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Indian months (2011) – First Part

February 17, 2014


India is very cheap for Europeans, I moved there during the summer (July/August 2011), which it is a particular period for freelancer (few working projects, little money then). It sounded the best solution: visit a new and interesting country.  Furthermore, as a freelance teacher and translator, it is good to widen my professional network in one of the BRICS countries. Especially in a city like Bangalore.


India is very interesting for English linguists because their English is close to the Standard RP, but as Entry From Backside Only’s Binoo John said “young Indians had embraced the variant of the language as a charming offspring of the mingling of English and Hindi, rather than an embarrassing mongrel.[…]Economic prosperity has changed attitudes towards Indian English[…]Having jobs and incomes, and being noticed by the rest of the world, have made Indians confident – and the same confidence has attached itself to their English.”


In order to understand what I am writing about, here is some interesting example:


Dear sir, with reference to your above see my below – popular opening line in official letters.

Teachress – a female teacher.

Timepass – a trivial activity that passes the time.

She freaked out last night – she had a good time.

Your lyrical missive has enveloped me in the sweet fragrance of our love – from a book advising lovers on how to write to girlfriends.

How often do you take sex? – question from doctor to patient.

Pritam Singh has left for his heavenly above – a death notice.

Hue and Cry notice – title of police missing person newspaper advertisement.

Don’t do nuisance in public – government admonition against urinating in public


It is interesting to see how English interacts with the other main official language, Hindi, which it is more spoken in the North than in Southern India, because of historical reason, it is the “language” of government. This blending can show an important result of globalisazion: Globish. But in India is Hinglish. Nevertheless, English is an official language and, clever Indians, or mean corporations, use their language skills, for example, in call centers: good-ish English, low salaries. Anybody is happy, more or less.


Another reason to go to India is finding&loosing themselves, in a society very different, not only compared to the Western ones (it is important the “s” , there are some differences among European countries, except Luxembourg and, maybe, Belgium if it does not have Trappist Beer and Waffle), but also within the Indian States: different alphabets, intonation, which leads to a different attitude and approach of life. 


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