Friday, April 28, 2017

Your English vs My Hinglish

It sounds so stupid when both of you know the local dialect well & yet choose to converse in English. English is not bad. It's good that you know a language that'll help you communicate anywhere on this planet. Sign language is much difficult & less recognized.

But when you make it a prestige issue?! Ah, Aargh. Talking in English doesn't make you an intellectual. Nor does my broken English make me an idiot. It just feels odd that you are practising your English vocabulary with me, especially when I am more comfortable in Hindi. I'd like to enhance my Hindi vocabulary. Give me a chance if you can. No? OK.

It amuses me? No. It hurts to see parents talking to their newborn in English so that the baby picks up the language early in its life. But what's the use if you don't teach manners to the baby; if you never step outside because your neighbors are bad at English, & you restrict the Internet so that your toddler doesn't start using Hinglish in place of English.

The books you bought for the child are from 17th century. Nobody uses that complex language anymore. I, for one, don't roam around with a dictionary or use my phone to search for meanings of the words you are using. Oh, I did once, when a Twitter friend said she's leaving because I am too morbid. What on earth is "too morbid"? Everything is morbid. But let's start a Google search.

If I feel comfortable omitting the word "that" or "which", I'll skip them just like I skipped "wi" in this sentence. I only need to communicate, not to show off.

Language is just a medium for expression. If you say writing in Hindi will degrade my efforts, did you even think of writing such a long Facebook post as this - in any language?

You can write better English anywhere, for a restricted audience while I use the language that makes me feel at home... while also depending upon whom all I want to read my books, articles, or anything. If I can express myself better in Hindi, I'll use Hindi if you too know that language. Otherwise, since you struggle at Hindi, I'll use English or any other language so that it makes you feel better and not because I want to show off my oral English skills. I don't gauge people on their English quotient. There are people who can't speak at all. Some don't have voice; other have disabilities. Try calling me on phone & see how long before I respond.

If you unnecessarily start turning to English just to show off, I won't understand you, even if you give me a digital dictionary. I won't even try. I feel those parents are wrong who spoonfeed English to justborns instead of letting the child learn core cultural values first.

What if the kid learns good English only to throw you out at a later stage because you mix up English with Hindi: the great Hinglish language? It happens. It happened to many.

Arun Kumar

Posted via mobile phone & I don't care about typos, grammar, etc as long as you understand what I wrote above.

Problem with the post? Send a mail to I could have used HTML to make the email ID clickable but Google removed "greater than" and "lower than" symbols from the Indic keyboard I use on phone. Sorry for that.
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