This might seem as being an unusual way of beginning an essay; but the best part about this is people are not perceiving it to be unusual at all. People here refer to 1,170,938,000 Indians, with few exceptions of children and the ones totally oblivious of English language. None the less, the numbers speak for itself and there have been claims that hinglish, a mixture of Hindi and English, may soon become the most common form of the “Queen's language”. According to a British expert Professor David Crystal, 350 million Indians speak “hinglish” and it is soon to exceed the number of native English Speakers in Britain and the US.
He further states the cause for this tremendous hike as being a collective-increasing popularity of “Bollywood” and Indian culture. This means not only is “hinglish” limited to India but the popularity might just escalate this trend to a more global scale. Such escalation seems very predictable as the process has already started; yearly, more and more Indian words are being added to the English dictionary. Apart from words, phrases such as “Yeh dil mange more”, “Do one thing Na” or “time-pass” bring out the true essence of “hinglish” and its role in “Indianism”. Hinglish” itself contains a wide variety of characteristics ranging from amusing use of Indian words in English context to absurd grammatical errors of English in Indian context.
Likely so, “hinglish” is a near to perfect blend of amusement, absurdity and quite a considerable number of people speaking it on a daily basis. “Hinglish” does not follow a definitive syntax, instead the arbitrary use of English words make it particularly unique. The persistent using of present continuous tense, even where simply writing in simple present would be sufficing, is one of the most common feature of “hinglish”.
For instance, the sentence “I am having a dog” might occur as fairly normal to an Indian, who is exposed to thousands of similar sentences per day. However, for someone who is not familiar with such bent use of English language, the sentence might come as a bit startling (with exceptions of nations like China, Korea and Switzerland where “having” dogs is considered to be ok). For an Indian, the sentence would mean “I have a dog” which is quite clear that I own a dog; However, for that “someone”, “I am having a dog” would probably suggest I am eating a dog. As bizarre as it may sound, instances of such hybrid ollaborations of present continuous and figures of speech are quite relevant to even the elites of India and, ironically so, the students.
An interesting phenomenon that occurs in almost all Indian institutes and universities is when the results for the exams are due; one cannot help but sense the cruel irony when a student blurts out “I am sure I would be passing English, I am not doubting even once also”. Another example can be taken from Binoo K John’s essay “The writing on the wall”; he depicts a situation where a student, educated in one of the best systems of education in India – convent, fumbles between the usage of “then” and “than”.
Even more fascinating is John’s example of a Professor’s “ingenious play” with English words. Upon noticing boys pelting missiles at girls standing in the lower tier of the university stadium, the professor shouted, “What are you doing? Stop it. Understanding people will suffer! ” Certainly on one hand the word “understanding” is quite ingeniously used through breaking the “idiomatic and metaphorical complications of English language”; but on the other, the sentence does not make any grammatical sense what so ever.
Moreover, not only the use of present continuous but also the use of tone and punctuation is so closely yet so remarkably misused. For instance, it is not uncommon for a student to hear the phrase “it is clear” being repeated several times when a teacher tries to clarify doubts. Not surprisingly enough, in a class of 80 students, the ones who actually notice the misuse of English would not exceed the number 20. Perhaps concluding with something much more firm such as, “is it clear? ” might clarify the doubts (well, at least for 20 of them).
Never the less, the trend still continues. But, sometimes it’s not the present continuous that confuses the user, nor the inability to verbally speak to specific tones of questioning, sometimes the sentences just come outright wrong; such as “Both of you three come here! ”, one can sense the tremendous “gush” of ambiguity in such a sentence. Well, perhaps the user is just mathematically below the scale. In a global context, “hinglish” has not failed to amuse or annoy the listener. Through the rise of media, “Hinglish” has been catapulted to a totally different level.
Taking further references from John’s essay, he goes on to state the impact of Bollywood movies. “Main hoon na” a blockbuster movie starring Shah Rukh Khan exposes a spoof of “Indian-English”. The use of the word “myself” such as “myself in-charge here” or “myself an engineer” is highlighted in an utter expression of non-sense - “Myself Hindi teacher. You meet me in the backside when my period is empty. ” Now-a-days, media is considered to be the primary source of exaggeration in the use of hinglish for its popularity.
According to Prof. David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Indian expertise in writing computer software also means that Hinglish will spread via the internet. Not only computer software but also areas such as music have furthered the prospect of hinglish going viral. Recently, a social media website YouTube, where the site allows you to share your achievements (or failures) be it music or dance or any other form of art, baffled the world through the international musical smash-hit “Why this kolaveri di? ” The song translates to “Why this murderous rage? ” and comprises of a swingy beat and verses sung in an Indian accent.