Sunday, March 7, 2010

Language fun

I said "Antergina won the match". Suddenly my friend who also likes foot ball game exclaimed “Antergina"? I repeated "Antergina". Then he asked me to look to the paper once again. I was surprised too see that its reads ‘Argentina’ not ‘Antergina’. I was more surprised after thinking about the fact that I was reading that word wrongly for a long time, still I didn’t realized it until then.

Some months back I was caught in an argument with one of my friend. I was referring to an amount for which a company got a contract from government. "3000 carore rupees". He looks confused after hearing my statement. I thought ok, if it is difficult to convince a person, its better to confuse him!!! But he exclaimed "Carore" or "crore"!!! Later I checked and find out that the correct word is ‘crore’- (10 million). Needless to say I was in utter disbelief. Countless times I argued with many persons and said 100 carores, 700 carores etc!!!

Once we were discussing about massacres. In between there was reference to "Jalianwala Bhag massare". Suddenly another one shot back, “what is ‘massare’? I was taught it as Massacre”. It was a new thing for me, I used that word numerous times in many conversations but it was all wrong!!!
In my experience there are numerous words and pronunciations which later turned out to be something else. I think I am still using many such words which doesn’t even exist in English vocabulary!!! And for many other words the pronunciation is entirely different.

I think related to pronunciation part the problem is a global one. People often use and popularize there own pronunciation and that vocabulary later accepted as localized English language; like Chinglish, Hinglish, Monglish etc. Today English may be the most popular language in the world, but it is also true that many countries made their own specifications.

What we can do in these situation is, from the beginning itself Educational boards all over the country must make it compulsory for the students to learn phonetics as well. What is the use of learning phonetics after learning the language? So teach it along with the language itself.


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