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  • Jaspal Kahlon

ENGLISH LANGUAGE



English language in our daily lives plays such an important role today that we have forgotten Hindi substitutes for most English words. For most of us dwelling in cities, we prefer English for formal communication. A couple of weeks back, I tried writing emails in Hindi (alteast one in a week) but failed to use it effectively to communicate formally. We are doubtful of impact or impression that writing or speaking in Hindi will carry compared to English. What will you write in Hindi, if you want to say, “I am really ‘disappointed’ with the progress.” What is the word for “things” as in “Why are things not in place” in Hindi?”   

I have tried to compile some most frequently used  English words, substitutes of which in Hindi are not being used. 

1. If we have to get the attention from a stranger we say “Excuse Me”. What will you say in Hindi? “Suniyein” or “Kripaya Suniyein”. 2. “Thanks” is so deeply ingrained that use of “Shukriya” makes people laugh rather than smile. 3. Addressing a gathering in a formal set-up we prefer “Ladies and Gentlemen…” or “Guys..” to sound less formal. Visualize addressing a formal gathering, “Deviyon and Sajjano….” Or “Bhaiyyao or Behano…” 4. “I had ‘lunch’ at office but will have ‘dinner’ with kids.” Imagine substitute in Hindi for “lunch” and “Dinner”. Could you think anything other than “Din ka Khana” and “raat ka khana”. 5. “Class” as in “Mere boss ne meri class le li” or “going for dance classes”. I just know that “khaal Khand” is hindi substitute for “classroom”. 6. “Can we have sex?” if said in Hindi, I am sure I will never get to have it. Though, for “fuck” we have a highly used and well known Hindi substitute. When irritated, you may still use “fuck” in front of your female colleagues but its substitute, if used, may land you before anti-harassment cell of your company. 7.  “Call” in “Please call me when free”. What will I say in Hindi to communicate the same meaning? 8. “Mobile” has no word in Hindi, I suppose. Though usage of “cell” is more popular amongst polished. 10. We can easily rhyme “A B C….” but what about “K KH G GH….”. We do not even remember it fully. 11. “Bell”, “Train”, “car”, “plane” are permanent translations into Hindi. “Shoes” are still called “joota” and socks may still be called “Juraabein” but for “underwear” we do not prefer “Jhangiyaa”.


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