Nic’s English Lesson #2 – Indian English

by Nic Olson

Or, Engl-Indi-ish, Englindiish. When one of my new friends, Hratchung (pronounced Rat-ChOOng) nominated me to do a devotion for tonight, I began to think of what to say, and how to say it. You see, with what they call ‘Indian English, or what I like to call Englindiish, there are a few key words that are quite popular, as well as a few key ways of speaking that must be mastered. I have even been using some of this specific type of English on occasion. Like somehow we think speaking in broken English will help them understand.

First, the key words and phrases. Words such as ‘No’ and phrases such as ‘So to say’ are common in Canadian English (Canad-inglish or Canadinglish.) But the extent to which they are used here, and the ways they are used here are quite unique. Phrases such as, ‘Nic, that is a duck, no?’ or ‘Good, no?’ are often used where the ‘No?’ is actually someone asking for confirmation. The same thing could be done with the word, yes. ‘This is an English lesson, yes?’ or ‘That is a duck, yes?’… The phrase ‘So to say’ seems to be used when a person of Englindiish is searching for a phrase or word for their own regular speak. An example would be, ‘Nic is, uh, so to say… a fantastic gentleman.’ Where the ‘so to say’ is the searching for the part of ‘a fantastic gentleman.’ Anyways, these are some key phrases I have noticed here so far.

Some of the guys here have been kind enough to point out, that in my prayers, I may speak too fast and use words that are not understood by the majority of them. In my prayers I often use words such as ‘Dawg’, ‘Brotha’ or ‘The Easy G’, just to spice it up a bit, but I guess I’ll have to let that go for a while. Along with dropping the hot teenage youth crew slang, I will have to speak slower and enunciate better. All things I have learned, slowly, to do since I have been here.

They also use words such as toilet, in replace of bathroom or washroom. They don’t know what bathrooms or washrooms are, as far as I have figured. And toilet has always seemed like such a crude word to me.

Since I teach Andrew and live with Ray, life is a never ending English lesson. Where Autumn says ‘Me and Andrew’, Ray is quick to correct her, and she quickly changes her story to, ‘Andrew and I’. Andrew, using words such as ‘standed’ and ‘yif’ and ‘brang’ I do my best to pull out the English teacher in me and correct him as much as possible…..

I’ve turned into an English teacher. The worst possible thing has happened. Let’s do some calculus.

Brother Nic