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English, Hinglish or Tanglish????? Ask the Oxford Dictionary.

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by satchitananda, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    [JUSTIFY]Reading some write-ups and feedbacks on the English language as well as playing Scrabble and Words has made me scratch my brains a bit these (well, not just a bit, I am sure I would see some scratches on the background of greyish white if I could see it in the mirror).

    What is correct English? There are days when I tear my hair out when I read some "bad" English :bang. There are other times when I think, well, so long as the meaning is conveyed, what does it matter? After all a language is for communication (so long as the mistakes do not impair that purpose or mis-communicate leading to misunderstandings, harm to anyone physically or mentally), so can't we accept some mistakes here or there? :coffee

    My thoughts on "good" or "correct" English started when a very erudite person, a close friend of the family (who takes a perverse pleasure in telling the world what I did to him when he carried me as a baby :rant) once asked me if I had read Shakespeare. I had just finished my Std. X. Sadly I had to shake my head. This "uncleji" took the liberty of telling me what he thought of the level of my education and English if I had never read the bard in original. A much chastened and ashamed Satchi :hide: promptly borrowed "Macbeth" and opened the first page. The first chapter started half way down the first page. I read the first paragraph and tried hard to understand what it was that Shakespeare wanted to tell us. :drowning Search me. He could have been speaking Arabic or Greek for all I knew. I gave up - I accepted I was illiterate, uneducated, whatever epithets uncleji would see it fit to confer on me - but no way I was going to put myself through such torture. How could I enjoy the work of the bard when I could not understand the language? :spin

    But Shakespeare wrote English, didn't he? But it does not resemble the English I know. Then what is this fraudulent language that passes off for English? :confused2: That is when illumination dawned :idea. A language is not static. It keeps changing with time. It changes with geographic location. The English we learned in school is already considered quaint in ye old England where it is now considered snobbish to talk the queen's English. (Well, at least that is what I heard when I was there. Don't know if it has changed already. After all it is now nearly 16 years since I was there). It was with some chagrin and amusement that I heard my sis who was visiting me then complain that the Brits "didn't speak no English no more" (at least that was how the younger folk there would have chosen to put it). :rotfl Here was an Indian complaining about British English. I had to remind this language teacher that language is an evolving entity. Change is the only unchanging factor in language (as in everything else about life). So does that mean we don't speak English no more?

    We already have a variety of English in our own country - Hinglish, Tanglish ..... Each region speaks the language with a certain accent and intonation of its own. Even the Brits have accepted many of our words. They looted our country of a lot of wealth and took back an Indianized version of the language too. The empire strikes back, eh?????

    Look at the latest version of the Oxford dictionary.

    It has accepted words like curry, catamaran, pariah, dhobi, ghee, jodhpurs, bindi, cheetah, bungalow, juggernaut, bandana, purdah, mulligatawny, pukka, .......... from Indian words. Interestingly, the word co-sisters features in the Wiktionary.

    According to the website chillibreeze,

    That being the case, who are we to say what is "good" or "bad" or "authentic" English? :bonk[/JUSTIFY]
     
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  2. kelly1966

    kelly1966 Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi Satchi..
    very soon there will be a version of "sms-english".. all vowels and double letters will be removed.. or does this exist already????...
    there was a research carried out in UK a few years back where the people on streets were asked what is there fav food.. most of them said curry or chicken tikka... and all of them thought that those were original brit recipes!!!..
    so the once invaders are invaded indeed!!!..
    kerman
     
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  3. mansimahi

    mansimahi Gold IL'ite

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    :clap:clap: Brilliant post as always...

    Much to the despair of my english professors and my father, I could never master the art of speaking or writing the language properly...the "propah" british accent eluded me. Added to the fact that i grew up in various parts of india, so my english language too got influenced by its regional accents and dialects. The english i speak today is neither hinglish, tanglish, english ...it is a completely different language on its own with borrowed words from every language i had come across ...and when i cannot find the right word I create one :hide:

    The eccentricities of the english language still confuses me... and i have difficulty telling my daughter why plural of house is not heese !!!!! Oxford dictionary has now included even sms and internet terms, "google" - is now offciailly included in the dictionary. I think we have to accept the changes with time..... as long the meaning is conveyed and one is able to communicate who cares if it is in shakespearean english or in tanglish..
     
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  4. Soumedh

    Soumedh Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Satchi!
    good read!
    Now the current scenario is if anybody dont know Hinglish..adding "I Toh"..for all sentences in conversation then they are like ..old fashioned and dont know trendy english:).
    people have started using all sort of abbrevationst it feels as if we are reading sms.Even OK is further more shortned as only "K"!Even hindi has accomodated some english words as they are...so now a days languages have become sort of "khichdi"!
    RGDS
     
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  5. Arunarc

    Arunarc Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Satchi
    Aangreji is a funny language, The real English has completely gone. with so much of changes.
     
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  6. Sudha Kailas

    Sudha Kailas IL Hall of Fame

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    Oxford is outdated now Sats !!

    Some days I wonder if I am speaking the right English.....epecially when the person I talk to.....mostly this X bank that call me 4/ times every day and despite my repeated answer that dad is out of the country and how may I help them ?? I am still looking for an answer that will stop them from aking me the same question !! Can anyone help me please ?? be it English or Hinglish or Tanglish !!
     
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  7. AkhilaaSaras

    AkhilaaSaras Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Satchi,:)
    How are you? Hope to be fine always :thumbsup
    Quiet funny but really English is dying a lot now a days. There i a saying ,"Tamil ini melaa chaagum" But as of now English is being murdered a lot. Especially in name of modernization they spell wrongly. Even the automated talks in phone has mixture of both.
    Please some one save ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:bowdown
     
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  8. Sriniketan

    Sriniketan IL Hall of Fame

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    Very true Satchi. There is no yardstick to say, who speaks 'good' English. When the message conveyed and received are the same..then there is no problem, isn't it!
    There is nothing wrong in the addition of other language words into the system. Before getting used to that word, the pronounciation goes into many changes and it is pronounced as desired by the desired authorities.

    I am reminded of this word "Guru' being asked in a Spelling Bee competition in our place. But the pronounciation of this word was "Gooroo", which was made the competitor perplexed and came with the spelling Gooroo..poor girl! :-(

    sriniketan
     
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  9. navs23

    navs23 Platinum IL'ite

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    ha ha, interesting write up Satchi :) language keeps evolving/changing over time and no one can claim to be proficient in a particular language, there will always be some unknowns/dialects that make no sense. Some times, it is so funny how some words can really put us in awkward situations. We use the word 'make out' in the context of unable to understand, right(or so I thought), 'I was unable to make out what he said'. It means different here, so imagine my horror when I said 'Sorry, I am not able to make out' in a meeting and was stared at as if I had completely lost it :bonk
     
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  10. kkrish

    kkrish Finest Post Winner

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    Hello, Hi, Namaskar, Sats
    These are expressions that I am met with here..yes namaskar too...when they want to impress me :)

    Almost all languages have evolved. Once when I was in a S.Indian temple in the heart of Tamil Nadu I was reading the inscriptions on the walls. I could not identify many of the letters. Ther were some Kannada/Telugu mixed too. I am pretty sure the Tamil we speak today is definitely not the Tamil that was spoken centuries ago.

    And if that is the case with an ancient language, naturally it is to be expected of English to change constantly; the language itself is an amalgam of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit.

    I am pretty sure Chaucer who wrote the Canterbury Tales in the 1300s would have looked his nose down on Shakepeare's works two centuries later. And Shakepeare would have guffawed at Tennysons' which were much easier for me to understand. The lingo used by Keats and Yeats are so different.

    When one of my friends' relatives visited the US he declared that the Americans did not know how to spell. Color for Colour, Center for Centre, Program for Programme..... But are the Americans wrong? No. They dispensed off with letters they thought were unnecessary.

    Now it is proven that you don't really need vowels in words. One cn esly idntfy th wrds tht hv jst th cnsnnts by smple assctn wth th tpc.

    Yes, the English language will continue to evolve. When I hear people complain that things are not the way they were, including English, I think to myself, yes when we were young also things were not the way they were when our grandparents were young.

    As you say change is the constant and the more we adapt the more interesting life becomes.

    Good one Sats!
     
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