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Far from Home

By:Rajendran

Language proficiency is a skill many develop to blend in with their surroundings, expand their exposure in the field of expertise, and gaining knowledge. However, we must agree that it is not a mission easily accomplished. Those who seek a little spice in their life would prefer to fly to other nations, learning their culture, and waking up to a new horizon but all that does not come without a struggle. To be specific, Tamilians who venture out into the vast Indian country, a motherland to hundreds of dialects and languages are no strangers to this issue. Living in their own country and still struggling to get through their everyday lives due to lack of proper communication is common and tragic.  Here are a few challenges faced by individuals who make a living among their foreign peers and colleagues who are not familiar with our mother language, Tamil. 

Here are some of the potential challenges faced by individuals who live in a place where their mother language is not spoken. The essential key to connect is communication. However, without properly learning the language; it is difficult to engage or understand the true intention of our friends. This can often lead to misunderstanding among our colleagues. There are high chances that we might end up making acquaintance with people who don’t have the best intentions for us. 

When we have to think and acknowledge the perspective of others, we expect the same but the struggle is real when the opposite party have a hard time understanding our way of saying things. For example we go to a grocery store where vegetables, fruits and meat are easily identified. Unless you’re a very good cook you can’t be sure what spice to use and asking for help can sometimes lead to wrong ingredients and spoil your meal. This is just from one angle but such simple activities require communication which we fail to acquire and they never saw the need to learn another language to despite it is now common that we reside there. 

“We understand the beauty of our mother tongue when we are abroad”

As stated above are a couple of issues we Tamilians face in our birth country. Learning a new language does not mean we have to abandon our own mother tongue and also it is even okay to teach your language to them if they wish. In addition to this, it also seems impossible to master the language without facing these obstacles. If we decide to pay attention to the mocking and avoid the struggle of communication, then the language will not be mastered. We should always remember that it’s okay to make mistakes but always remember to learn from them. After overcoming our challenges it will be accomplished.  

“Whoever doesn’t know foreign language does not know about his mother tongue either”

According to some recent research, about 90% of the population who were far from home undergoing a problem just related to language, and yes learning other languages isn’t any worse until you forget yours. Remember many people console and give their shoulders when we are low but only by lying in our mother’s lap we feel completely healed and that is how our mother language too. This earth has a million numbers of languages. But never lose the very common link language called a ‘Smile’.

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5G: Boon or Bane

Author: Abhinav Gorantla

When the 5th Generation of mobile communication and networking was introduced in early 2020, it grabbed a lot of attention. With 5G, augmented reality can be made possible in real-time. Remotely operated robotic surgeons can be used for healthcare in areas where good healthcare can’t be provided. Search and rescue missions can be carried out by swarms of drones combing the disaster-prone area. 5G can bring speed of around 10 Gigabits per second to your phone. This is more than 600 times the typical 4G speed. This means that you can download games from Steam in under 20 seconds and a 4K movie in 25 seconds.

But the catch is that 5G networks will have very less network coverage. This is because of the high-frequency waves 5G networks will be using. The lack of range can be considered as a trade-off for the very high download speed the network can offer. 5G networks when brought into the mainstream would require a network tower every 500 meters. In contrast, a 4G GSM tower can provide connectivity to devices in an 80,000-meter radius. The low range of 5G networks can be attributed to the very high-frequency waves 5G uses to provide high-speed internet. Increase in frequency of radio waves also increases the energy irradiated during propagation and dampens the wave. Added to this setback is the fact that 5G frequency is interrupted by physical obstructions such as trees, towers, buildings and walls. The very high download speeds and lower latency are the only positives of replacing 4G with 5G networks. The trade-offs for the aforementioned advantages include lower connectivity range, very high operational costs and health disorders.

There has been speculation about the ill effects 5G can have on human health and the environment in general since it was first introduced. The prime cause for this speculation is the fact that 5G uses millimetre waves which lie in the 30GHz to 300GHz range. As discussed earlier this compels the telecom companies to exponentially increase the number of cell towers. Most of these are low-profile antennas rather than full-blown cell towers. Skin and in particular sweat ducts have the capability of absorbing energy with radio frequencies in the range 6GHz to 100GHz. This has the potential to increase the occurrence of Melanoma (cancer of the skin) in humans. A 2018 study conducted by the researchers associated with the renowned Ramazzini Institute in Italy announced that a large-scale lifetime study of lab animals exposed to environmental levels of cell tower radiation developed cancer. A $25 million study of much higher levels of cell phone radio frequency radiation (analogous to 5G radiations), from the US National Toxicology Program, has also reported finding the same unusual form of heart cancer called Schwannoma in male rats. Increase in malignant brain tumours was observed in female rats.

With such long term health consequences which may be fatal eventually, is 5G speed worth the risk? Use of 5G networks must be limited to emergency disaster response and healthcare applications until proper research is done to assess the damage millimetre waves can do to the environment. For areas where wired connections can be used, optical fibre-based broadband internet can replace 5G networks.