top of page

English is a very Phunnny Language - 2

In the last post "English is a very phunnny language!" we discussed how Indian speakers generally speak English by simply translating from their first language. In this post I'm going to answer the unanswered questions from the last post.

What do I mean by actual flavor of a language?

How would you say "Aasmaan se gira, khajoor mein atka" in English?

Now I'm sure all our Indian brains must be busy translating this? Aren't they?

Well, this is how it is said in English: "Out of the frying pan, into the fire"

This is exactly what I mean by actual flavor of a language. No translations! You must have realized what we usually do while speaking in English and what it actually is. Trust me we do translate in our daily conversations too.

As mentioned in the last post; "Tum aa rahe ho na?" becomes "You are coming no?" when it should be, "Aren't you coming?"

"Tum woh exam kab de rahe ho" becomes "When are you giving that exam?" Now this needs a bit of an explanation.

If you are a teacher, you give an exam to your students; meaning you conduct a test for your students, you are the examiner.

If you are a student, a candidate, an examinee or you are going to appear for an exam; then you should say "You are taking an exam."

I know this sounds odd to our Indian ears, but this is the actual flavor of English we're talking about. This give and take here has nothing to do with lena or dena in Hindi.

Let's discuss one of the most used phrase by most of the Indians - "Do one thing"

Someone asks : "Excuse me! Can you tell me where this xyz building is?

Reply: "Do one thing, go straight..."

Someone asks: "Have you seen my phone? I can't find it."

Reply: "Do one thing, give a missed call from my phone." (We'll discuss missed call soon)

We just can't live without 'Do one thing', can we?

Is it necessary to use do one thing? Does it really exist in English?

The answer is NO. It's not necessary and it doesn't exist in English. It's an Indian gift to English.

Let's get it right, now -

Someone asks : "Excuse me! Can you tell me where this xyz building is?

Reply: "Sure! go straight and take the second left" ("Sure" answers the question "Can you tell me?" and "go straight..." answers the question "where this xyz building is?"

Someone asks: "Have you seen my mobile? I can't find it."

Reply: "No. Why don't you make a call to your mobile from mine?" ("No" answers the question "Have you seen my mobile?" and Why don't you make a call to your mobile from mine? is a suggestion without using "Do one thing".

Please refrain from using this phrase now to sound smarter.

Now, Do One Thing, visit our blog to learn more. ; )




bottom of page