I would throw the medicine he was telling.

One of the endearing things about Indian English is the way it exudes a unique flavour depending on the region to which the speaker belongs – like the ‘oh’ditties of a Malayalam speaker or the st”RR”esses of a Tamilian , romantic “ewenings” on the tongue of an Andhraite, or the” istadium” and “circum-istances” of someone from U.P and the ‘J’s dozing off to’ zzz ‘ in Maharastra. One notices a similar kind of quaintness in the sentence construction and grammar too when there is a literal translation of a vernacular thought into an English statement.
Check out this charming translation of Smt. Parvatamma Rajkumar’s article on her husband in a Kannada film portal.

10 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

    Very rustic, very natural & endearing in a way. Its a good thing she remained untouched by tinsel town.

  2. rubic_cube (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    I agree on your observations on how English language phonetics get distorted by regional influences and I loathe it as much as you do. However, reading Parvathamma’s article gives an insight into unknown personal facets of the late thespian’s life. It is pure and unadulterated. I would discount the shoddy translation job, obviously not by herself.

  3. usha (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:08 pm

    Ravi, as I read it I can hear in my mind what she must have said in kannada.

    Rubic cube: I do not loathe the regional peculiarities – I love them. And I was only drawing attention to a similar tendency in the translation. In all countries people do this when they think in one language and speak in another!

  4. Shalini (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 8:43 pm

    Loved Parvatamma’s article.I could read in English and listen in Kannada as it would have been spoken. It was like eating ‘Mosuru anna mattu Mavinakai uppinakai’.


  5. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

    Classic case of ‘thinking in kannada, talking/writing in english’.

  6. NParry (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 12:44 am

    Keep’em coming Paru! You add a much-needed comic relief after a long-day in the office, even 10,000 miles away. I’m sure Appaji is enjoying your writing too. These columns needed to be preserved for their classic “Butler englishu” style. Like the bus conductor on Route 32A used to say many years ago “Yella city peepalsu saar.”

  7. usha (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 9:24 am

    shalini: yes, That is the ejjakt taste u.
    Nparry:I loved that “Yella city peoplsu saar” part…very sweet and yes, I have heard it so many times!

  8. Shruthi (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

    Abba! Direct translationnu :D Yes, I could also hear it being spoken in Kannada :)

  9. NParry (unregistered) on May 3rd, 2006 @ 2:54 am

    Usha, in addition you may have heard a elder complain about truant youngsters on a BTS bus this way: ” They are not of praper beyavior; all psycologically cynicalsu”

    My favorite was when my friend and I got kicked out of a BTS bus near Lalbagh many years ago. The conductor shouted “Lal Bagh Gate Yarree?” signalling a stop at the Gate. I calmly told him “Lalbagh gate yarillappa illi, Lalbagh gatenalli iliyovariddarey” The crowd burst out laughing and the embarassed conductor kicked me out of the bus!!! All in a day’s fun in the old Bangalore.

  10. Shalini (unregistered) on May 6th, 2006 @ 7:12 am


    Thsis one on Secunderabad:
    The auto is standing right in the middle and a young irate pavement user says to the auto driver
    Pedestrian : Secunderabad challega Kya?
    Auto driver: Haan challega.
    Pedestrian : To jaao na. Yahaan Kyo kadhee ho?

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