Tuesday, August 30, 2005

indianization of english

These days the English news editors in India tend to use native words
and this makes an interesting study. A close look at the Indian words
used in leading English newspapers reveals that they are drawn mainly
from two sources: (i) Hindi-Urdu, and (ii) the regional
language. Interpolation of indigenous items especially where there are
no near equivalents in English is a dominating phenomenon of the
language of English newspapers. Words such as Hawala, Lathicharge,
Khadi, Satyagraha, bandh, dharna, gherao, etc. are among the commonest
of items in English newspapers.
  1. We have come to ask for Insaf.
  2. Vote for Vikas nothing else.
  3. Bandh disrupts life in the valley.
  4. Mulayam: An officer in the family of Jawans.
  5. I am protecting Izzat for everybody.
  6. Dumpy may have the reputation of being Goonda.
  7. Dharna against the construction of Tehri dam.
  8. Chandraswami gave Ashirwad to bride.
  9. Bandh cripples life in Darjeeling.
  10. A group of Sadhus to campaign against Pilot.
  11. Amarnath Yatra from August 16.
A few [loan word] examples are: dharma, fatwa, hindutva, hawala, bandh, manuwad,
hartal, ashirwad, burkha, talaq, mazedar, swad.

Kachru rightly observes that there is certain structural and
contextual constraints on blended items. For example, in expressions
such as Lathi-charge the Indianized element lathi cannot be
substituted by another Indian expression danda. Nowhere in Indian
English newspapers has an expression like danda-charge been used!

However, there are certain blended expressions where elements are
interchangeable. For example, police-station and police-thana are
equally acceptable in Indian English newspapers.

The blended expressions such as: Perfect swad for Perfect Taste;
Police chowki for Police Station; Police thana for Police Station;
Mazdoor Union for Labour Union; Meat masala for Meat Spice; Rice thali
for Rice Plate; Complete bandh for Complete Closure; Conditional
samjhauta for Conditional Agreement; Nine puriah for Nine Packet;
Kitab Centre for Book Centre; Railway fatak for Railway Crossing;
Political pandit for Political pundit (!); Block parmukh for Head of a
geographical Block.

M. J. Warsi, Ph.D.
Language in India v. 4 Aug 2004


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