Effective communication is a basic per-requisite in everyday life. It is used in personal and official roles. It is required to achieve personal as well as organizational goals, especially in the case of youngsters. Without effective communication, it is impossible to build trusting relations with any person, be it one’s wife/husband, children, parents, relatives, friends, bosses or colleagues.
Coordinating to achieve a certain task becomes very difficult if team members cannot understand what the other teammate says. Cooperation between people also becomes difficult without effective communication as one will be unable to communicate his needs and feelings to others. Effective communication is required to build trust and bonds between employees and an organization and also to get work done from employees, without which any organization would collapse. Effective communication also brings in transparency in a relationship because the other person understands clearly what one means and intends. This is important to have lasting relationships. An idea, no matter how brilliant, is useless unless it is communicated to and properly understood by others as it cannot be implemented in that case, which is the main purpose of any idea.
To summarize, we can say that ‘Effective Communication’ is the ‘glue’ that holds relations (official and personal) together and is a ‘tool’ used to get work done from people and while working together in a team. Any group or organization or task will collapse without effective communication. Since English is the most widely spoken language in the world and since most high-end and professional organizations have adopted English as their official language, it will do anyone a world of good to speak good English and avoid grammatical errors (Indianisms) while speaking or writing. If one speaks good English, he can sell himself or herself better and will have much wider opportunities in the world. Now that we have understood the importance of effective communication, let us have a look at what is Indianism and the most commonly used Indianisms to be avoided.
What is Indianism?: People all over the world have a unique way of speaking English. Sometimes, they use slang and ‘shortcut words’ which are grammatically incorrect. Likewise, Indians also use slang and certain unique words which are understood only in India and have thus been termed as Indianism. Let us have a look at the most commonly used Indianisms and learn from them in a fun way.
- “What is your good name?”: “My name is Raaghav and may I know what your bad name is?” (J). This is a direct translation from the sentence in the Hindi language which is ‘aapka shubh naam kya hai?’ There is no such thing as a good name or a bad name. Everybody has only one name.
- “I can be able to do that.”: “Unfortunately sir, I cannot understand you.” (J) The words can and able to mean the same thing. Using can and be able to in the same sentence is wrong. The correct statement is: “I can do that.” Or “I will be able to do that”.
- “Morning morning why you are disturbing?”: “What a surprise sir! I thought everybody had only one morning at a time, until now.” (J) This is again a direct translation from the Hindi statement ‘subah subah kyon pareshan kar rahe ho?’ The correct statement is “Why are you disturbing me early in the morning?”
- “Do one thing…”: Yet another direct translation from the Hindi statement “Ek kaam karna.” Any person who asks you to ‘do one thing’ invariably gives you about five things to do. “Tell me the route to the museum.” “Do one thing. Go straight, take a right, then take the second left…”.
- “Sleep is coming”: “Okay, say hi to it for me.” (J) Sleep is a state of the body and not an animal or a person to come. It’s a direct translation from the Hindi statement ‘neendh aah raha hai’. The correct statement is: “I am feeling sleepy.” Or “I am feeling drowsy.”
- “Let’s order for pizza.”: “Sure and why not read a good grammar book in the meantime?” (J) One can only order things. He or she cannot order for it. It is wrong grammar.
- “What shall we discuss about now?”: “Let’s talk about politics. We need a fault-ridden topic to cover up our bad grammar”. (J) The word discuss itself means to talk about. ‘Discuss about’ would mean to talk about about something, which is grammatically incorrect.
- “I came here for the purpose to learn English.”: “I am sorry to say sir, but you’re not doing a good job at it so far.” (J) The correct statement is: “I came here for the purpose of learning English.”
- “I’m out of station sir”: “What a co-incidence sir! I happen to be in a station right now.” (J) This statement has been influenced by the British. They used it when they were ruling India. It became outdated decades ago when they left India, but we are still using it! Why? The correct statement is: “I’m not in town” or “I’m out of town”.
- “Keep the luggage in the back side of the car”: “I will kick you on your backside (back) if you use language like that!” (J) The word back-side does not exist in the English language. The correct word is behind and the correct statement is: “Keep the luggage behind the car.” or “Keep the luggage in the dickey.”
- “Kindly revert.”: “Kindly shut your mouth!” (J) To revert means to go back to a former state of being. It does not mean to reply. The correct statement is: “Kindly reply as soon as possible”.
- “Are you having a pen?”: “No sir, I’m not that hungry!” (J) ‘Having’ word should be used only while having food or a sexual intercourse and not for anything else. The correct statement is: “Do you have a pen?”
- “I’m basically from Bihar.”: “Oh yeah? I’m basically from my mother’s womb!” (J) Utterly laughable, this one. When someone asks us where we are from. We should just say that we are from so and so place. For example, “I am from Bangalore” and not “I am basically from Bangalore.”
- “Don’t eat my brain/head!”: “I have already had my breakfast this morning and don’t require a meal so puny sir!” (J) To be frank, even non-vegetarians around the world avoid eating human It doesn’t make your I.Q. grow and it’s a totally sick statement! The correct sentence is: “Stop irritating me!”
- “He/she is my real brother or sister.”: “Do you have virtual or cloned brothers and sisters as well? How astonishing!” (J) I roll on the floor and laugh when I hear this statement. Indians use this phrase to mean that, that particular person is their own brother or sister and not a cousin brother or sister. We can use “He/she is my own brother/sister” or “He/she is my brother/sister” instead.
Special note: The word prepone was once, Indianism, but it has been made a correct word or had an entry in the Oxford dictionary in 2010 due to its ease of use. It is much easier than saying “The meeting has been brought forward to so and so date”. It is one thing I’m proud of as an Indian and feel that Indians should invent new and useful words like this one.
Conclusion: Dear readers, I hope that this article was informative and fun to read. Stay tuned for more. So, until next time, goodbye and…
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