Friday, May 8, 2009

One lorry is being there only.

The use of English is widespread here. Most people know at least a little bit. The higher class you are and the more education you have, the more English you know. The English spoken here is a mixture of British English (thanks to British colonization) and American slang (thanks to Hollywood movies).

However, mistakes are common and quite funny. Here are just a few examples.

1. Sentence structure:
National languages have a completely different sentence structure than we do in English. Instead of subject-verb-object, their languages often do subject-object-verb or object-subject-verb. This makes for some funny-sounding sentences when they speak English in their mother tongue sentence structure. For example, instead of "I am going home," "Home I am going" is commonly said. Instead of "There is the car," "The car is there."

2. The over-use of the word only
Why? I do not know. But, the use of the word only is very common. For everything. "You are going to be home only?" When calling someone and you ask for a specific person, she will probably say, "It is I only." Where are you? "I am here only." How much will you pay (in an auto rickshaw)? "Meter only." "You come on Saturday only." "The lorry is there only." Where do you live? "Here only." The word is very versatile.

3. British words for common objects
Lorry = truck. Lift = elevator. Flat = apartment. Flyover = bridge/overpass. Etc.

4. Misplaced use of articles a, an, the or the use of one instead of an article
In all the national languages, there is no such thing as an article. Therefore, to try and sound correct, many nationals throw the articles into their sentences in random places or when they are not needed. I am often "The Brittany." "I am having the fever." Another mistake with articles is using the word one when an article would suffice. "One auto is there." "One good film is playing in the cinema."

5. Switching continuous and present tenses
I don't know why, but the use of continuous tense instead of simple present is commonly used. Instead of "I have a new car," you will hear "I am having a new car." "I am living here only." "One boy is being in the street only." Sometimes, instead of using continuous tense, they will use simple present incorrectly. What are you doing? "I make food only." "I go there only."

These are just a few of the common funnies and mistakes, and there are many more that I cant't think of right now. But, when I get home, and I start speaking English in this way, DON'T MAKE FUN! I can't help the doing it that way only.

1 comment:

Roz said...

I am still speaking this way only. Sometimes :)