The man behind French in Jammu

Megha Sharma
With his interest in writing and learning, Arun Sharma is working hard since a decade to propagate French in Jammu. The dedication and sincerity of this French lover is evident from the fact that he has written four books in French and is tirelessly teaching the language in University of Jammu as a guest lecturer since years.
Arun Sharma is a dedicated teacher, writer, mentor and an aspiring memoirist and interestingly he is the first person in the state who has written books in French language. Born and raised in Jammu, He has dedicated his life to study, promotion and propagation of French language in the state. Working as a guest faculty of French language at University of Jammu for the last 11 years he contributed a lot to raise the standard of French language by providing his services to Basic and Advance courses at Department of Life Long Department ,University of Jammu and he has also taught as Guest Faculty of French Language at Central University of Jammu for 4 years. As an ideal mentor, he is not only credited with guiding copious students in the field of language but also inculcating the feeling of compassion and highest standards of honesty and personal integrity. Emboldened by the knowledge many students have been finding new employment opportunities in the field.
It was due to Mr Sharma’s efforts that the French course at University of Jammu became popular and a large number of students started opting for it. The French Club of Jammu formed by Arun Sharma has created so much awareness among the people of Jammu that several volunteers besides Mr Sharma’s students have extended their hands for propagation of language.
Facing initial hitches from people who tried to create obstructions on his way, Mr Sharma was able to convince a large part of those having even little interest in French that the language can do wonders with their career in Indian and abroad. Sharma has been giving answers to his critics with his work and not with mouth.
Besides holding a Master degree in French, he has multiple post-graduation degrees in English, Business administration and Tourism Management. Mr. Sharma has authored four French books for beginners, intermediate and advanced students of French. His first book entitled “Mon Livre” was aimed at French language learners and was accepted with wide acclaim by Language enthusiasts. It was a big hit among all age groups because of its simplicity and systematic approach. After the success of first book, he narrated three more books entitled, “French Phrases and Useful Words.”, “Conjugation” and “Solution key of Cours de Langue”. Featuring easy-to-follow vocabulary lists, along with complete instruction on written and spoken grammar designed for inquisitive students of French language provides a platform to hone their French skills.
Born and raised in Jammu, Arun Sharma has made a name for himself among the language enthusiasts of the country with the excellent service he has rendered in the promotion and propagation of French language in the state. Having climbed up the ladders of success with his dedicated hard work, he is the most famous French teacher in the state, having helped hundreds of students get respectable jobs in various prestigious varsities, educational institutions and MNCs, in India and overseas. He is also the first and the only author from the state to have written 4 books on the French language.
His tryst with the language began at the age of 18 when his uncle who lived in Canada, visited him and suggested him to learn French. Working on his suggestion, Arun started learning basic words of French, which intrigued him to no end. The more he delved deeper into its realms, the more he was fascinated by French and finally decided to pursue it, academically.
“At that time, not many colleges were providing any course in the language. So I started with a certificate course in French from the University of Jammu, before moving to Symbiosis Institute of Foreign and International Languages in Pune for further learning. My advanced diploma course was from Punjab University and finally, I completed my Master’s degree in French from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. I am glad I ignored all the naysayers and stood firmly in furtherance of my passion for French. It is probably the best decision of my life,” tells Arun. It is also pertinent to mention that besides these aforementioned qualifications, Arun also holds post-graduation degrees in English and Business administration (Tourism Management).
Besides generating the interest among people, Arun has authored 4 books in helping the interested lot understanding the language better. His first book, “Mon Livre” (French for ‘My Book’) was the first French book from Jammu and Kashmir aimed at basic French learners. The book contained all the basic things as well as translation of many words and sentences of daily use and was accepted with wide acclaim by Language enthusiasts, all over the country. The book appealed to all age groups because of its simplicity and systematic approach and was sold outside the state as well, making Arun a well-known name among the lovers of the language. He followed his first book with 3 more books titled “French Phrases and Useful Words”, “Conjugation” and “Solution key of Cours de Langue”, all of these going on to become very successful and highly recommended books in academic institutions.
Arun answers why the language French has got so many followers in the country, “French, as I said earlier, is a very beautiful language. It owes its beauty to some technical points, too. French has an ardent dedication to “euphony” or the quality of sounding harmonious. It always sounds melodious.”
He, however, stresses upon a proper understanding of the rules that make French so. “There are rules to make sure that French always sounds like a song or an old-fashioned melodrama, it’s not just a coincidence! One rule, for example, is that it avoids using words that end with a vowel sound before words that begin with one. Either the vowel is silent or consonant sounds are placed in between so that the words can flow into each other. There is a lot more to the language and once you start learning it, it all becomes very intriguing,” he adds.
However, Arun realizes that he cannot reach out to the larger audience through his books only and hence to impart the best education to all the sections of society, he founded a Club named ‘Club de Francis’ or ‘French Language Club’ in Jammu in 2010. It was first of its kind initiative in the state and has been working for the propagation of the language, imparting education to over 5000 students ever since. The club is slowly but steadily inching towards the milestone of a thousand members and provides for a platform for the seekers of the language.
Arun makes it a point to assure that promotion of French in the state will not result in anything harmful to any other language in the state. “While we must work on conserving our local languages like Dogri, it does not, in any way, stop us from promoting a foreign language. In fact, with it gaining popularity and acceptance here, we can look at the possibility of translating our Dogri literature into French and vice-versa. This can be a real opportunity to serve as the perfect platform to showcase our culture globally,” he says.
So has Arun achieved what he had set out to achieve at the beginning of his journey? We find out, “I am elated at how far we have come in this journey but the mission is far from over. While there are around 14 schools and a couple of Polytechnic Colleges in the region which have integrated French in their syllabus, we have a thousand miles to go before we achieve what we intended to. The day all the schools in the region, and not only the CBSE schools, include this language in their curriculum, I will consider myself successful.” He ends the chat with a promise to come out with a new book very soon.