Thursday Jan 04, 2024

Is English the Best Language of Them All?

Amrita Ghosh and Bhakti Shringarpure discuss the supremacy of the English language in South Asia. While there is immense pride in mother tongues and local languages, it is hard to imagine career and business success, literary and cultural currency, and social mobility without fluency in English. Can our polyglot subcontinent ever shake off this colonial domination over our minds and lives? Guest Daisy Rockwell won the International Booker Prize in 2022 for her translation of Hindi writer Geetanjali Shree’s novel Tomb of Sand into English. This prestigious award spurred debates about the ways in which it was English, after all, that finally allowed for the recognition of Hindi literature internationally. She weighs in on some of the changes that might be afoot when it comes to the politics of languages.

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