Tourists travelling to India: Learn Indian English!
Tourists travelling to India's heaving, gasping and sweltering metropolitan cities need to know 10 very important words/phrases. No, not Hindi. Would you be surprised they are English, this time?
Cool, but why English? Here is the explanation: of course, you need the customary 'Namaste' (Hindi, for 'Welcome') or the untroubled 'Theek hai' ('Okay') or the grateful 'Shukriya' ('Thank you'). But why learn English phrases in a country that has 1.20 Billion rattling off in tongues that sound nothing close to English?
Reasons you need to learn the English words:
- An alternative in case you forget the bare few garbled Hindi words you learned on the plane – and chances are, your 'Hindi' would sound incomprehensible to the locals.
- Or worst, you'd forgotten them.
- During emergencies you need the locals to understand your problem in case the few Hindi words you memorized tumble (Hindi to foreigners must seem similar to attempting Greek with peanut butter in the mouth).
- You can still show off your exclusive 'foreign' heritage.
- You can show off your I'm-from-the-USA/wherever-accent.
- You can show off your ‘superior’ English.
- You can communicate with Indians who wish to show off their English.
- You can appreciate that India's literacy rate is 84% already...at least in the cities, that is.
- You can communicate not in the western kind of English but the Indian kind of English if you want to be understood during emergencies!
So what are the 10 super critical words you need to know when travelling to India's cities?
- 'I m foreign and my direction is lost?' (Use that line when you find yourself in places Google Maps forgot).
- 'Is eating hotel near or far?' (You use that to enquire for places that serve food).
- 'Thief has pick-pocketed me and escaped away' (That's for the police officer).
- 'I want to ring my sister' (That's what you say when you need a phone).
- 'This is my reservation!' (You give that to the guy who claims your seat in the train!)
- 'Airport go' or 'Taj Mahal go' (that's for the taxi driver)
- 'Do you give fooding also?' (In India "fooding" is well, food, to complement the use of the term 'lodging'!)
- 'What what?' (That's the Indian equivalent of 'I beg your pardon?').
- 'I want to shuu-shuu' (Translated: 'I want to use the urinal').
- 'English speak or not?' (You need that line to enquire whether or not your Indian acquaintance speaks English).
One more tip: Don't worry about the Grammar and syntax of the 'Indianized' English phrases - in India they is the making very perfect sense true!