Language is an important factor while moving to a country where people hardly know Urdu. United States of America does not have an official language but American English is mostly used as a medium of communication. The second most common language in USA is Spanish as even dialing on a helpline you will be asked to press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish.
In United States you will notice many different English accents, languages, tenses and vocabulary. Unfortunately Americans are not used to our Pakistani English accent and they face trouble understanding us however if we try to speak slowly and clearly they will understand. They might say “Pardon” or “Sorry” just to ask you again. Do not hesitate and politely repeat what you are trying to say.
We as a Pakistani always hesitate communicating in English even if we are good. We should keep this fact in mind that most Pakistanis living in United States can understand and speak English, if not properly they can still understand what other person is saying or asking.
Speaking English when it’s not a first language might feel difficult at first however if we remain determined and do not hesitate then it’s not difficult to become master. In Pakistan if someone cannot speak proper English it’s a sin however there are many countries including European countries where people cannot even understand English. While visiting Italy, I have noticed that most of Italian people don’t know English at all. So if you are worried about your English then relax because Americans feels happy when someone from outside speaks their language.
I have encountered a very interested situation where I was asked about the country from where I belong and knowing that I am from Pakistan people get amazed that how can a person from a small underdeveloped country can speak English so well, it’s because the media gave a very false impression of how the people from Pakistan really are.
How well your English should be?
If you are a student then off course you need to know good English for which almost all universities require you to pass a language exam before admission like TOEFEL. If you are working or planning to work in USA then still you need to have good communication skills in English however it depends on the nature of job. If you are in a banking field, customer services, sales where you need to interact with people then you must have excellent communication skills however if you are in technical filed or labor where you do not need to interact with customers or many people than normal English can work, which means you can explain something in English and understand what other person speaks.
How well the family member’s English should be?
For all accompanying members of family e.g. children, wife or parents the level of English depends on people interaction. You can practice in Pakistan by speaking it with each other, because this practice will help you a lot improving your speaking as well as listening skills.
Never hesitate to talk to Americans, if you can understand them you can make them understand as well. For example if you need to find bread in a store and wants someone to help then instead of hesitating you can always ask store employee to help you what you want.