The quirks of Indian English

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#1 Jan 23rd, 2005, 08:16
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  • Apana is offline
#1
**List The quirks of Indian English **

admin note-please note the first post in this discussion was deleted but the topic is quirks of 'the Indian English'.


Nice thread:

"Cope up with"

Direct translations from the mother tongue: "I climbed a bus." (for boarded)

"Where is your native?"

terms such as "friends circle."

Some linguistic groups have a fondness for the present continuous: "We can be going for a movie," "We can be studying together."

The indiscrimate use of the definitive article; check ANY newspaper / magazine/ TV broadcast/ slick advertisement for examples.

Apana
Last edited by indiamike; Oct 12th, 2005 at 18:39.. Reason: original discussion starter no longer member
#2 Jan 23rd, 2005, 11:45
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#2
"Wait, I'll remove your ticket !!" ( Means "I'll buy your ticket")

"Don't talk middle middle !! " ( Means "Don't interrupt")

"Nothing for them !!" ( Means "they don't care")

There are many, many more !!! What to do, we Indians are like that only !!!
Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to shop !
#3 Jan 23rd, 2005, 12:01
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#3
"okay, no problem..." (followed by the head bobbing side-to-side... which i still have no idea what it means, is it like mas o menos, whatever, maybe, sure, or we'll talk about it later?)

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#4 Jan 23rd, 2005, 16:50
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#4
I love this question which I've encountered several times when I talk about my husbond (which of course is really my boyfriend): "No issues?" or "Do you have any issues?" Which means "Do you have any children?"

In the beginning it really puzzled me!
#5 Jan 23rd, 2005, 17:28
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#5
"What is your good name please?" (often followed by "sir" or "madam" as the case may be)

Interestingly, a lot of "Indian English" also sounds like "Irish English" - especially Irish English from the 19th-early 20th C.
#6 Jan 23rd, 2005, 17:28
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In Eng-English we say that you can have too much *of* something but I have had too much tea Ind-English is consistent and doesn't drop the of.

There is confusion caused by thinking in the mother tongue and translating literally. My favourite example of this is my Telegu friend saying to me 'Only I learned Tamil then I came here'. meaning that she didn't learn Tamil until she came here.

I'm fond of some of the indian journalese from the papers. I haven't read of a criminal having their collar felt for a long time, but a few of them do get nabbed. the ones that didn't get nabbed often are absconding. The ones who are absconding may well have the police on their trail

I read today that someone has been arrested under the Goondas Act. What, please, is a Goonda?

Some words that have become archaic in English are still in use here eg Godown for warehouse. the same, of course is true of American English, eg gotten
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#7 Jan 23rd, 2005, 17:57
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#7
...the maximum use of the word "maximum", as in

"The maximum best place to visit.."

"..maximum quality beer.."

"..maximum people do this.."

...lovely
#8 Jan 23rd, 2005, 17:59
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#8
..oh and "I belong to", meaning "I come from"..

"I belong to Jorhat" etc.
#9 Jan 23rd, 2005, 18:30
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Nick,

A goonda is athug or an anti-social element or even a rowdy sheeter. The last term is official police talk for a habitual offender. These sorts are what you might call a yob.

One favoured term of Indian journalese is - alas - seen less often; ministers no longer air-dash to scenes of major disasters.

There are, of course, many colonial terms that are still used. On the estates, the head overseer is still called a writer.

Die-hard Indiamikers MUST pick up a copy of Hobson-Jobson. A cheap Wordworth edition is available.

Apana
#10 Jan 23rd, 2005, 19:17
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apana On the estates, the head overseer is still called a writer.
I thought this was a translation from a pre-British term : munshi .
Lots of interesting stuff on these in C.A. Bayly`s Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870
#11 Jan 23rd, 2005, 19:26
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#11
Uncle!!!!!!!
#12 Jan 23rd, 2005, 21:46
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#12
the use of the word 'no' to every question.

'you are coming to the movie,no?'. If you read the sentence fast, then you'll get the hang of it, the reflexive addition of the word 'no'. I suppose it's a bit like appending 'right' to the question.

'timepass', 'Godman' are some of the wierd ones.

'lecherous leper'- a generic swear term addressing your friends in college campus, especially IIT madras! :-)
#13 Jan 23rd, 2005, 22:25
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#13
where are you putting up? (where are you staying?)
we are pushing off now. (we are going now)
#14 Jan 24th, 2005, 00:21
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#14
haha, good thread.

You are coming from? - meaning what country do you come from
I have a doubt/Any doubts - instead of question
You are taking ...? - instead of you will have...(like "you are taking tea?)
#15 Jan 24th, 2005, 02:23
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#15
A word that I find very interesting from Indian English is PROPONE. It is the opposite of postpone. It doesn't exist in British or American English, but is based entirely on logical morphology.
Indian English creates some wonderfully expressive English -
'A mischief-maker made off with.....'

This is an area of academic interest for me. Within my area of studies there are some very interesting questions regarding the ownership of English. Some commentators argue for 'Standard English', whilst others feel that English no longer belongs to GB or the USA, but to all users. The proponents for 'standard English' argue that without perscribed standards, English will degenerate into unintelligability, like what happened to Latin. This opinion is related to what is sometimes referred to as 'Linguistic Imperialism'.
I'm interested to know what everyone thinks.
Standard English or let it run riot?
(I'll let you know what I think later...)
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