Tuesday 3 May 2011

Lost in Transliteration

It is said that you can be fluent in a language if you start thinking in that language.
Commonly any new language a person speaks is initially thought out in the native language before it is spoken. This is typical when one learns a foreign language and not as much when one speaks another local or regional language. Many a times, what is conveyed has a distinct regional or colloquial touch to it. It may not be uncommon to find “parchuran expenses” in “balance shits” in western parts of India.
While addressing someone of importance, especially in public gatherings and more importantly for ministers and politicians, it is traditional to add the suffix “bhai”, “behen”, “sahib”, amongst others, and followed by the all important “ji” to one’s name. One chooses to display one’s closeness or servility in a corporate set up by addressing a designated senior by adding “sir”, “madam”, or “boss” to the name, be it in speech or in writing. One even sees letters being signed off as “respectfully yours” and “your obedient servant” though the latter is no longer commonly seen. And there has also been a case where a newly recruited executive in his eagerness to please his supervisor, signed off a letter conveying his “hot regards”. It was quite touching.
It is not that far in time that a senior manager in a leading company received a letter from one of his regional managers seeking approval for purchase of some necessary items. One such item was a “chaste” to keep money and other important papers. He further went to reason his requirement by stating that “the teller should have strong drawers”.
Talking of modern communication, one may have received emails informing them of documents being “sented” as attachments followed by another email with an apology as the documents were not attached with the earlier mail and therefore being “resended”.
If in office never by lazy or tardy else you will be branded as “loose” and woe befall a woman in such a category. Don’t be confused if your boss who sits on the upper floor calls you and enquires whether “you are coming on top at any time”. Always remember to inform your boss’s secretary that “you are going down for smoke” so she informs you when you are needed.
We love to dress in the latest fashions and move with the trends. No wonder we see people in “jeans pants”, “jeans pants shirt”, “jeans skirt” and also “lining shirt and lining pant”. Women feel confident wearing lacy “lingeree”, so say the ads. But sometimes “heighted” people have problems finding the right fit.
Typically “Are you going out?” is a question. “You are going out” is not a statement but also a question with the question mark in the tone of the speaker or maybe on her face. “You are going out na” is a statement cum question where the addressee had previously expressed a desire to go out. It can also be extended by saying “yes or no”. You can always start your speech by saying “arre” and ending with “na” or “no”. “Arre yesterday I went to the park na, I saw a man sitting under a tree. You said he is a swami no”. One can also expect a little melodrama when some justification starts with “You see, what happen no..”
One has brothers and sisters. One also has “co-brothers” and “co-sisters” though it has nothing to do with co-opting someone as a brother or sister. Don’t be overjoyed if any of them ask you “if you could leave them on your way” for they are just asking for a ride home.
We love sports and cricket is not just about batting but also about “balling” and “feelding”. And if you are similar in “facing” to the God of cricket don’t forget to cash on it or you will be “one tappi out”.
So next time you go to the mall, don’t feel bad if a friend catches you and says “hmm eating a burger alone alone” because “his father what goes”.

And there's lots more. So folks, go figure.

1 comment:

  1. Nice "riteup" Hahaha!!!
    Jokes apart your observations are accurate & you have a knack for writting .
    looking forward to the next post