Linguistic Changes of an Individual in Migration Essay Essay

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As the universe becomes progressively globalised. we observe a lifting tendency where persons migrate for educational and economic chances. The prestigiousness of being educated in a extremely ranked university and the chances of higher paying occupations are decidedly of import pull factors for both internal and international migration ( Welch. 1970 ) . When people move. they besides transfer the usage of their existing lingual repertory to their host state. However. what might hold been effectual at place might be interpreted otherwise when placed in different socioeconomic contexts. Hence. the comparative value of lingual repertory one possesses and how nomadic are one’s linguistic communication accomplishments in the universe determines how a migratory interacts with a new community.

Consequently. this paper seeks to supply penetration on how the comparative value of lingual resources affects one’s mobility and determinations in community interactions. Pulling on Blommaert’s survey on the sociolinguistics of globalization. this treatment will concentrate on how an individual’s lingual repertory is being used to one’s advantage within the community. It besides highlights the alterations which occur when one attempts to reassign the same lingual repertory as the displacement to a topographic point of changing cultural and lingual ability. As Blommaert suggests. “placed resources are resources that are functional in one peculiar topographic point but can go dysfunctional every bit shortly as they are moved to other places” ( Blommaert. 2003 ) . Basically. this essay seeks to elaborate on the alterations of one’s lingual repertory and how it affects one’s interactions with new communities ensuing from migration.

Linguistic repertory refers to lingual assortments acquired by an single to different grades of proficiency and for different utilizations ( Crystal. 1990 ) . The acquisition of lingual repertory therefore extends non merely to the procurance of different types of linguistic communication codifications like English and Hindi. but besides the address manners and genres within each linguistic communication.

In visible radiation of this definition. this paper chooses to follow how one’s usage of linguistic communication repertory might alter in the context of internal migration and international migration. With this in head. a migrator from India who experienced both types of migration was chosen. India boasts 22 official linguistic communications as per the Fundamental law of India. where English is determined as the secondary official linguistic communication and is used as tongue franca throughout India. Within the context of this paper. the experiences of the migratory service to supply personal penetration on linguistic communication mobility within the transmigrational sphere.

Research methodological analysis and background of interviewee

With this in head. a 50 minute interview was carried out on 16th October 2012 to garner significant informations in order to supply a comparing between internal and international migration. The exclusive participant is Joshua Cherian. aged 24 who is presently prosecuting a postgraduate instruction in Singapore. He was born and raised in Kerala. Southern India. after which he moved to Jamshedpur. Northern India to prosecute a third instruction before working in New Delhi. He was taught English at a immature age and learnt Hindi during university. while his female parent lingua is Malayalam.

During the interview. inquiries were asked runing from the interviewee’s experiences of linguistic communication acquisition and his experiences in India and Singapore to linguistic communication policies in India. Using his personal penetrations on accommodating to different communities and detecting it through the constructs provided in Blommaert’s survey. the comparative value of lingual repertory accordingly becomes more obvious non merely from state to state but besides within different countries of the community.

Language repertory in internal migration

Within India. it is said to hold a de-facto three plus minus one linguistic communication policy. Those who neither speak the linguistic communication of the province nor the two functionary linguistic communications. English and Hindi. now have to cope with larning four linguistic communications in order to go through the school systems and secure occupations within the modern sector ( Laitin. D. 1989 ) . Consequently. many people who migrate in the chase of instruction or occupations find it necessary to spread out their linguistic communication repertory in order to vie for the opportunity of upward socioeconomic mobility within India. Joshua notes that:

“There is a divide between the corporate universe and industrial universe. where directors and people in transnational companies speak in English. but those in fabricating speak Hindi in work. In the North of India everyone speaks Hindi. so I had to larn Hindi. When I worked in Delhi. I spoke largely Hindi in my workplace. because I am a director of laborers and those who merely passed 10th criterion. they merely need to do something so they don’t need English. Peoples who do package necessitate to interact with clients overseas. so it is of import for them to talk English. ”

Due the demands of his occupation. Joshua was required to spread out his linguistic communication repertory to include fluid Hindi in order to pass on with his subsidiaries efficaciously. Although English could hold sufficed in interacting with white-collar professionals. larning Hindi would hold enabled Joshua to guarantee a smooth running of operations that he was in charge with. As such. it is observed that migrators tend to spread out their linguistic communication repertory within internal migration harmonizing to which linguistic communications are most functional within their community.

Furthermore. an enlargement of lingual repertory besides affects one’s interaction the community. As immigrants get proficiency in more linguistic communications. there is a inclination to broaden their engagement in assorted communities within the country that they have settled in. This is particularly apparent in Joshua’s recount:

“In India you would hold to cognize many linguistic communications in order to suit into different communities. University pupils will utilize English because it is esteemed. It shows you are good educated. Outside of the instruction system. everyone speaks their ain idiom or their ain province linguistic communication. I used to hang out with many friends when I was analyzing in Jamshedpur who came from all over India. I besides managed to go my pupil regulating body’s president. so talking the many linguistic communications helped me make out to a batch of people. ”

Even though migrators who migrate within their place state see a new environment. there are common cultural acquaintances that they can associate to by being in the same state. Naturally. this allows them to absorb into the communities easy since they already portion similar cultural and national individualities. Rather. this preexistent factor enables immigrants like Joshua to interact with different groups of people. Such a penchant is besides highly good to an person within a new community as they are able to name upon a big web of familiarities should they necessitate aid in the hereafter. Hence. the widening of one’s interaction with many communities would be positively correlated to the acquisition of linguistic communication repertory because both serve the same intent of assisting the migrator assimilate good into the new environment they are in.

Language Repertoire in International Migration

In contrast to internal migration. one’s usage of linguistic communication repertory might diminish across different geographical infinites. It is noted that international migration denotes a displacement to a foreign civilization in which the values placed upon certain linguistic communications is different from one’s original state. As such. many migrators would use a linguistic communication within their repertory that is widely used in the universe. Joshua relates his experience traveling from India to Singapore:

“When I foremost arrived in Singapore. everything was easy for me to acquire used to because I was already adept in English. Even if I needed aid. I could merely near anyone and they would answer me in English. I don’t even Hindi any longer because the friends and people I meet with speak merely in English. Possibly it is because there are so many races here so communication demands to be in a common linguistic communication. Although I have friends from India here. they ne’er speak in their female parent lingua! Everyone would instead talk in English than Hindi!

Despite Joshua’s extended linguistic communication repertory. he merely speaks in English in Singapore. thereby demoing a lessening in linguistic communication repertory employed in day-to-day life. In most instances of international migration. migrators frequently move from the ‘periphery’ to the ‘core’ of the universe system. As one efforts to reassign one’s linguistic communication repertory from one state to another. the linguistic communications employed more often within the nucleus planetary system would be more nomadic compared to other linguistic communications.

In peculiar. because Singapore is a multi-racial community. it requires English as a tongue franca in order to accomplish coherence and efficiency. Consequently. instead than spread outing one’s lingual repertory to derive entree to every community. a migrator in Singapore need merely concentrate on talking adept English. which later narrows his linguistic communication repertory within the host state.

Parallel to one’s lessening in linguistic communication repertory. it is observed that migrators narrow their engagement to a few communities that they are comfy with. While migrators who migrate internally tend to broaden their engagement in a broad array of communities. people who migrate internationally prefer to concentrate their attempts in interacting with a peculiar community where they feel most comfy with. Joshua. expresses that:

“ I like to be in a topographic point where I can interact with people good. When I came to Singapore. everybody spoke “Singlish” . It was particularly difficult for me to understand the gags of my Singaporean friends. Thats why I wanted to be in a Christian group. so I went around to look for churches and even joined the varsity Christian family. Then I found a church cell group to be in and we could speak about common things. at least everyone there understands what I am traveling through when I talk about my battles and life. I don’t meet with the Indian community much because everyone here speaks English anyhow and I am more comfy speech production in English. so when I talk about God and religion. I don’t acquire any at a loss expressions when I am with church people”

For most immigrants. being in a foreign community could be unsettling because there exists stark differences in civilization that they might non understand. In Joshua’s instance. non being able to understand Singlish hindered his active engagement in assorted communities. particularly in understanding temper within the sociocultural context of Singaporean society. As such. by take parting in communities with specific shared beliefs that the migrator can place with. it could be easier for him to absorb into a new environment. Communities with shared beliefs besides tend to portion a similar usage of registry in their day-to-day address.

Pulling on Joshua’s instance of happening a Christian community. a Christian scene could be more comfy for him because he understands the semantics of words such as “communion” and “faith” used often in that community. Additionally. by contracting one’s engagement to few communities. persons would hold more clip to pass more attempt on hammering closer relationships within a peculiar communities. This in bend could be more good to the migrator as this niche country of society provides a beginning of emotional support for the migrator in order to get by with the anxiousness of being off from place.


What Joshua has experienced demonstrates the changeless alteration of the value of linguistic communication resources as he shifts between topographic points in migration. This comparative value of one’s lingual resources is mostly due to cultural and socioeconomic factors that have shaped the community to put accent on certain linguistic communications and address manners. As such. an immigrant’s addition or decrease linguistic communication repertory is mostly affected by the located importance of certain linguistic communications within their host communities.

In decision. this paper has asserts that linguistic communication mobility is deeply affected by the altering values of lingual resources which vary from topographic point to topographic point. particularly when there is a displacement of resources from the fringe to the nucleus of the universe system. Whether one participates in a broad figure of communities or chooses to concentrate their attempts in a individual community depends on a alteration in one’s usage of his linguistic communication repertory.

0. Blommaert. J. ( 2003 ) . Commentary: A Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Journal of Sociolinguistics 7/4. 2003: 607-623

0. Crystal. D. ( 1990 ) . A Liturgical Language in a Sociolinguistic
Perspective. In D. & A ; R. C. D. Jasper ( explosive detection systems ) . Language and the worship of the church ( Basingstoke: Macmillan ) . 120-46

0. Laitin D. D. ( 1989 ) . Language Policy and Political Strategy in India. Policy Sciences. Vol. 22. No. 3/4. Policymaking in Developing Countries ( 1989 ) . pp. 415-436

0. Welch F. ( 1970 ) . ‘’Education in Production’ . Journal of Political Economy. 78 ( 1 ) . January/February. 35-59

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