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Old 12th May 2010, 15:20   #1051
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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Reading definitely helps. But in my case, when I do my business level communications, I have to take care that my language does not become a bit 'classical'. My inclination towards classical English literature (though am a fan of the Russian masters) makes my English a bit more old fashioned, but more correct from the grammar point of view. I've to re-read the sentences, re-arrange them and also break them down more often than not

I think reading contemporary literature/articles and business books gets you more closer to reality
Well said. The point you make about Russian masters is perfect. Thats because all their work is translated from Russian to English. They really have long sentences.

Even I am big fan of them. Have collected all those books from Mir Publishers when they used to sell at 20-30 Rupees!
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Old 12th May 2010, 17:16   #1052
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Even I am big fan of them. Have collected all those books from Mir Publishers when they used to sell at 20-30 Rupees!
Yes I remember the book fairs held once a while even in small towns like Nagercoil, where I grew up
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Old 12th May 2010, 20:27   #1053
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IMHO: We as Indians think in our Mother-Tongue more relatively, translate it into English and then fire a barrage of mangled words. It is difficult to think in English and transform thoughts into grammatically correct English phrases.

E.g:
Hindi: Kitne ka diya?
Converted English: For how much?

The "Converted English" is absolutely right to the Indian mind, but, murders grammar instantaneously. In the above example the right phrase would be "What's the price?"
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Old 12th May 2010, 22:15   #1054
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I wanted to make that point in my original post. Then when I thought about it for some more time, I realized that times are changing at least in the urban context.

Kids have started thinking in English. Current generation is as you say stuck on to mother tongue. But next generation already thinks in English.

Personally even I have felt that transformation in myself to certain extent.
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Old 13th May 2010, 13:13   #1055
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I wanted to make that point in my original post. Then when I thought about it for some more time, I realized that times are changing at least in the urban context.

Kids have started thinking in English. Current generation is as you say stuck on to mother tongue. But next generation already thinks in English.

Personally even I have felt that transformation in myself to certain extent.
Well, I might be a generation older to you, but I think in English. It depends on one's schooling. I had the advantage of convent education all through my school years, where we were trained to not only speak in English but also dream in English .

But it is true that there are more and more people like me in the current generation, and this can be attributed largely to the all-pervasive fascination for education in English medium schools. I guess the IT / BPO industry has acted as a catalyst to some extent.
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Old 13th May 2010, 17:12   #1056
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Well, I might be a generation older to you, but I think in English. It depends on one's schooling. I had the advantage of convent education all through my school years, where we were trained to not only speak in English but also dream in English .

But it is true that there are more and more people like me in the current generation, and this can be attributed largely to the all-pervasive fascination for education in English medium schools. I guess the IT / BPO industry has acted as a catalyst to some extent.

Even I attended a Convent High and College. Nuns/Sisters would break our knuckles if we could not speak grammatically correct English. I believe it's the "Indi" aka regional thing that shadows over a foreign language.

But, nowadays the western slang, ghetto drub and SMS lingo is the 'in culture'. No one want's to make full use of the keyboard anymore...!


Absence of time, quality reading material and the inability to imagine in the same language is probably the root cause for the lack in vocabulary.
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Old 13th May 2010, 18:14   #1057
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I think bringing up kids to think in English is not an issue. This need not be embedded right from beginning.
A child learns fastest in his/her mother tongue. Initial bring-up should always be in mother tongue.

Once out in the open with peers (school, playground etc), rest of the actions involuntarily will catch up.
I guess this is bound to happen.

But what I am concerned more is the fact that today spoken English is given more importance as compared to
the English that needs to be read and assimilated. In the later years the English that needs to be read has also
gone down the declivity.

Now the question is : Who decides/defines what is good and what is bad?

I would say it is totally defined by the parents. In this day and age, when parents themselves do not read,
what can one expect from the next generation. How many parents today visit the book shop with their kids
and their kids look forward to it?

When this culture is brought back, English can be restored to its pristine glory.
Else it will remain chained to the blasphemy of SMS and E-Mail.

Last edited by ampere : 13th May 2010 at 18:27.
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Old 13th May 2010, 18:24   #1058
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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I think bringing up kids to think in English is not an issue. This need not be embedded right from beginning.
A child learns fastest in his/her mother tongue. Initial bring-up should always be in mother tongue.
I second that. I was poor in English all the way till my 10th standard. My english teacher used to read out the stories in our text book and explain in tamil what it means!
However, I never felt that I missed out on anything big. Making a shift to English medium was easy for me. "The Hindu" became my bible for years to come. On the contrary to many people who think that one has to start learning things at a very young age, I felt that one has to be ready to learn. This fact was further fortified when I noticed the western education. Not claiming as that's the greatest way and not deriding what's happening in Indian education system. But what caught my fancy was the fact that Algebra and Calculus were taught at a later stage in US than in India. The students were able to appreciate the usage better than us.
I guess the same goes for every subject.
Let the up-bringing be in native languages for the child to appreciate and relate to better. They'll anyway grab a fancy for anything foriegn during their formative years only to decimate the notion a little later!
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Old 13th May 2010, 18:30   #1059
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Great thread. Took this long to stumble upon this one and need time to read it all. Loved the 10 most misspelled words.
'Definitely' here we have some who need to know that there is no "A" in it.
Anyways, we always make small small mistakes by putting a 'the' before each and everything we write, I think we can avoid this word 'the' if we read our writing one more time.(Well I have some deliberate Indilish usage here, its for you to pick.)

During my tenure with my American boss, I learnt two things - Avoid passive voice and avoid 'the' wherever not necessary.
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Old 14th May 2010, 07:04   #1060
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Anyways, we always make small small mistakes by putting a 'the' before each and everything we write, I think we can avoid this word 'the' if we read our writing one more time.(Well I have some deliberate Indilish usage here, its for you to pick.)
That's a tough one. Small small?

What about 'each and everything? Is it 'proper' English?
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Old 14th May 2010, 09:22   #1061
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^^ Good you picked up both Indilish usages there.
Like the 'small small', there are 'different different' words used by 'many many' people here.
And we 'put' the word 'put' almost everywhere we want to, from putting a switch on, to putting make over and putting a consonant or vowel in the right or wrong place. We even put petrol in car and put on a shirt/ pant. (May be we must be producing the best 'putters' in the world I guess.)

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 14th May 2010 at 09:35.
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:43   #1062
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Quote:
putting a switch on
"on the switch"! On and Off are not verbs, but they have acquired that status in Tamil English.

Take is a much misused word too. My wife, whose English is pretty good (too good: I don't have the incentive to learn Tamil <Blush>) uses take to mean fetch, pass, put, move, etc.
Quote:
We even put petrol in car and put on a shirt/ pant
Hmmm... I certainly put on shirts, even in England, and I might have put petrol in the car too.

Pant, however, when used of a garment, is always plural: we pant after exercise, but we wear pants. Please note that in British English, pants is always underwear: its the Americans who wear their pants on the outside!
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Old 14th May 2010, 13:57   #1063
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.... its the Americans who wear their pants on the outside!
Ah! That explains it!
Superman!
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Old 14th May 2010, 19:53   #1064
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Add to it : single word interrogative sentences, with an A.!

Lets assume you need to ask some one if there is a test tomorrow. What would you ask?

TestA?

And the "A" letter continues and glorifies the single word culture !
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Old 14th May 2010, 20:59   #1065
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Pant, however, when used of a garment, is always plural: we pant after exercise, but we wear pants. Please !
Its even more confusing.

People say "nice pants" suggesting that a pant is only one leg and 2 pant legs make up 'pants' but then they also say 'nice pair of pants'. What is that 4 legs?
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