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Old 10-05-2012, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,370 posts, read 5,161,133 times
Reputation: 3896

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I work in the IT field, and I also work on a team of about 15 people, at least 8 of them are Indian. But Ive also worked for an Indian firm in which I was the only American on my team. I have found that many Indians have a different sort of english they speak. Sometimes it comes out pretty hilarious, but it seems to be a VERY common dialect amongst people in India. How this come about, as it appears that these errors are exclusive to India only. And many Indians have spoken English much of their lives, so why are these gramatical errors so acceptable amongst Indians. Here are some of them:



I have done the needful/Please do the neeful

The request is taking long time

One help please

The task, I have done.

Kindly revert back

Please do xyz without fail

Traffic will be very less today

Tell me. (This is common when you are about to ask Indians questions)


Does anyone know why it is like this? I have seen that this doesn't seem to happen in a lot of other former British colonies.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:45 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,521,771 times
Reputation: 11862
Singlish has features like that, even among people who basically just speak English with an accent.

Some classic examples:

'You come home so late, how come?'

'Off the lights!'

'Aaaahhh this so big one haw!'

'You go to Harvard University, is it?'

Condominium too expensive, lah!'

Last edited by Trimac20; 10-05-2012 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:47 PM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
13,300 posts, read 10,522,159 times
Reputation: 3541
Considering the British sound strange to Americans and vice versa, Aussies sound different as well
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: DF
758 posts, read 1,964,973 times
Reputation: 606
that's funny, filipinos say "Close the lights!"
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
21,381 posts, read 24,186,460 times
Reputation: 8875
Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
I work in the IT field, and I also work on a team of about 15 people, at least 8 of them are Indian. But Ive also worked for an Indian firm in which I was the only American on my team. I have found that many Indians have a different sort of english they speak. Sometimes it comes out pretty hilarious, but it seems to be a VERY common dialect amongst people in India. How this come about, as it appears that these errors are exclusive to India only. And many Indians have spoken English much of their lives, so why are these gramatical errors so acceptable amongst Indians. Here are some of them:



I have done the needful/Please do the neeful

The request is taking long time

One help please

The task, I have done.

Kindly revert back

Please do xyz without fail

Traffic will be very less today

Tell me. (This is common when you are about to ask Indians questions)


Does anyone know why it is like this? I have seen that this doesn't seem to happen in a lot of other former British colonies.
http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/india/indianlanguages.htm

There are numerous dielects in India and whatever english they learn is based on British english and not American english. IT people make sentences based on the rules of their own languages for word order. They translate in WYSIWYG. Their call centers deal with other IT people. So they are not taught spoken english to deal with retail people. You're lucky you're dealing them with emails and you get short fragmented sentences. I have to actually talk to them and try to figure out what they are trying to speed talk to me and tell them to copy and paste the error they are dealing with. With DST the time difference is 9.5-11.5 hours, so I'm getting my calls in the middle of the night.

BTW you missed: Please intimate me.

But if you ever get a chance to fly there and meet them, they are extremely friendly and courtious. They will invite you to their homes and treat you as one of the family. Just make sure you learn the Left Hand rules and be able to do deep knee squats.
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,610 posts, read 3,159,593 times
Reputation: 710
Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post

I have done the needful/Please do the neeful

The request is taking long time

One help please


The task, I have done.


Kindly revert back

Please do xyz without fail


Please intimate me

Traffic will be very less today

Tell me.
(This is common when you are about to ask Indians questions)

Does anyone know why it is like this? I have seen that this doesn't seem to happen in a lot of other former British colonies.
The ones I have highlighted in red stem from archaic usage of the English language (as once used in England). After independence, India was pretty much isolated for decades, meaning that old-fashioned English is still taught in schools.

The ones I highlighted in green are from Indian languages. People who don't have English as their native language tend to use expressions originating in their own languages and translate them to English. The grammar structure of Indian languages is different to that of English.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,423,177 times
Reputation: 36100
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelaldo View Post
that's funny, filipinos say "Close the lights!"
Almost all languages say "close the lights". The expression originates in the era of pre-electrical lanterns, in which the light could be darkened by closing the shutter. These remained in use later in unindustrialized countries, so that usage is of more recent vintage and has carried over in oral tradition.. But technically, when you turn off an electric light, you are in fact opening the electrical circuit, and you close the circuit to turn the lights on.

Also, nearly all the people who say "close the lights" are bilingual,and Americans innately have no concept of what it is like to be bilingual, so all characteristics of bilingualism are strange and even comical to Americans. Common verbs in different languages have different scopes of meaning, so sometimes translate into English oddly. For example, the Spanish "tomar", which usually translates as "to take", but not always. It is used to take a picture, or to take a pill, or take some sun, but not to take a shower or take your time or to take a girl to the movies. The scope of meaning of "tomar" and "to take" are not exactly the same in both languages. A verb like "to get" or "to make" has a hundred different meanings in English, but no verb in any other language has exactly the same hundred meanings.

To complicate matters, English has a two-word verb corresponding to nearly every one-word verb, which can be used interchangeably, such as /take off = remove/, or /put together = assemble/ or /get up = arise/ or /make up = (a dozen different things)/. . Those thousands and thousands of combinations must each be learned as an individual expression.

To the OP, try carrying on a conversation in Urdu-Hindi and see how many "laughable errors" you make.

Last edited by jtur88; 10-08-2012 at 08:23 AM..
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:55 AM
 
2,032 posts, read 2,422,063 times
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I lived in India for a year. I love using "do the needful" in casual conversation here in the US...really throws people off :-D
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: North Texas
24,016 posts, read 32,919,420 times
Reputation: 27554
Errors like this are usually an artifact of the speaker's native or primary language coming through; if they don't know an expression in English or aren't confident of its usage, they will borrow one from their native language and translate it literally. Happens all the time and is actually interesting for gaining insight into the structure of a foreigner's native language.

Just for funsies, French (not my first language) has different words for hair growing on your head and hair growing elsewhere. They also frequently say "We are Monday" and lack a noun that translates to "fun"...that sentiment is expressed with a reflexive verb instead. Native French speakers sometimes struggle to express that they had fun because French people do not "have fun", they "amuse themselves". ;-) Also, to a French speaker, the words "hungry" and "angry" often sound identical and they will usually pronounce those words identically.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:23 AM
 
570 posts, read 1,508,466 times
Reputation: 353
some of them are not grammar errors They are British English to me.
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