Sunday, March 29, 2009

Indian English

i have been nominated for a training course in singapore...well, one can never say, the course itself could get cancelled in which case no seeing singapore at government expense yaar, but theek hai, sub chalta hai...but the reason why i mentioned this is this: no sooner nominated, i did a google search on singapore, found out this and that about the place and while doing that, my attention was grabbed by a hyperlink "indian english" and i was curious...now how many times i must have seen that phrase in the hundreds of pages i must have read on the net i cannot say, but this time round it did catch my eye and i said to myself, really? indian english? now what is that?
now of course, i speak it, i write it, i read it, and i do everything possible with it... but i didnt, sort of think of it as 'indian english'...know what i mean? being 'convent educated', and then having gone to a CBSE school where i was taught english by an anglo-indian, i think you are that, no sir? (maria philip sir, are you reading this blog?i do remember very fondly, you and your enactment of "Othello"), i always thought that i spoke british english albeit with a thick south indian accent (wow! i have admitted to that??!!!) and of course was too uppity re the american english. but u cannot escape american english, right, esp when you have hazaar relatives living in america, and your favourite movies are all hollywood made!! and you end up writing a bit of that also ( that word! now i can view that without cringing!!).

never has another wikipedia page given me more fun time than the one on indian english- and made me so thoughtful...i went on hmming all the time when i read that page, and guess what, (is that american?), at the end of the reading, and did it take time! i was at peace with myself and my english. i no longer worry about not speaking perfect english, i am not worried anymore that i am, day by day, becoming more american-english speaking, and i am positively proud now, of speaking our kind of english. and i wont be judgemental about any kind of english, it had to take that page to make me this!!

btw, do you know that spellings are not going to be a big deal in the CBSE exams anymore? yup! i remember reading somewhere, an article which starts out as english and with many spelling changes becomes german!!maybe that is where we are heading!!

ciao!

1 comment:

camphor said...

I cannot be happy with an English test that ignored spellings - in fact the idea really offends me. Here, apparently children are encouraged to spell "creatively". The horror!!

I always thought that the purpose of language was to communicate - and that cannot be done without some degree of uniformity. I'm not advocating the enforcement of a certain type of English, merely that a standard is necessary. And being an Anglophile, I think the standard to be adopted ought to be the Queen's English.