Sunday, March 11, 2012

Language and Confidence

Sometime back I got a query. It was a young man, who wrote to me at length about his dream of clearing the SSB, and his lack of confidence which pulled him out of GDs and Interviews. From the language and the grammar of the mail, it was certain to me that the boy, though smart and articulate, was not comfortable with the English language. On probing, he shared that he was allowed to speak in Hindi (his mother tongue), but he tried to speak in English during the selection processes as he thought it will fetch him extra points. He wanted a solution for his "GD-phobia". I told him he cannot be diagnosed with any phobia via email, and he may visit a psychologist near him if he feels the need. Nevertheless, I shared with him some general points to help him out, which I will share here as it can be applicable to anyone...

Being skilled at multiple languages is always an asset. It is good to learn and practice as many languages as possible. Just like it is the best to read about stuff you do not know about. However, when it examination time, and you future depends on this examination, would you choose to answer a question you are sure about, or would you try answering a question you do not know about?

Similarly, when you know that during the selection process, they are testing your intelligence, your articulation and most importantly, your confidence you should not try to use a language you know you are not comfortable with. It is better to speak fluently and correctly in Hindi in your GDs and Interviews, than incorrectly in English, which will only highlight your weakness of not mastering a language. Other than that, you lose out at another front-confidence. When you know you are not good at something, this belief will always be stopping you from performing your best. You will appear nervous and unsure.

It is understandable that English now is a global language. You may practice the language while conversing with a well-versed friend, till it develops enough to be used at such critical junctures.
Having said that, it is important for every Indian citizen to know that our government jobs do not ask for mastery over English language. Its good enough to just understand it. The government has all your languages listed up- so any person, whatever State they reside in, can converse comfortably in his/her mother tongue when going for a government-job selection.

Certainly, for all India services like the army, a standard language is required and hence they give you the option of English or Hindi. But if you are like this gentleman who was comfortable with Hindi and not in English, please use Hindi. Your expression and confidence will cover up all doubts you have about losing points when you use Hindi.

Language is a beautiful gift to the human beings. Use it to your advantage, do not let it become your handicap!

Good Luck :)
Yours Personally

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