Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do you speak Indlish?

People all over the world speak English.  It is the de facto official language of this globe. And few other countries pride themselves over their command over the English language as much as India. And yet, when foreigners visit India, or have the pleasure of speaking with Indians 'fresh of the boat' they invariably are stumped by some of the idiomatic expressions of Indian English. I stumbled across a wonderful blog yesterday.  It is called 'India outside my window' and I highly recommend it.  The author writes beautifully and her pictures truly capture the essence of that country. And I should know, I've spent much time there myself.  The author of this blog writes a wonderful post on "Indlish" and I hope you do take a moment to read it.

Here is a excerpt from her post. Click on the link to read the post in its entirety.

Communication can be confusing in a country where cakes are called pastries, a dress is clothing, people ask you to off the light and on the fan, backside is not your rear end but the rear of a building, and people don’t die, they expire (like a gym membership or credit card). People also shift and not move house. And just to make things more confusing for foreigners, a cover is a bag or envelope, vessels are not ships but dishes, a hotel is actually a restaurant and a parcel is not a package to be sent by post but a take-away.


Eva said...

That reminds me of a handyman we had in NC once. He knocked at our door and said:"I've come to fix your commode." My first thought was I guess he means "chest of drawers" because of the German word "Kommode," but after I assured him that it didn't need any repairs, he changed his vocabulary to "toilet." So even in the US you can run into things like that.

When I was in Canada I learned to live with "serviette," "chesterfield," "telly," and more. And in London the accent of most people was so different from what I was used to that sometimes I didn't understand anything, especially when someone came to fix our dryer. . .

A Homeschool Story said...

I love it, I'll get the book! I think it can be even harder to get a language when, just because you are both speaking what you are calling the same language (ie: Spanish from Spain vs. Spanish from Chile), you assume you will always and easily understand each other. When you are attempting to communicate in a foreign language, you exercise caution to a certain degree. This lack of caution can cause ooodles of trouble sometimes!