India Faces a Linguistic Truth: English Spoken Here

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by nimo_cn, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/asia/17iht-letter17.html?scp=7&sq=india&st=cse

     
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  3. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    What is so bitter about it?
     
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  4. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This is a good thread, but I can see that this will degenerate into a massive troll fight. :devious:

    All right, bring it on.
     
  5. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    No it wont because what this writer has said is the SIMPLE TRUTH of India

    In India the real divide is not regional or language as it is MADE out here in this forum
    but the divide is between the Rich and the middle class - ie English speaking and knowing people
    Versus the rest of the AAM Janta ie the ordinary folks not knowing English
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The article is basically oriented to titillate the western audiences' perceptions.

    The writer merely glosses over the issue to highlight his own agenda.

    Why is English important is what begs an answer.

    The answer is simple - it has become the universal language and interacting in the 'global village', be it for better understanding/ interacting amongst the various people of the world or for commerce in the international marketplace, can be done through English alone.

    The writer also misses out that there are 14 officially recognised languages and they are extensively used in that particular State for State's bureaucratic interaction, be it for a railway ticket or on govt files etc. Therefore, to feel that English alone is the language is wrong. Like Bengali is used in Bengal and printed in all material (along with English and Hindi) that are used by the people.

    However, the language of one State may not be understood by the second State. Hence a common language is used; in fact two common languages are used - Hindi and English (the latter being an universal language and learning it assists in the global space).

    Why is pencil marked as Jobber even for the rural market? Because the pencil is for an all India market. If the factory owner is a Punjabi and if he marks his pencil in Gurumukhi, it will not sell in other States because none would understand. Imagine HB, 2H etc being written in a language which is not understood in another State. It must be realised that a private entrepreneur is looking at profits and is not doing social service!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Mr Narashima Rao, one of our PM, knew 13 languages, including many International languages. That helped him a lot to interact with world leaders, without translators. He was a great scholar.

    Now, would that not make him better equipped to face the world?

    Or should he have been a frog in the well and feel like those who think that knowing more languages is a bitter pill?
     
  8. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well, the "simple truth" is not as simple as that. I have long been a proponent of English as real national language.

    But then, is there any country in the world where people of the same nation speak in English instead of their own language? In a supermarket the other day, I heard a man telling his wife, "you bought bread-aa?". And in Hongkong airport recently, I saw a Desi couple who were speaking English to each other, interspersed with words in Telugu. And what's more, in both cases the English was not even grammatically correct. Stuff like: "you want means you go back now, I will call to Shivakumar and tell him to wait'.

    Frankly, I would love it if all of India had a language they could call their own. But there is no consensus, and lot of other problems besides, which is why I am a proponent of English as real NL, in spite of all the negatives.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    In China, they speak Mandarin and Cantonese.

    Hong Kong English (traditional Chinese: 港式英語) may refer to two different yet interrelated concepts. The first concept refers to the variation or dialect of the English language used in Hong Kong. The second concept refers to the accent and elements as a result of its use by Cantonese speakers.

    For the first meaning, Hong Kong predominantly uses British spellings. Pronunciations and words are also predominantly British, although influences from Canadian and Australian English do exist as a result of large numbers of returnees. But there are also words not from the British Isles, such as 'chop', 'shroff', 'nullah' and 'godown'. These vocabularies are usually of Indian or Malay origins, following expansion of the British empire in the 19th century.

    The second meaning, which is also called Cantonese English, in theory, refers to the accent and characteristics of English spoken by native Hongkongers and other Cantonese speakers. Overall, it is primarily spoken by those whose first language is Cantonese. Therefore, although it is called as Hong Kong English, it is not only spoken in Hong Kong. People, who come from Cantonese speaking regions or those whose first language is Cantonese, speak it, such as people who come from Canton (now known as Guangzhou). It is often considered, especially by the locals, as the Hong Kong variant of Chinglish.

    English is one of the official languages in Hong Kong, and is used widely in the Government, academic circles, business and the courts. All road and government signs are bilingual and English is as equally valid as Chinese on legal and business standings.

    In contrast to multi-cultural Singapore where English is the first language of 70% of ethnic Chinese and 25% of Malays and Indians, Hong Kong's population is 95% ethnic Chinese (Cantonese, Fukienese, Teochew, Fukchow, Hakka) and is a predominantly Cantonese-speaking society. Most shops located in districts seldom visited by foreign visitors have signs in Chinese only, and, in locally owned enterprises, written communications are in English with all other work conducted in Chinese.

    Wiki
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  10. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    English has it's own importance. It's for professional purpose only. No one speaks English. it can never replace Hindi or any other regional language.

    Every 3rd Indian lives in undivided - UP, Bihar, MP and Rajasthan. 100% speaks Hindi with some variation of dialect. 5% might know English which is actually important for professional reason which is fair enough.

    The principal official language of India is Hindi, while English is the secondary official language. This serves all the purpose for those who don't know Hindi.

    Since, There is no consensus that which Indian language should become national language if in case. Therefore, Status quo should be maintained. English will never ever be accepted as National language. 90% Indians are not going to learn the language when its not needed. What two-third Indians living in rural area has to do with English ? Learning a language for professional purpose is fine but National language is altogether different ball game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
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  11. sehwag1830

    sehwag1830 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Funny you post 2011 column today .
     
  12. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^ My experience in Hong Kong was quite the opposite, unfortunately. :sad:

    In my experience, the taxi drivers did not know English very well. The hotel staff was all right - much better than in Korea or Taiwan - but there were quite a few whom I had difficulty in communicating with. And in any case, I never encountered a local family conversing in English among themselves. :(

    This chap seems to have had a similar experience:

    Lessons for a Kannadiga in swachcha Cantonese � churumuri


    And this is interesting:

     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    My experience has been different!

    Maybe I looked helpless! ;)


    Hello, how are you?

    Nei hou maa?

    Thank you!

    M goi saa!

    Dining
    Do you have a menu in English?

    Cing man nei jau mou jing man cann paai aa?

    Can you recommend a dish?

    Cing man jau mat coi sik hou gaai siu aa?

    Please bring the bill.

    M goi maai daan

    Keep the change.

    M sai zaau laa

    Shopping
    How much is this?

    Ni go gei do cin aa?

    It's too expensive!

    Gaa cin taai gwai laa!

    Can you reduce the price a bit?

    Peng di dak m dak aa?

    Transportation

    I would like to go to (somewhere)...

    Ngo soeng heoi...

    Stop here, please.

    M goi ni dou jau lok

    Others
    What time is it?

    Cing man ji gaa gei dim zung?

    Excuse me, where is the washroom?

    Cing man sai sau gaan hai bin aa?

    Remember, money speaks in China!! ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  14. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    Polyglotism is part of Indian culture. It seems like Indians by default have to speak a minimum of two to three languages wherever they live.

    It doesn't matter which language is the primary language so as long as they can speak and write it well. At the end of the day critical thinking skills through the mastery of a language (doesn't matter what language it is) is more important than anything else.
     
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