Home » Biascope » Ingleesh Laanguaze

Ingleesh Laanguaze

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a linguist and these are only my observations. Also, disclaimers seem to be in vogue after the Aamir’s dog licking incident. And before you jump to any conclusions, he didn’t lick the dog. Just go watch NDTV 24/7, for updates.
Spoken English classes caught on in a big way a few years ago. Now, they advertise aggresively in every tabloid/newspaper urging you to join one. Makes you a more confident person, it says. Starting with the Sun Music VJs no one speaks a sentence that doesn’t start with “so” and end with “ok va.”
The climax in this English speaking celebrity rut is probably the dance show that is aired on Kalaignar TV on Sundays. Its again one of those starlets’ pass to fame shows judged by yesteryear beauties. The show’s director, Kala Master, is one of the judges. As much as an authority she is on filmy dancing, she lapses into a stream of intolerably weird English when she gets too emotional or in her own words, “Too emotion.” “I like the confident in your performance,” she reassures her participants. When they experiment with something new or get an especially good act together, she likes their “creative.” I can’t even recount some of her other usage of very common words. My memory fails me!
She is just an example of why these spoken english courses will always thrive and have an ever growing clientele. I understand the pseudoness involved in having to speak the language perfectly, well, almost, to make yourself desirable to a prospective employer. But to have to do that on a Tamil Tv show, is simply taking it to new heights. Again, I know its not our “mother-tongue,” so to speak but what about at least making sure you speak a language the way it should be, grammatically correct.
Can they not speak in a language that they’re more comfortable with, rather than having to throw in words from a language they’re barely familiar with? Especially when they know there’re cameras pointing at them. Like Monica says, I’d have to go powder my a**, if I had to speak to more than 2 people in Hindi at the same time. In spite of my roommate giving me very reassuring glances.
I guess at the end of the day, the aim of a language is communication. So, what the hell, lets go revel in our pseudoness.
PS: Next post coming up on the way people have mutilated the Tamil language. Due to the abundance of nonsense available, we’ll start with people who sing in Tamil and dub for our heroines.

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26 thoughts on “Ingleesh Laanguaze

  1. yeah.. this is a common problem is all teh places.. mllu channels r also not far behind… and then there is the rape-the-language contest by teh so called VJs…

  2. true and they take no efforts to get it right the next time. wat makes things worse is the fake accent they put on.

  3. If you look at the words you have quoted “Emotion”, “Creativity” et al, I think its better off in English (though gramatically incorrect).

    An ardent fan of the tamil language, I find it difficult to translate them as-is in to tamil. Blame it on excessive usage of Tanglish!

  4. It is sad, bad and mad to join these so called institutes to learn englbish and as a result boost confidence levels. Rather Smoke some Beedi and improve nicotine Levels in my body.

    I can’t write tamil or speak correct tamil though Tamil is my mother Tongue.I can Read Write and Speak Hindi, though the Northies would not wanna hear me blow their language to smithereens.My English is So crappy that I should probably be shot for my attempts at the language. My French… Ah My French is another Story!!!

    I am a global Citizen. Evolving…

  5. I understand your irritation. I’ve felt it before. But don’t you think it’s hypocritical to deride someone because of their inability to fluently converse in a language.

    Because that is what we do in effect. Even though we try to be politically correct about it..

    1) English is NOT our mother tongue (and unlike a few us, most people did not grow up speaking it – even as a medium of study in school )

    2) All of us allow some degree of colloquialism to enter our speech – you, me and most people we know. Therefore, it makes no sense to have a holier than thou attitude about it. So who then defines, which point is acceptable, how much is too much? We should recognize rather, that what we speak is a subset – what many now call Indian English.

    3)It may grate on many an old fashioned ear,but why the pride in a language that was never really our own to begin with.

    As for the people you’ve mentioned – like the Sun Music RJs and the Anchors on TV – They cater to a primarily Tamizh audience – And yes, it might be funny when they bandy about words they don’t know how to use well .. but maybe we should be a little more generous about it – It’s harmless after all – part of the trappings of show biz, too seem more cool or whatever. We all do it – and you know what they say about people who live in glass houses.

    Besides, what difference does it make to the people they are addressing?

    In a non-show-biz context too, this would hold , don’t you think?

    If you see the broader picture, what it means is we have started to use proficiency at a (foreign)language imposed on us by history as yet another way to be class-ist. And that realisation, although recent, really bothers me.

    P.S: An admission that might be relevant : I’m still not there yet.. Badly spoken English does grate on my ears, I do find it funny and I used to be arrogant about it – as I’m sure you’ll remember.. But I’m working on it.

  6. Voundarful- ஆ எழுதியிருக்கீங்க காயத்ரீ மாஸ்டர்..ஸாரி…காயத்ரீ அக்கா!

    உங்க creative ரொம்ப சூப்பர். படிக்கும்போதே ரொம்ப emotion-ஆ ஆயிட்டேன்.

    இருந்தாலும் கலாதாய் ஸாரி கலைத்தாய், இயக்குனர் கலா மாஸ்டரை இப்படி கிண்டல் பண்றீங்களே? இவங்க எல்லாம் இல்லைன்னா எங்களுக்கு குடும்பத்துல பொழுதே போகாது… எங்க அக்கா கலா அக்கா மாதிரியே சூப்பரா அய்க்க்ட் பண்ணுவாங்க!

  7. xh > really? the only mallu channel I’ve really watched in Kiran TV and I thought they didn’t really use too much English when they spoke and of course, I’m not judge of their Malayalam 🙂

    Varun > we need to talk another time about the fake accents cos its jus too much to over in a comment box!

    Prashanth > you have a point. Excessive usage of Tanglish is truly a problem. That’s actually what Mercury has referred to as “colloquialism” We being one of the prime suspects in promoting Tanglish, I still can’t frame sentences like “ava romba emotion-oda pesina”, you get the drift. But then again, I’m not some the measure. So 🙂

    The Pseudonym > haha!

  8. Mercury > This is possibly going to be the longest comment I’ve replied to on my blog, so here I go.

    -Its not my intention to be politically correct. I’ve never really bothered with it. Definitely not on my blog. The entire point of the post is about the pseudoness (which again is not a word :)) involved in having to speak an alien language right in order to be taken seriously.

    1) I’m not holding childhood privileges or the lack of it against anyone. I’m just saying, why not speak in a language you’re comfortable conversing in? I feel the same way about some people’s Tamil as well. Just stronger about English cos its the language I speak (mostly), read and write.

    2) I speak grammatically wrong sentences and put disjointed words together for fun. Its my idea of humor. But will I do it when I have 10 cameras pointed at me and when I know half the world is going to see the tapes. Nah, I’d safely stick to something I know I’m moderately good at. But then again, we’ve already established the fact that I’m not really the yardstick here.

    3) English is not my language. But for most of us like you and me, that’s the language we emote in and therefore, the most comfortable with. So its a kinship that’s deep rooted and was formed even before we ever reached a stage where we could question it.

    “part of the trappings of show biz, too seem more cool or whatever. We all do it – and you know what they say about people who live in glass houses” – very true. I’m just sad that a language has to be the yardstick for that.

    And when you say it doesn’t make any difference to the people they’re talking to, aren’t you again judging them to be from a certain background/caliber and again falling prey to the evil of judging them?

  9. @ Mercury > adding to my previous comment, if we’ve decided we’ve in fact got to speak an unfamiliar language in order to look cool, smart, funny, whatever the case maybe, every language demands a certain amount of respect. Do you really they wouldn’t have noticed this lapse? Its jus doing that extra bit to get your basics right. I know you really worked to get your basic Dutch right when you first moved. And a part of it was cos you didn’t want to be caught speaking a language wrong. I know that English is not the quite as speaking the local language right. But the logic still holds good even if not the intensity. Now, if that’s too much to ask for, like I said, what the hell, lets go revel in our pseudoness.

  10. Blogeswari > lol wonly. I tried replying to your comment in Tamil font. Apram edhukku asinga padanumnu (my spellings are very weak :D) free-a vittuten!

    Yeah, like you say, the entertainment quotient is really high. Ramba’s Tamil and Kala mashter’s English keep us glued to the TV every Sunday. Avanga TRP ratings kooraya pichukarthukku idhuvum oru kaaranam.

    Akka, can you arrange for us one day going and shooting watching? Pllleeeaaassseeee

  11. C’mon mercury – hit her back. Just because somebody says its their longest comment, you shouldn’t buy it. If not you, who’d support Kala master?

  12. தில்லு முள்ளு லாஜிக் –
    இந்த உலகத்தில் எமத்றவனவிட, எமர்றனே அவனைத்தான் நிக்கவச்சி சூட் பண்ணனும்.

    Life is like a motion picture, You give what they want. Look at “Fair and Lovely” sales, if they want you to be fair, you try to be fair. If they want you to be a guy/girl from west, then there is always these spoken english courses 😉

  13. lol, caught a glimpse of kala masters mysterious english usage..thanks to You & youtube! 😀

    waiting for the next post *palm on chin*

  14. Maybe we need to blame the fact that it is considered uber-cool to comment in English rather than in Tamil most of the times for this mess, though there are certain judges like SPB (some singing show, am not sure which one) who speaks and sticks with Tamil and comes off being the coolest.

  15. hey tht was a really gr8 post! this is my 1st visit to u’r blog n i m really enjoyin it! i m blogrollin u..

    i dont watch the kalaiygar tv.. bt yes.. english gets evn more funny inside class rooms(Gosh! i m goin to miss all tht nw!) “wht u do man?”
    “not sleep.. go face u’r wash!” “why u not getting outputtaa? connexion okvaa? ground? CRO change..”

    i m missing all tht nw.. hwevr wiered tht may be.. hwevr irritated i might ve felt.. bt to think tht i wont be gettin to immitate my profs. ne more.. tht s really sad! 🙂

    gr8 post again!

  16. Arun > thanks for that 😛

    Slogger > sad as it might be 🙂

    Mayo > maybe I should also post a few youtube links.. hehe

    chennairamblings > SPB rocks in the show he judges. In fact, he uses some Tamil words that I make me turn to my parents for meaning. Its a very non-showy show, if you get what I mean..

    Matangi > thanks! some of them sound like scenes from our physics lab 🙂

  17. What it eez? This comments section becoming blog aa?

    You are on my Reader ma. Ok va?

    Also, please to put Tamizh word verifying, then more tough for spam to come and commenting? This yrmef is a new word only for Kala Master though 😉

  18. Good one!! But its good to know that makkal are trying to learn English….

    LKS

    What do u say of the neengo enna punreengo tamizh from the Sun Music Vjs?

    LKS

  19. yehhhh woman!!!
    i love the steamy performances, but i love teh judge’s comments better, cos it’s comedy time!!

    i totally appreciate kala master as a choreogrpher, i mean she’s totally awesum, but it’d be way better for her to keep the words in tamil..

    however, as ya said- tanglish is in! n who cares, as long as people understand, tanglish is real-time entertainment 🙂

  20. lol i stopped watching tamil channels..and well i try avoid speaking hindi because…well an example it keling and nachleing 🙂
    and they are tamil channels..how about some tamil mr.KK?you are the one who patronizes tamil 🙂

  21. lol.

    i guess people think its the in-thing to be able to speak in english. some ppl grab the smallest opportunities to shove in a slang or two…make em look cool they think..

    ppl should try their best to speak a language theyre more comfortable with..and in which they can be understood better. i mean y spak in english if ur not comfy, unless the other person doesnt understand anything apart from english.

    i remember i had an economics professor who cudnt speak englsih to save his life.. every sentence had to begin with the word “The”.
    And his sentences were peppered with a dozen “the”s in between.

    sample this:”the you the boy on the last bench. why you is the talking.you wanting the me to the throw u out of the class?” :p

    we literally made frequency charts to count his “the”s

    keep posting
    by the way.ive made a new orkut community for bloggers . id like to invite u to join it.its pretty interactive and is a nice way to get ur blog out there for others to read.really looking fwd to u and ur readers to join it 🙂

    http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=51446226

    join this new blogger community.

    atleast have a look

    ciao
    chris
    http://www.crissdude.blogspot.com

  22. Hi Gayathri,
    Nice Post.I usually comment while watching TV shows and Movies.
    Especially, during that particular show of Kala Mistress ( Master ?) , I was complaining of her english usage (confident for confidence,emotion for emotional,creative for creativity and much more)to my wife.Even film stars like Vijay talk without hesitation.The dialogue in one of his movies ; ‘ Enna Uncle romba ‘Youth’aa irukkeenga ‘.Don’t they know the difference between YOUNG and YOUTH.

  23. Ok, now i really want to see this “kala Master” 😉

    But yeah.. this happens.. we arent purists anyways!

  24. Good day Gayatri,

    I was bloghopping when I stumbled upon your post which harbours close on its heels to the abominable usage of English in Malayalam ‘reality shows’ as well. Unfortunately youngsters in the metros of India are consciously copying American methods of speech and behaviour without having grown with them thereby looking awkward. There are several anchors and VJs who adopt mannerisms in speech and action so much at variance with what is natural. I haven’t had a chance to watch Kala master on TV, but I guess she might perhaps be aping the language in the false notion that it appears more attractive. None of her admirers must have told her that it looks incongruous in the extreme.

    Enjoyed reading your post!

    Regards,
    Balu

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