"Star Lanka Online" Our NEW Web site And Web TV Channel Launched

TFGE , The Future Global Educational Center Has Launched
the official web site, called
*** Star Lanka Online Dot Com ........................

www.starlankaonline.com will be completed in very near future....

*** Star Lanka Online TV Channel,..................

Just One Click ahead ...

Now you can watch "Star Lanka Online TV" channel broadcasts from Matara, Sri Lanka in most part of the day. Still we are keeping a test transmission also. There is a link right side of your hand to watch our TV channel. You can watch (Click On the Box) live channel on this site without going to another site to watch the TV. and also recorded parts, following the below link.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Why English is superior to other languages

Why English is superior to other languages

There has been a raging debate for some time now in the Sri Lanka print media on the use of English as language among sport personnel. This was begun after some opinions were expressed in the media relating to the press interview of Sri Lanka’s new cricket star Ajantha Mendis at the end of the Asia Cup. He used an interpreter to express his views, which was very rational and mature way to conduct the proceedings when the medium he was forced to communicate was not familiar to him.

In my view, his course of action is commendable to many other people who insist on speaking in a language in which they are not comfortable or skilled in. What is ridiculous is somebody struggling and stuttering in a language with which he is not conversant and thereby confusing his intentions.

The complex position of speaking in English is unique to Sri Lanka, specifically for the Sinhala-speaking people. People speaking in languages other than their mother tongues are as old as civilization itself. At different times in different geographical areas, different languages had taken pride of place as the prevailing lingua franca. At one time, it was Greek or Latin in Europe and Sanskrit and Persian in Southern Asia. Arabic is the common currency in the Arab world even today.

When necessity demands the use of a particular language through force of circumstances, in trade and commerce over a wide area, it becomes the link language or lingua franca. It is not out of a preference for a particular language from an emotional point of view, but because of its utility value over that area. Thus you either use it for your own advantage or lag behind the rest of the world.

A common argument people bring against Sri Lanka using English language at home for commercial and other purposes as well as on the international stage is to point out that in the case of Japan and China, they stick to their mother tongue on all occasions.

What we fail to notice is that these two languages have gained such status quo as they each have a large population and have been engaged in considerable foreign trade for some time. That has given those languages an aura of dominance though nowhere near the ubiquitous English language, which may be considered the world’s link language by its use by the international community. To put Sinhala on such a pedestal is sheer tomfoolery, if not downright idiotic.

In Sri Lanka in this post-colonial milieu, English should be a tool for communication skills. It should not enjoy celebrity status or invest those who speak in English with an aura of distinctiveness.

However, unfortunately among Sri Lankans, English is used as a tool or weapon to add value to social status in the same manner as wealth, attire, power, etc.

As it as been aptly termed the ‘Kaduwa’ or sword to keep at bay the perceived hoi polloi by striking them down when they become a threat. That is a flawed view of the use of the English language.

Of course, there is a historical bearing for our use of the English language. It was bequeathed to us by our British colonial masters. But what a happy coincidence it was English, not Portuguese, Dutch or French. They may be international languages, but English opens a readymade wide vista on the world - be it the humanities, commerce, science, math or technology.

That is an argument difficult to counter.

Wilfred Fernando

The Island, News Paper

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