Indian Inglish

people grocery modern india hinglish Bombay spelling taxi
 Santanu Misra / February 1, 2008
295 words ; 2 minutes read

The biggest asset of 21st century modern India is its big chunk of young educated Indian who can speak decent English. There is lot of buzz and business happening in India as there are numerous outsourcing operations.

But on the ground we speak very different English with borrowed words from Indian regional languages that do find their way into our writing, advertisements and newspapers, TV spots and shows from north to south or east to west.

For example, in south it is very common to end a sentence with “no” – ‘You’re going, no.’ which might be a question or asking re-assurance from the other end.

Use of yaar, abey, arey in an English conversation between Indians, mainly by people of native Hindi-speaking origin.

Use of the word ki to mean, that such as in “What I mean is ki we should follow that sign.”

Use of word “wallah” to denote occupation like taxi-wallah, grocery-wallah.

Use of word maane (Bengali) , Yani (Urdu) and matlab (Hindi/Urdu) is quite common “meaning” ("What I mean is…”).

Use of accha! to express positive emotions as in “Accha, so that’s your plan” Or chal (Hindi for the verb “walk”) to mean “Ok” like in “Chal, I gotta go now”.

They have got so much incorporated in our day today life that we hardly notice. Even you might find certain spelling unique in Indian English to attract or just out of ignorance. I think this sign falls on the second category. What is your pick?

But I personally think Indian English is much more globally understood and acceptable than any other British colonies. And I strongly believe we should not colorize our English; and do every effort to keep it close to its root rather than making it pigeon language.

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