Thursday, March 09, 2006

I Spik Gud Inglis


When it comes to being lucky, few things can match being borne into a Gujarati family. And if you are brought up in Gujarat and have studied in a Gujarati School; than you are definitely lady luck’s chosen one. Simply because being a Gujarati bestows upon you several privileges. If you study in a Gujarati school you have some special facilities which are not available anywhere else on this earth. First, you are always good at mathematics. However, the definition of mathematics here is limited to Subtraction, Addition, Multiplication and Division. It doesn’t include spiritually depressing elements like trigonometry, algebra and calculus. (Frankly speaking, there was a period of 6 months in my life when I seriously believed that Calculus was a Greek guy; probably brother of Herculus). Second, you never have to enervate your body, mind and soul in scorching heat under the name of physical training (PT), and you can keep your mind fresh for dealing with tough mathematics (refer to the definition given above). Once an innocent classmate asked me “Why the class is called ‘PT’, in which we just run here and there?” I answered “Because it is dedicated to PT Usha.” (Don’t laugh!! See the GK).Well, you could see the problem here. It was my lack of knowledge of the English language; that didn’t allow me to blossom the way I deserved. Well, you would ask me that as per national education policy (Do we have one?); education of sports is a must. Agreed! In fact, we did study sports officially. Even took exams. But only written exams. Hence, without ever having played football, we knew all the rules, number of referees, height and width of the goal post and transfer fees of David Beckham.
However, life in a Gujarati School is not all roses. There is one weak element which haunts me even today, and that is English. Learning English is something that doesn’t come naturally to us. The reason is simple. Gujarati has its roots in Sanskrit. Moreover, it has heavy influence of Farsi and Arabic. So! We are too far from English that has highly unscientific Anglo-Germanic roots. An English teacher of mine used to pronounce Creature and Minoture (Probably in the story of Icarus) as crietyur and minotyur. Thanks to my ever circumspect reliable Gujarati genes, I had keenly observed, with profound academic interest, posters of than recently released horror cine classic, 'Hungry Vultures', on public toilets (written in Devnagari script also, for its target audience!); I brought to my teacher’s attention the potential error in pronouncing ‘ture’. Needless to say, he kicked me out of the class, blaming that I was discussing things out of syllabus and distracting the class. Yes, welfare is a bigger priority than knowledge in Gujarat. The environment around me was also very influential. Gujarati kids, along with tummy and tobacco also inherit some intelligence. Hence, in their childhood they create their own pronunciations, their own vocabulary. Some of our neighbors used to say that they liked Errotizments on TV. I was under their awe, until I discovered that the real word was Advertisements. Another biggest thing that plagues our development in English language is that we assume some English words to be Gujarati, and eventually try to translate them back to English. Some of my classmates believed that Sauce (as in Tomato Sauce) is a Gujarati word. Hence, when they went to US, in the supermarkets they started asking, “Please give me a tomato sausage.” Till recent past, I thought that Rickshaw was a Gujarati word. Once at Gandhi Ashram I bumped into some foreigners. They asked me, “How could we go to the Airport?” I wanted to tell them that they should take a Rickshaw. But my ignorance and creative gujarati genius made me tell them, “You should take the three-wheeler taxi.” They preferred walking. So original!!

Due to our relative disadvantage in English, we are also discriminated against. In several jobs, Swamies, Chopras and Chakroborties, score over us, just because they fake some weird accent. You may not believe but even in sports, we have to face discrimination due to English. Once I joined a Cricket Academy (Of course, run by a non-Gujarati; Gujarati would believe only in theory, e.g. Parthiv Patel). However, I was kicked out of it because of English. Why? Well, because, I believed that Coach is past tense of ‘To Catch’. (Too much of knowledge). Gujaratis know the art of saving money. They apply this to language also. In English, in thousands of words, we needlessly attach an ‘h’ to an‘s’. But gujaratis respect the identity, completeness and self-sufficiency of an ass (‘s’). Hence they avoid pronouncing ‘h’. E.g. Siris Sah of Sahpur has a su sop (for puritans – Shirish Shah of Shahpur has a Shoe Shop). Once a thankless non-Gujarati professor of ours, dared to ask a classmate, Sasank (technically Shashank) to speak loudly 5 times, “She sells, sea shells at sea shore”. Sasank, a true Gujarati, loudly pronounced “Se sells se sells at si sor” for 5 times. The professor now speaks only Korean, when in Gujarat. Sasank was so proud of his achievement! However, the same Sasank was left clueless, when he was denied a US Visa for “Using abusive language at the Visa office”. Actually, the lady visa officer asked him about his favourite English author. Unfortunately, the only name that came to his mind was ‘Shakespeare’! However there is one thing, I have never quite understood, i.e. why we Gujarati tinker with the breadth of the pronunciation? E.g. 'hotel' becomes 'hawtel' and 'board' becomes 'bawrd'. But the reverse happens with tall (toll) and stall (stole). Once my friend Golwala, who has a sweet mart (sweets are staple food of 90% Gujaratis, the rest live below poverty line), introduced me to Pravin from Dhrangadhra, “This is Pravin, he rapes snakes in my shop.” What was he doing? Combination of Harmesh Malhotra (The director of Nagin and Nigahein) and Gulshan Grower (A bollywood actor who has over 100 rape-scenes to his credit, in his illustrious movie career)? I recovered my senses when I was told that his real occupation is to wrap snacks in the restaurant. My friend from Rajkot once told me that he lives in raw house; I wondered why he didn’t live in a finished one? Well, it was a row-house (typical word used in India for a number of houses constructed adjacent to each other in a row) and not raw house.


Another peculiarity of our English is that we change original words because we fall in love with them. Out of sheer love, we cajole these words, which at times is jeered at by ignorant non-Gujarati puritans. E.g. while getting pampered by a Gujarati – Smart becomes smarty, proud becomes proudy, wide becomes widy, side becomes sidy etc. In an engineering school in Modasa, once a student arrived late. When the professor asked him the reason, he said that he had some psyche problems. After detailed investigations it was unearthed that his bicycle had a flat tier. But you know, bicycle is cycle and cycle is cyckie, which we took as psyche. Ah! The Gujarati Creative Genius!

Well, Gujaratis may not be great at English. Their pronunciations may not be perfect. But than the whole world speaks English with the native accent. The only problem is that we somehow magnify this issue in India and especially in Gujarat. It’s unfortunate to see that some Gujarati kids, just to show that they speak English, try to speak even Gujarati with an English accent. But this becomes a matter of debate time and again. If students who study in Gujarati school are not good at English, than its not because they can’t learn English, rather it’s because they are taught in a wrong manner. In our schools we are indoctrinated with a sense of inferiority in terms of English language. We are always told that English is a ‘tough subject’; nobody tells us that it’s an ‘easy language’. My trivial experience with foreign languages has made me believe that Gujarati is a very 'complete language'. Proper knowledge of Gujarati can help us grasp other languages better. Not only Gujarati is one of the sweetest languages but as I mentioned before, technically as well as literally it is one of the most complete languages. Gujarati has a wide array of cerebral, dental, guttural, labial and semi-vowel sounds, which is not so easy to find in other languages. Literally it is a complete language because it can accommodate such wide and vivid forms of poetry such as Ghazal (Mariz), Geet (many ……), Haiku (Snehrashmi), Sonnet (Kalapi), Nazm (Mariz), Meter less (Suresh Dalal) etc, etc? Other than poetry, Gujarati is a unique language where various literary experiments like poem-dramas (Nhanalal) and Harmonika (A unique combination of poetry and prose by Madhu Rye) have been successfully carried out. I just want to convey a small message to all the education-reformists of Gujarat; ‘We shouldn’t worry about speaking English like The English, we should rather worry about speaking Gujarati like The Gujarati’.

(The positive features of Gujarati language that I have highlighted above are found in many other languages. I talk about Gujarati, because it's my mother tongue and hence I assume the right to speak with authority. The point is not that Gujarati is superior to any other language, rather that it is not inferior to any other language. For that matter, no language is inferior to other languages.)

35 comments:

Bhuvan Pathak said...

I felt like a crisis in the Gujarati language, I will try to pull out those malfunctions of pronunciations which I am being Gujju, suffers, a really nice potrait of GUJRAJI PRONUNCIATIONS.

I CAN SPEAK GUJRAJI VERY WELL

Nirwa said...

I find the word "Gujju" insulting.. and prefer to be known as Gujarati.. and am very proud to be one!

I've studied in English medium throughout.. but in my school, we were taught gujarati from nursery only.. and plus, we speak Gujarati at home too.. so the language has never been the problem..

However, I strongly believe that today, the children should be made to study in English medium only and preferably, CBSE.. because with growing competition, "angreji bhasha upar prabhutva" is very important.. I don't mean that students who study in English Medium all have flawless English.. we all have flaws, but when you study in Gujarati Medium throughout, I've seen my friends feel low when they shifted to english medium in college...

My friend, who missed a rank in board by 2 marks in 12th (Guj. Med.) is getting hardly first class in college.. she says its very tough to understand Business Organisation and Management and Economics and law and other theoretical subjects..

Anyway, coming back to your post, you didn't have PT in school?? :-O

Nice post!!

Nirwa

P.S. - pretty long comment.. and kind of irrelevant too! :P

Kandarp said...

@ bhuvan : thanks

@ Nirwa: Well, you got the point. I don't deny importance of English. So far as "angreji bhasha par prabhutva" is concerned, it depends on how you learn a language. I have studied in Gujarati medium throughout and I always felt that English isn't taught properly in Gujarati schools. Research has proved that kids should get basic education in their mother tongue. But that can be debated upon.

This time I tried to be funny, in your way. But couldn't quite make it.

I didn't have PT. All we used to do was Dodpakad. In Highersecondary we had cricket, but they always made me an umpire. :(

Kandarp said...

@ Nirwa : You are right about the term "Gujju". I hate it too. I wanted to use it in a satirical way. But didn't look so. Hence, I have removed it. Thanks for drawing my attention.

Nirwa said...

Gujarati students are full of potential, but they lack when it comes to communication.. most of the students cannot put themselves across well..

Ahmedabad itself boasts of the best education institute, how come the number of gujaratis is so less as compared to students of other states? Probably because of lack of English.. Not only that, very few make it to best schools.. maths and science base is very good here.. (lots of chartered accountants from gujarat and mumbai) but when it comes to areas where expression is in the centre, the language becomes the weakpoint!

Funny and me? :P hehehe.. I don't think I am! :P I am just silly! :P

Aaah.. PT.. in school, we also played volleyball and other stuff.. Though I opted for Sanskrit in 10th! :P

About Gujjus, I am not a purist as such, but I personally find the word derogatory.. I prefer to be called myself Gujarati instead of Gujju! :)

Keep blogging! :)

Nirwa

Yogendra said...

Hi kandarp,
some time back you asked me on my blog http://yogendrapandey.blogspot.com to post my poems in hindi font. That gave me a motivation. After some googling, I found a solution. Now I have started posting my poems on http://www.bloguru.com/rohit/

Hope you'll visit my blog and let me know if the hindi (Devanagari) font is working good... hope to hear from you soon!

Anonymous said...

I dont know why people find the word "GUJJU" insulting. Pyaar se diya huva naam sambhal ke rakha karo.

Kandarp said...

@ Nirwa : you are right about communication skills problem. Being expressive depends on how much of an independent thinker you are. The problem lies with our education system, which doesn't give enough scope for independent thinking.
When I played Volleyball for the first time in school, I served, the ball went up, fell back on my head; they made me an umpire again.

@ Yogendra : Good job Yogendra. But I am not able to open your webpage.

@ anon : Apka Andaz Duniya se niraalaa hai.......

Nirav said...

@Hi Junta,
I am "Anami". Kandarp, we are in the same boat. I studied in vernacular medium school.(Gujarati Madhiyam Shaala).Sometime, I also felt inferiority complex for my incompetency in english. But does the proficiency in the english have any relation with progress and achievement in any course of life ? I think that english can work as a lubricant ,not as a mechanism. Communication is more subjective aspect than objective. Good english doesn't advocate good communication.
Just we( vernacular medium students) need to come out from abysmal inferiority complex for the incompetency. In europe, china, japan, korea , middle east and russia, latine america, most of people get basic education in their mother tongue.
They are doing well, aren't they? It proves that kids should get basic education in their mother tongue.

@Kandarp, Dont you think so, even if you studied in vernacular medium, your performance is outstanding.(IESE is league of HSB, INSEAD etc., i think so. ) .

@Nirwa, for your kind information there is nothing great in CBSE syllabus. State board syllabus is equal good once you start expanding boundaries of subjects.

anyway, I attended my PT classes regularly on the ground with ek, do, tin...

Bhuvan Pathak said...

Hi, well I feel that studying in English medium or Vernacular medium, does not much harm for the communication skill. Even though I am from CBSE medium, I lack some of the fundamantal aspect of communication in English, which I am trying to pull out. I have got much stronger command over Hindi, rather then English, simply b'coz my Hindi teacher taught us very well for the coomunication rather then English teacher. I very much agree, if you are taught properly, irrespective of the medium, you can shine out very well.

From biological point of view, its not the only genes, which transcripts your ability of expression, but it is a frameshift mutation, due to the environmental effect. Reamin in such type of mutated Environment and be a genius...........................
through out..........

Anonymous said...

Hi Kandarp,

How are you ? Good to see your blog with deep thoughts and full of memories.

I also studied in Gujarati medium throughout, but never felt inferiority, not even now. Because in Engineering, it was Gujarati medium guys who used to dominate from the first year itself.

Anyway, have u watched "kal ho naa ho" in which they made fun of Gujjus in the way we speak "hall" as "hole" and "coke" as "cock" !! Really hillarious !

Btw, I am really impressed by ur blog-writing skills. Guru devo namo :)

Nilesh

Ishit Vachhrajani said...

You nailed it man! I studied in Gujarati medium and can relate to everything you said. I totally agree with you that a good grasp of Gujarati (your mother-toungue) is a must to be good at any other language.

We gotta work on "Benk","Pent","Lo (Law) etc. An interesting observation from my wife (who is a non-gujarati, though she now can read-speak Gujarati) is that in Gujarati we write these words with Matra which is same for Low and Law, unlike Hindi.

kunal said...

For gud inglis it is not necessary to attend a Gujarati school or to live in Gujarat. Being a Gujarati who has not attended a Gujarati school & has not lived in Gujarat, I can claim that this knowledge transfer of gud inglis is also facilitated by elders - uncles & aunts et al :)

Nero said...

Fantastic!!

Loonie said...

lovely post!:) am not a gujju..but i like them!:)
Simple and honest!
Will keep coming back for more!
cheers!:)

Loonie said...

oops! and since i realize the gujratis dont liked to be called gujjus! Lemme take it all back..gujuratis..so be it!:)

Nirwa said...

^^For Nirav

Yes, there is nothing great in CBSE syllabus, but have you gone through the books we all study? State Board as well as Gujarat University?? I am not saying that English of Central Board students is superior or something.. All I am saying is that the level of education and the books we study should go up! The Accounts we studied in 11th and 12th was nothing as compared to the CBSE syllabus.. and as a result of that, we had to work harder in professional exams like CA, CWA and other similar exams..

Also, I am not against hard work.. All I am saying is that if enough hard work was given to us at school level itself, it is beneficial to us only later on.. because then, "clearing" paper won't remain the target.. we could aim higher.. :)

Nirwa

Kandarp said...

@ Nirav : well, i personally never had infiriority but yes the environment is created around us where we feel a pressure. But anyways. And my personal achievement? Well IESE is in league of HBS for sure. But I am not! A long way to go.


@ Bhuvan - my frameshift mutation is caused by environment or its my own intrinsic genetic adaptation??

@ Nilesh : you are absulutely right. In Engineering, gujarati medium rocks, from Morbi to Modasa - from Nirma to Navsari. My cousin studied in English medium. After he got admission in Engineering college, his english deteriorated and gujarati got "engineered". Engineering Gurave nam:

@ Ishit - Thanks. But are you sure about matra? As far as I know, for words like law, raw, shaw we use "Undhi matra" while in low, row and show we use "sidhi matra". Anyways, nice to see that your wife has taken Gujarati seriously. Congratulations!

@ Kunal - completely agreed. I had an aunt who told me that i should pay attention to physics, so that i can be a good physician. !!

@ Nero - Thanks dear

@ Looni - No no. People who like us, never offend us. :)

@ Nirwa : you are absolutely correct. Our syllabus and quality of books is mediocre. It is not up-to-date and most depressingly it doesn't add any value to the intellect of our youth. B S Shah, Subodh Hay Hay!!

Mayuri said...

Hi Kandarp!

Great blog on English in Gujarat. I have grown up listening to my gujarati friends and classmates speak English, in a way only they can. Your witty blog captured the full experience of being a student of English in Gujarat. I had a similar experience once. I had corrected my grammar teacher for having made a spelling mistake while teaching us. i was punished for my 'rude' behavior. Such is the attitude of teachers of English. However, my love for English only grew stronger in school, and English grammar and syntax remain one of my favorite things to think about.

A related theme that caught my attention is the fact that Bollywood has also captured English spoken by Gujaratis. I would refer you to Satish Shah's attempts at English, and Saif's obvious embarrassment at his Dad's (ahem!) use of the language. Funny as it may sound, I would just like to say that as a Telugu speaking person, growing up in Gujarat, and hence speaking Gujarati with my friends, I had absolutely no trouble communicating with them either in English, Hindi or Gujarati. I would like to add that it is not difficult to learn or to improve one's knowledge of English. It's a fun language to learn. :)

eeks..has my comment run longer than ure blog?! :P

Gops said...

I and most of my friends agree that Gujaratis are the most hardworking Indians around. We awe their entrepreneurship and business skills. Most of the Indian restaurants or motels in abroad are owned by a Gujarati. This shows their competitive spirit who can give the locals a run for their money with their innovative service. They are not only successful as businessmen but also compassionate towards fellow new Indians who come to them for help. I have known so many of my friends who seek refuge at a Gujarati motel or restaurant.

Ishit Vachhrajani said...

Yes Kandarp I myself didn't realize it until she pointed out. Try reading any of our Gujarati magazine or Newspaper the 'Undhi Matra' is missing and is always a 'Sidhi Matra'. At this point though I don't remember what we had in our textbooks.

Nirav said...

Hi kandarp sorry yaar , I made your blog site kurushetra.
Hamari shubha kamana aap ke sath hai. In my case, I always have Patter patter english speaking friends and they always correct me, even now. Thanks to their efforts.

Hi Nirwa,cool man. I didnt talk about Angregi syllabus. I have read the books what I studied in school and university? They are adequate. Idea behind the education is somewhat different and better you refer these quotes.
"Teaching should be full of ideas instead of stuffed with facts."
"You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. "(you will find it backside of Navanit long-book)
anyway, Nirwa Mehta, I will suggest your name as Chairperson to Prof. Dr. Parimal H. Trivedi for possible amendment of syllabus(only commerce) in Gujarat University. But please leave hardworking (11th+12th) and also lazy kids like me. Man Man samay male chhe udhava mate, boss.
Hi Ishit, you are right. I have gone through some gujarati literature, i have and i didnt find 'undhi matra'. let's see textbooks. Gujarati-english Dic. : http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/plc/gujarati/

Hi Bhuvan, evolutionary biology talks about a direct effect of mutation on language skills? Interesting.

P.S. Merci beaucoup, kandarp

Kandarp said...

@ Mayuri : Thanks a lot. You are right, English is a fun language to learn; for that matter every language is fun to learn. This is precisely what they don't tell us in Gujarati schools. Your comment is not longer than the blog, but definitely better in quality :)

@ gops : Thanks. You are absolutely correct .... :)

@ Ishit : We all should be thankful to your wife for drawing our attention to such an unfortunate and frequent mistake. So far as people like you are there, our language is safe.

@ Nirav : Shanti Shanti. I think there is a misunderstanding between you and Nirwa. I completely agree with your quotes about teaching. But you have taken it from the back cover of Navnit. This is precisely what I don't like. Nowhere else on this earth, kids use something called 'guide'. Our education system makes us good at 'implementation' not at 'ideation'. But I must thank you for initiating a meaningful debate.

Bhuvan Pathak said...

It is already in ur genes, but somehow due to some of the unknown (or known environmental factors- perhaps u'll know better), it got mutated what I will term as Frameshift. It would rather surprising that in bilogical systems, this type of mutations has been always favoured by the nature and ultimately it has resulted in the evolution. Evolutionary scientists consider this mutation as one of the key aspect in Evolution and origin of interspecific and intraspecific genus. What about you, I feel that u should carry more such frameshift mutations, to reamin in the nature's ( here I mean to say, -people) good book. Keep this spirit up.
Good going...............with atleast 23 commemnts and the most famous among all ur blogs.

Bhuvan Pathak said...

Hi Nirav,

Ye its true that DNA talks about every single aspect of our life, whether it is ur Intelligence, communication skill, genetic disease whatever. Being a Biologist, it always becomes easier for us to have many predictions about the person's charactersitic as well. Within next 25 years, u'll see that
the forecast of the individual will be done on the basis of his DNA Fingerprinting, not by Jyotish or any Kundali.

Bhuvan

nirav said...

Hi kandarp, i am totally agree with you. Kids use guide as textbooks and books as guide because they are encouraged to do so. Secondary, a way of teaching, plays a vital role in implementation/ ideation thinking. you also pointed out in your article. Being kids, most of time, We are taught to get good marks by parents and teachers rather than develop ability to read between the lines or beyond the lines. you had teaching experience. What do you think as a teacher? and thanks for appreciation.

Hi nirwa, sorry man. it is discussion so please don't mind it.

thanks bhuvan, at least you think that i may live for next 25 years.
the way you explained, it seems that everything and action in one's life are predetermined by the DNA. Then,there will be no importance of "karma" in the life. It reminds me Matrix movie. every individual will be trapped in the matrix which is governed by genes.

Bhuvan Pathak said...

Hey Nirav, wait a bit, I didn't mean to say that Karma does not have influence on the "Jatak's life". As per our Vedas, u must be knowing that Karma is decided by the deeds of an individual, this deeds can be of good and bad type, depending on the environment a person is getting. I told that DNA speaks about the basic characteristic of an individual's life. If a robber's son can be given a good education, he can be a good person in nature, but still he can retain the traits of his robber father. As he has been given a good env. to flourish, the robbery trait gets masked and ultimately, the good person's nature dominates. Here is the Karma of good person which is in him.This is a translocation.
What do u mean by "I can survive till next 25 yrs"?

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this posting! makes me think back of the times i took my first steps in english in a north american summer school.

i had resolved to take wrestiling classes during the summer and i was completely excited about the prospect. it seemed so daring, new and revolutionary to me!
so, i went to my new friends at summer school - all american kids who had previously worried me with their questions whether hitler was still alive and in power and whether the most ocmmon public transport in europe was the horse-carriage - and told them proudly: "guys, today i went to the croach of the wrestling teacher!" i didnt have time to continue: "isnt that great?" because they had already broken down in an unstoppable fit of laughter, hyteria, really. i didnt understand anything and only later that night it dawned on me that i should have said "coach of the wrestling team" instead of "croach of the wrestling teacher"...

with my language sensors duly sharpened i resolved in paying a lot of attention with my choice of words in the future. after all, i did not want to end up as the running gag of the summer school.
so, one of the following days in general assembly i found my mates in the assemly hall and, since i had arrived late, asked them kindly to "screw over"... and there is was again the laughing fit!
i had obviously not yet grasped the multiple meanings of the word "screw".

great posting really, kandarp!
abrazo, nele

Ajinkya said...

nice reflections, dude!.. i live in MH and i have many gujju friends.. and its always quite amusing to listen to each other.. coz' our marathi'sed hindi with gujju hindi is different cocktail alltogether.. atleast in phonetics..

its very amusing, to listen to a marathi villager who hails from kutch.
-ajinkya
http://lovecentral.blogspot.com

Nandan said...

Hi Kandarp, very nice and witty post. As someone who studied in a verancular medium school (Marathi), I can empathize with the inferiority complex. But despite the apparent problems, I still believe mother-tongue is the best possible medium to teach a child in.

The last statement in this post is very true. I cannot agree more.

Venkat Ramanan said...

Hey Kandy!!
Excellent post! I completely enjoyed reading it for your command in language! Yes, but felt sad that we are corrupting our mother tongue a lot.. In fact, we Indians don't have complete command over at least one language but learn many things partially!

Let me share the fun that happens with Englipish as spoken here in Chennai/TN!!
If yu ask an yes/no question, the response will be "yessa" or "nova" or "okva" righta"!!! Pant is pronounced as "fant" while film is pronounced as "pilm".

More to follow in our future conversations... :-)

Kanan said...

Kandarp, I found your blog on ‘Gud Inglis’ very interesting. I too am a fellow Gujarati medium student, I can relate to agonies of English learning experience. However do you think that it is only the way we were taught ‘English’. I would have to say that our education system at large fails to inspire us to think and research be it languages, Mathematics or Science. You mentioned our English pronunciations, but our Gujarati pronunciations are equally bad. For example, ‘Dal’(‘Gujarati sweet and sour dal’) becomes ‘Dal’(as in ‘Zad ni Dal’) for my husband. I was talking to my American Friends recently and they actually had to study Shakespeare in high school. Though we did studied works by Govrdhanram Tripathi, Kalelkar or Umashakar Joshi, we never tried to decipher writing style and message being conveyed, we just used guides!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi Kandarp,
was going thru your post on "Inglis".its seems Gujjus and we Assamese are in the same boat as far as the "sh" sound in English goes. the Assamese are "notorious" for pronouncing "sh" or "ch" words as "s" words. one Assamese guy asked for "do sa" in Delhi so the waiter brought him a "dosa" whereas the guy had asked for two cups of tea (do cha). as you can see, language can be so confusing!!??
take care.
Yasmine (from TB)

Anonymous said...

oops! sorry about posting the word "Gujju" there! didnt mean it in a bad way though! :)
Yasmine

Anonymous said...

Good post....but uggggh!! i hate the way they speak; and if its not as bad as it is, why do they speak so LOUDLY?? Do they know nothing about manners??