Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A lesson of ‘Indlish’...

I had already shared some reflections on the ‘Indian’ English some posts ago (http://www.matteoandmathilde.org/2010/02/indian-dialogues.html). Since then I kept on paying attention and trying to remember those sentences and expressions that sounded ‘different’ or ‘original’.

Here below some that I noted:

- “What is your good name?” means “What is your name?” (as if you have a ‘good’ name and a ‘bad’ name, and the interlocutor is interested to know your ‘good’ name only...)

- ‘Too good’ means ‘very good’. In a way I discovered Indians have a hyperbolic way of expressing themselves...

- ‘Hundred percent’ (often nodding the way Indians nod) means ‘absolutely!

- ‘Updation’ or ‘Upgradation’ is the processes of bringing up-to-date (or upgrading). ‘To prepone’ (as opposed to postpone) means ‘to place before’. Don’t be surprised then if an Indian asks you to prepone a meeting...

- ‘One’ is often used instead of the indefinite article ‘a’ (“Let me tell you one story”). ‘Today morning (or afternoon, or evening) is often used instead of ‘this morning’ (or afternoon, or evening)

- ‘Off’ has been transformed into a verb (“Off the fan, please”)

- ‘Hill station’ means ‘mountain resort’, and in general ‘hills’ are ‘mountains’. Good to know, as I thought that in a country with peaks above 7,000 m, it was normal to consider mountains of 4,000 m ‘hills’...

- And finally a word that can save several men from embarrassing questions: ‘healthy’. So, when your wife/partner/girlfriend asks you how you do find her, you can vaguely answer “healthy”...

28 comments:

  1. Indian English sounds like Italian English...

    ReplyDelete
  2. perhaps an idea for a next post? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. very easy to speak, and to understand!
    Have nice time (and a cup of tea in my shop) !

    Pacha

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good ones Matteo - The one I recognize the most is 'prepone'. I was shocked when I came to the US and realized it is not actually a word! ha ha. And beware - women know what 'healthy' means - you will get killed if you say that!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. if you need some examples of "itlish", then you can ask me to write all my posts in english...
    bello ragionare sulla lingua, qualunque essa sia...

    ReplyDelete
  6. well, the idea i had when i wrote the post on indlish was not to look at or point out the mistakes of their english, but to look at how they modified, shaped, invented new words and expression in english. and thinking that a language is not a static concept, but part of a culture...

    but you are right: nice to reason on a language, whichever it is...

    ReplyDelete
  7. ps: arati, you may be interested to know that the verb 'prepone' exists in italian ('preporre', from the latin 'praeponere').

    perhaps an evidence that indian comes from latin?

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good to know :)

    Meanwhile, had you heard of this song - Nella Vecchia Fattoria by Quartetto Cetraas - as a kid? It is in an international collection of kids songs(you can listen to it below) that Raghav loves and he laughs a lot at this particular one because of all the funny sounds.

    http://www.amazon.com/Putumayo-Kids-Presents-Animal-Playground/dp/B000OLHGIE

    ReplyDelete
  9. of course, every italian kid knows 'nella vecchia fattoria' (old mcdonald has a farm)!

    if raghav wants to see the images, he can look at it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2qGr4rJyKM

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like "too good" - it can sound very well for a TV spot - advertising for DANONE "troppo buono - Danone". And "one" for "a", it is a mistake that probably once I made in "one" class-test during Liceo time....
    I like also the verb "to off" (does it exist also "to on" ?) Are not the Indians that make mistakes: are the English that cann't use well their language!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks Matteo for the link - will show it to Raghav.

    Btw, 'on' is also used a verb - as in 'on the fan/light'. Basically removing the the verb 'Turn' in a short form.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Indian English sounds like Italian English...

    ReplyDelete
  13. that would be 'itlish'... :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. perhaps an idea for a next post? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. very easy to speak, and to understand!
    Have nice time (and a cup of tea in my shop) !

    Pacha

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good ones Matteo - The one I recognize the most is 'prepone'. I was shocked when I came to the US and realized it is not actually a word! ha ha. And beware - women know what 'healthy' means - you will get killed if you say that!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. if you need some examples of "itlish", then you can ask me to write all my posts in english...
    bello ragionare sulla lingua, qualunque essa sia...

    ReplyDelete
  18. well, the idea i had when i wrote the post on indlish was not to look at or point out the mistakes of their english, but to look at how they modified, shaped, invented new words and expression in english. and thinking that a language is not a static concept, but part of a culture...

    but you are right: nice to reason on a language, whichever it is...

    ReplyDelete
  19. ps: arati, you may be interested to know that the verb 'prepone' exists in italian ('preporre', from the latin 'praeponere').

    perhaps an evidence that indian comes from latin?

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good to know :)

    Meanwhile, had you heard of this song - Nella Vecchia Fattoria by Quartetto Cetraas - as a kid? It is in an international collection of kids songs(you can listen to it below) that Raghav loves and he laughs a lot at this particular one because of all the funny sounds.

    http://www.amazon.com/Putumayo-Kids-Presents-Animal-Playground/dp/B000OLHGIE

    ReplyDelete
  21. of course, every italian kid knows 'nella vecchia fattoria' (old mcdonald has a farm)!

    if raghav wants to see the images, he can look at it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2qGr4rJyKM

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like "too good" - it can sound very well for a TV spot - advertising for DANONE "troppo buono - Danone". And "one" for "a", it is a mistake that probably once I made in "one" class-test during Liceo time....
    I like also the verb "to off" (does it exist also "to on" ?) Are not the Indians that make mistakes: are the English that cann't use well their language!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks Matteo for the link - will show it to Raghav.

    Btw, 'on' is also used a verb - as in 'on the fan/light'. Basically removing the the verb 'Turn' in a short form.

    ReplyDelete