (China) during the sister city project, and later, went on to assist several multinational companies in India.

“With a number of Chinese companies coming to India, especially Pune, the language is a valuable resource. Knowledge of this language, alongside any other skill, can be extremely valuable in the long run,” said Gadgil.

Agreeing to her in terms of the potential benefits of knowing a foreign language, Jamgaonkar said,“Whichever field you are in, communication is the only way to move forward, and in a global scenario, the knowledge of foreign languages always give individuals an upper-hand in whatever they are pursuing.”

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 16:03 IST