Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Man..Man..What man!!!

Indians have this habit of translating the conventional thought of native tongue to the superfluous English language. Obviously, it does sound awkward at times, providing food for thought about the sentence formed. Somehow, many words have just found its way into the day to day sentences. Be it a North Indian or a South Indian, there are some typical words that get essayed in normal usage.

It is not uncommon to find two Indians in a "man"ly conversation. A typical desi style talk would meander on these lines

x: Hi! How are you man?
y: I am good man. What about you?
x: These days, I am busy man! Lot of work man!!!
y: OK man! Catch you later!!

Notice the gist of the conversation, an average of "one" man per sentence, and as the complexity of the sentence increases, the "man" increases proportionately. At a particular point, the conversation was too funny once my roommates and I realised the "manly" usage of the word.

RL: Good man, I did this!
GK: What is this Rama, good man, he man, she man!!! Grow up man!!!

The usage was so spontaneous that VH burst out laughing highlighting the usage of the word. Another commonly used word is "only".

x: Who did this project?
y: I only did this project. ("Only" here is used to highlight the enormity of the effort! Don't ask me how it fits in in the sentence)

"I also know how to do it" is supposed to be a replacement for "I too know how to do it". These words just cannot be taken out from the jargon of daily usage. It keeps hitting back in some form or the other without one's conscious.

Words have a telling effect on the listener. With hundreds of different languages and their varied dialects in India, there are different ways of highlighting the enormity of the situation in the local tongue. It is very easy to express your feelings in the best possible way by using the right expressions, which is totally unmatched when it is translated to a different language. It is with a hope of sustaining the originality that we try to match the sentence in the other language. But not always does it work to perfection, rather it never works to perfection. At the end of the day, everything is a pot-pourri of emotiongs flooding the language with the whims and fancies of the teller.


  1. Love this post! I will come back and post a longer comment. Stuck for time at the moment.

  2. was discussing something similar with my friends sometime back. all of us were wondering how screwed up our languages have become :)

  3. Hey gk. Good blog man :). When I was reading this blog, I remembered the word which is most often used by our gults i.e., "mama". Nee blog chala baagundi mama. (I think u have noticed that by now :) )

  4. Hi,

    LR: Sure, take your time. You are better. Atleast you comment on blogs! Generally I am too lazy to do that!! :-)

    Anand: Sure, come over here, and the difference is all the more glaring :-)

    Bhadra: Yes, I have often noticed that!! Mama is used indiscriminately among you guys, but it is nice too!!...Thanks for the comments...naaku chaala santhoshamga undhi...meeku blog nachchindi ante!!!