Press Esc to close
Monday 26 June 2017
News updated at 3:38 AM IST

It's all about Kanglish!

Sudha Srinath, Nov 25, 2012 : 18:11 IST

Perspective

In my college, where the medium of instruction was English, nobody ever cared much for pronunciation. I grew up with no dilemma about whether to pronounce it as ‘di-lemma’ or ‘dye-lemma’; but very recently, I had to learn the difference between ‘e’ and ‘y’ sounds, ‘w’ and ‘v’ sounds, long and short vowel sounds and so on. I can never forget that day when my six-year-old daughter taught me rules about pronunciation that no one ever tried to explain in all my schools.

We were living in Texas, USA and planning a trip home. “This ear also we are going to India in the summer, but this time we are going from the vest,” I told my daughter. In fact, I thought I had said, “This year also we are going to India in the summer, but this time we are going from the west.” We went home every summer by the Atlantic route to Bombay and then to our hometown via Bengaluru. For the first time, we were planning to fly over the Pacific and see how it would feel to cross the international dateline. She was also excited, except that I saw a smile on her face. When I asked her for an explanation, she had to answer, “Amma…you always mix up ‘y’ and ‘e’ sounds. ‘Y’ has the consonant sound of ‘ya’, ‘yaa’, ‘yi’, ‘yee’ etc in Kannada while ‘e’ has the vowel sound of ‘i’ and ‘ee’.” That was, indeed, enlightenment for me; am I glad that her Kannada ‘araLu mallige’ class at DFW Hindu Temple is helping me learn English pronunciation! What she pointed out was an inescapable reality, one which I could not ignore but take a stand on, working towards improving immediately and enthusiastically. I found a teacher in my six year old!

This was just the beginning. I realised that it is a challenge to unlearn my wrong pronunciation and practise the newly learnt correct ones! I kept observing how my Indian friends handle these subtleties in pronunciation. This is absolutely with no intention of offending or hurting anyone’s feelings but to help myself with further corrections.

It was Sunday evening when a friend dropped in with her little son to play with my daughter. “Would you like some fruit?” I said, offering watermelon to them. “No, thank you! My mother-in-law has come to leave (live) with us. We were seating (sitting) and watching two future (feature) filams (films/movies) back to back this afternoon. While watching we yate (ate) a lot of popcorn. I’m fool (full) and he is fool (full) too. In fact, my ice (eyes) are burning from continuous watching.”

Oops! These are totally different cases from the ones that I was looking for. “Today is the yelection (election) day at Indian Professionals’ Association. On my vay (way) I vent (went) there to ote (vote); that’s why I got delayed.” She didn’t disappointment me, after all!

“Can I borrow your daughter’s ellow (yellow) Bharatanatyam dress for my daughter? It is for a cultural programme for ‘International Night’ in her school next veek (week).” It was another friend on the phone! When I told her about our India trip and asked her to collect it before that, she very politely enquired, “Has she finished her eggjams (exams) and yewrything (everything)?”

Our neighbours were from Cuba. The most hilarious one was when our neighbour’s mom wanted to know whether we are going to India by sheep (ship). While it was natural for a Cuban to ask a question like that, I couldn’t control my laughter imagining myself riding on a sheep. Well, by the end of the day, I figured out that many of us whose native language is not English provide free entertainment with our pronunciation and late (let) people, including our own children, yenjoy (enjoy)!

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed, on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews, Washington...

Senior CRPF and police officers carrying the coffin of SI/GD Sahab Shukla after wreath laying...

Senior CRPF and police officers carrying the coffin of SI/GD Sahab Shukla after wreath laying...

Senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari stages 'satyagraha' against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara...

Senior BJP MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari stages 'satyagraha' against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara...

Hindu devotees pull the 'Rath' or the chariot of Lord Jagannath, during the annual Rath Yatra, or...

Hindu devotees pull the 'Rath' or the chariot of Lord Jagannath, during the annual Rath Yatra, or...

Acclaimed Odissi dancer Dona Ganguly's troupe performs during 46th ISKCON Rath Yatra of Lord...

Acclaimed Odissi dancer Dona Ganguly's troupe performs during 46th ISKCON Rath Yatra of Lord...

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory in the final match against Germany's Alexander...

Switzerland's Roger Federer celebrates his victory in the final match against Germany's Alexander...

French Air Force Patrouille de France air demonstration teams take part in flying display during...

French Air Force Patrouille de France air demonstration teams take part in flying display during...

Penitents and costaleros of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno brotherhood carry a float bearing...

Penitents and costaleros of the Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno brotherhood carry a float bearing...

Over 10,000 Chinese yoga enthusiasts in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai in eastern China, took part in...

Over 10,000 Chinese yoga enthusiasts in Wuxi, a city near Shanghai in eastern China, took part in...

A student band dressed as Star Wars storm troopers hold their instruments during the walk...

A student band dressed as Star Wars storm troopers hold their instruments during the walk...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.