Being a Lingua Ninja

“Ninja” the Japanese term which literally meant ‘a martial artist or a fighter,’ acquired its updated meaning – ‘a person who excels in a particular skill,’ just recently. How can one exhibit linguistic prowess or be a lingua ninja? Quite intriguing… don’t you think so? Well, since ages, how humans developed linguistic abilities has always been an ambiguous phenomenon. Primitive men used signs and peculiar sounds to communicate with each other. Later they might have developed these sounds to words, then to phrases and finally broken sentences. There was no need for a polished language then, as language only served for immediate communication, which was its primary function. As time passed, people were civilized, and the need for a sophisticated and refined language evolved.

Language learning seems to be a herculean task for most of the learners, especially if they learn a peculiar language as a foreign language. English, which is accepted as the universal language, is the most spoken language. It has the most number of both native and non native speakers. Yet, non native speakers strive so hard to acquire the desired fluency of the English language. As we delve into history, we may see how non native speakers of English have always grabbed public attention through their linguistic prowess. The great South African leader Nelson Mandela commented “Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs.”

We have great writers and speakers in India too who have always surpassed the native literary geniuses like Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda etc.

Language learning requires not only speaking practice but also a great deal of efforts in listening, reading and writing too. The best way to improve language proficiency is listening to the native speakers’ accent and trying to make necessary improvisation in one’s accent. The biggest challenge for a person who tries earnestly to speak English flawlessly is smart shaming by others – it literally crushes their confidence. Remember no one is perfect. English language is so benevolently inclusive and accommodative. Hence, exhibit your linguistic prowess by sharing, learning, earning and respecting a language, thereby becoming a Lingua Ninja!!!

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