Perception that Indians Can’t Write in English

Date Published: 24-Jan-2014 | By: Nancy R Jones

Many business owners from the US and the UK are sometimes uncomfortable to outsource their content writing services to India. They outsource other services like IT programming, call center, etc. They have a wrong perception that Indians can’t write English properly. We need to correct this false notion.

If you go back to the history. The influence of the British East India Company had been active since the early 1600s. And since then the English language had a prominent position on the Indian subcontinent.

Now, Indian English literature has attained an international status. A number of Indian writers got awards and accolades for their writing like Rabindranath Tagore, Sri Aurobindo, R.K.Narayan, Raja Rao, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Aravind Adiga, V.S.Naipaul, to name only a few.

2 types of Indians
In India there are two types of Indians, one is the rural Indians and the other is the urban Indians. Rural Indians, though today have access to schools and education, but are not that good with English.

The other type of Indians are the middle class urban Indian, especially the kids of white collared parents. They study in English medium schools. Majority of these people are not good at their native language, but are good at English. This type of Indians are set of people completely different from the first type of Indians.

In urban India the best schools, colleges are known for their English proficiency. In fact most good schools teach English alphabets many years ahead of native language. This makes English language more familiar and understandable to students.

In many schools, children are encouraged to talk in English. Unlike in other countries where schooling begins at the age of five, in India schooling begins at the age of three and half years. In India children are more fluent with English language than their own native language. A majority of the intelligent and educated are very good with English. There are many who do not have much language skills in their native language.

English is an associate official language of India
English is widely spoken and understood in all urban centers of India. It has a special national status in India. English has a special place in the education system, journalism, parliament, broadcasting and in the judiciary.

In India more number of newspapers, magazines, books, etc., are published in English than in Hindi, official language of India. Statistics show that India is the third largest producer in world for books in English. There is a growing number of Indians who write in proper and reasonably good English.

Many international companies outsource their writing services to India. There are more job opportunities for writers, editors, proofreaders, copy editors other editorial professionals.

Accent/slang is different, but doesn’t mean that they cannot write near perfectly
Accent/slang is different everywhere in the world, it has nothing to do with writing. It is more common in speech than in writing. In India high caliber people are always associated with English. Taking an example of India’s most respected personality, Mahatma Gandhi. He was a successful lawyer and spoke to the British in English.

In New York people from different parts of the world have added their own flavor to the English language, yet writers from New York are good. The same also applies to India – over time many different cultures have added their own flavors, creating their own English writing style. And their style of writing in English has proved immensely popular, and therefore stands out among of all the rest.

Writing English is not an issue
Speaking a language is spontaneous, less formal and is less structured without any preparation. But when it comes to writing, you can take some time for composing your thoughts, chose words with great deliberation and is significantly more precise. So writing perfectly is easier than speaking perfectly.

Already Indians have made name with their logic. Writing and informal communication is not at all an issue with Indians.