Monday, September 2, 2013

Indlish-The New Language In Town

I still remember a teacher of mine who was constantly made fun of because he spoke English with a mixture of Malayalam and English and the constant use of the word “that” while he talked. Sample this-“I want to say that, this class does not behave properly that, you people do not study at all that, I’m fed up!” Strange, isn't it?
Well, that’s not the only case I've encountered, there are lots and lots of people I've met and interacted with who speak really bad English or you can say that they speak 'Indlish', mixing their native languages with English. But one can’t deny the fact that we Indians have a unique approach towards English, the way we write, speak and manipulate it. So here it is-INDIAN ENGLISH
Indian English????What’s that? These questions must be hovering around in your mind, right? So here we go!!
Indian English is the group of English dialects spoken primarily in the Indian subcontinent. After India got independence, attempts were being made to make English our national language but due to protests from several states in India, it was retained only for official purposes. The widespread of English all over India led to different sort of adaptation in different states due to which people from one state may speak English in the way they speak their dialect and that reflects on the way they interpret the language and for them, some words in English may have different meanings for them. Here is a sample
India, as we all know, is the mother of innumerable languages like Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, English and a zillion dialects. But the thing is, people speak it while also mixing their local dialect in it. Bihari English, Anyone? This leads to the invention of new phrases and words in the so-called ‘Indlish Dictionary’. People here have a habit of using words which the Americans or the Britishers don’t usually use or have stopped using or maybe have never even heard of them ever. Here are some of the words- Half-Pants according to Indians and Shorts according to others (read American English). Purse in place of wallet, Hotel in place of restaurant and hotel (actually most of the Indians prefer using the word Hotel since it’s easier to pronounce, I suppose), Tomato Sauce instead of ketchup and zillions of words of which we have laid the foundation stone. For more words, check this out-
English has become a very integral part of our life. We see it everywhere. Posters, movies, magazines, newsletters etc. In fact, it is really hard to survive in this world without knowing English. Everyone expects that an educated well-to-do person speak classy English, write Shakespearean English and be the perfect English gentlemen. Some of us fulfill all those needs and some of us do not so unfortunately. In the past many years, while killing my time browsing Facebook. I've also come across some really horrible English. English, which one after seeing would definitely would not want to live on this planet anymore. You can see millions of such pictures online due to the widespread of Internet to every hook and corner of this world.
Here are some of the pictures and videos I've collected and my comments on them which depicts that “Some people do not give a damn about English”.

This was the one I liked the most . You can’t even imagine what the person was imagining while he wrote this ‘proposal for phrandship’.
P.S- “ I watchman her in college”. Speechless!!

All I can say is R.I.P English and R.I.P  Photoshop.” UFO sayeeted in Pakistan”.

Anyone interested in tasty, delicious, mouth-watering snakes?

Ummm…..Read, bang your head and scroll down!
(I’m very much sure Rihanna will commit suicide if she happens to come across this.)

Is that really supposed to be a notice???”Theft are missing not taken action police and administration”
(Hats off to the police for atleast
getting the spelling of administration correct!!)

English classes for lalies only!! What kind of specie is lalies?Never heard of it though.

Had a good laugh? Didn't you? Now coming to the point, I’ll again take this opportunity to say that Indian English has become an integral part of our life. Nowadays, Indians have a habit of mixing English with their very own local language resulting in a completely different kind of lingo. In my school, order was said as ‘audi’, permission became ‘permi’, aggressive became ‘rangarh’ (By the way, I've never understood the word itself.), trolled became ‘bugging’ and many similar kind of words were used at that and is still used. That’s not the story of only my school, many schools and colleges have their kind of 'language'. Not only schools and colleges, different places have different lingo where a mixture of English and the local dialect is spoken sometimes resulting in the emergence of a completely new language. 
The well-known Indian writer UR Ananthamurthy had remarked English was a ‘father-tongue’, whilst the languages we speak in kitchens and backyards, the ones we gossip in, are our mother-tongues. But the widespread of English language in India has led to the use of English words in our backyard and kitchen talks and this is irresistible. And then suddenly while we are talking about this stuff, “Why this Kolaveri Di” comes to my mind.
The lyric of this song itself indicates how we completely make a mish-mash of English sentences and words because we seem to be comfortable speaking like that now.
It may be OK to use such lingo but we have overlooked the fact that we, even after studying in an English medium school don’t even know the basics of grammar. It may be attributed to the negligence shown by our education system and we have to suffer in the later stages of our lives.
However, the biggest problem is our ACCENT. I've conversed with a lot of people and many of them speak English in such a manner that you cannot do anything but nod just for the sake of it. I read somewhere that schools in Tamil Nadu teach English with Tamil grammar because of which other people can't make out what they are talking about (Not all but some of them). This is a common phenomenon all over India and people from other countries make fun of it. Stand-up comedian Russell Peters has taken a lot of dig at Indian accents. Here you go!!
Here is a phone conversation from a movie on which I stumbled upon a long time back and it’s quite good.
And last but not the least, our very own Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Speech in the Parliament. Pure Entertainment!!
On the brighter side, language experts believe that ‘Indlish’ is good for the future. According to David Graddol, a British Linguist who studies English in non-English speaking countries, people will increasingly be called upon to be proficient in more than one language. Graddol says young people in countries like India will have an edge, since multilingualism will be valued as a professional skill. At the same time, India needs to be more aware of the evolution of English elsewhere in the world, as this will have an impact on its competitiveness.
But then the question comes, how should children in school be taught English? First of all, English is a language which should be relished and there are two ways to learn it- having fun with it or just learning it and today’s children know the difference between both. I believe that we should also focus on the linguistic aspect of the language so as to pronounce each and every word with precision. In addition to that, maximum attention must be given to grammar which is always ignored. Not to forget, always try to converse in English so that you come to know about your mistakes and rectify them instead of being made fun of.
English will always be the language of opportunity, but Indlish is the language of friendship. So we must speak in English but with correct syntax.
Reference Source-
(Facebook- R.I.P English)


  1. Nice article. Very detailed, accurate and funny.

  2. good one.. looking forward to read more, keep up your work

  3. @ geeth mama and revati mami- Thanks!

  4. Very Comprehensive article, very funny and bang on target.
    Appears that you have done lot of research before writing it.
    Keep it up. I expect lot more from you, on different walks of life on contemporary issues.

  5. Interesting article to read. You should format and make the font size the same. You are so talented. I wish to read more of your thoughts apart from the research work.

  6. good one bro
    has some famous practical jokes of our time