Tuesday, April 28

Anglomania !

Anglomania !

Yes .. I know there is no such word .. but since I am an Indian .. I have every right to kill English or enrich it with my brilliant ability to imagine words in it. I don't know why this is happening to me .. I mean, to an Indian.

For instance, Pune is supposed to be the hub of Marathi language and this local language spoken or written in Pune area is regarded as Standard Marathi. And still, we have so many people using English words for some simple Marathi words every moment and that, too, incorrectly.

One such word is Patience. Most people use this word as if it was a plural of a word 'patian' or 'pacian' or something like that. In a Marathi sentence they will certainly use this word with verbs and other attributes of that sentence as this word being a plural.

Another such word I come across these days is 'perform'. People, while speaking in Marathi, will almost certainly use the word perform in place of the word 'performance'. They ask in Marathi something that can be literally translated to 'How was my perform?' in place of 'How was my performance?'.

While speaking in Marathi or any local language in India for that matter, people have a strange tendency to use English words for simple words or phrases in that particular language.

No plumber can write the word PLUMBER correctly in Marathi. They can in fact say 'NaL Durusti' or 'NaL-Kaaragir' but everyone wants to get 'promoted' to the status of a 'plumber'. Similar is the case of 'Shock-absorber' when it comes to auto-mechanics.

In the line of wrong usage or wrong phonetics are some other victimised words. Automobile is generally spelt ‘atomobile’ in Marathi. Symbiosis as ‘Simboysis’. Memento is invariably 'Momento' and a 'mobile phone' is invariably 'Mau'bile'! Blood pressure may sometimes become 'blood pesshal'! Half a cup tea is called 'cutting' and fractional orders for dishes in hotels as opposed to they are .. meaning 1 tea shared by 2 may be called 2 by 1 or 1 by 2 randomly. An Inspector is 'inispector', a bulb may be 'blub' or 'bulp' or 'blope' and a public toilet may be 'bathroom' too. People handling hospitality at a function may ask you to have 'breakfast' in the evening instead of having snacks that they are actually serving.

While writing words like ‘pool’ in Marathi, people invariably write it as ‘pull’, which, when written in Marathi may also look like a Marathi word meaning ‘bridge’. Traffic is ill spelt in Marathi as ‘Trophic’. ‘Gynaec’ is ‘Gynic’, catering is ‘Cat’ering and so on.

There are many other words, which I may go on adding to this blog entry from time to time as and when I freshly notice them. I welcome the readers to add to this, too.

Many such words fall prey to this ability of people. The whole society is doing this. Even if the word is correct in itself the context may be wrong or uncalled for. A small shopkeeper or grocer will call his 15 ft x12 ft shop ‘a super market’. A hair-cutting salon will call itself a parlour. A small vendor of fruit juices may call his 'tapri'a 'bar'! Similarly ‘Dining Hall’ I think, is another odd concept. I think there is an odd sense of ‘being promoted’ or ‘gaining higher status’ by mere usage of an English word. The standards of the business may not match those intended in the used word and still for this ‘hype’ of being something ‘superior’ we are using such words every moment, every instance.

Young girls call everything they find good as ‘so sweet’ against varied words in Marathi describing the exact context of that 'felt sweetness'. Most will use words like ‘difficult’ against very simple words (like 'kathin')in Marathi for the same word. When women talk about their respective husbands they call them ‘her mister’. Some young actress is invariably called ‘Baby XYZ’.

Some words are modified and used as being Marathi by origin. Pant is one such word. People while speaking something like 'panteela istree kar' do not realize that this could also mean 'Iron your panties'.

Liberal language studies or scholars may perhaps welcome such exchanges. But I find them a part of our mania. Anglomania. Being a writer and theatre person, I perfectly understand that certain feelings cannot be better said or described in Marathi than in English. For example anything related to modern aesthetics, sexuality could be better said using English words. In Marathi, you will find synonyms to all the words used in such subjects but using those words may become embarrassing or too technical.

What is the exact nature of this disorder might become a part of study .. social psychology may be .. but I think .. we can begin to correct ourselves by being fair to both the languages.

I don’t know the solution. I will share what I am trying.

I try to be alert while speaking. If I see myself or anyone using a wrong word at a wrong place in any of these contexts that seem to be a part of this mania, I find some opportunity to correct it. Either by rephrasing or politely suggesting or by using the same word in my talk or my response in the proper way in front of people falling prey to this mania.

No comments: