Dr. Elaine Higgleton, Publishing Director for Dictionaries & Reference at Collins Language, shares her thoughts about the Indian way of speaking English.
I visit India regularly and one of the things I most enjoy about my visits is the opportunity to listen to and learn more about how English is used in India.
English as used in India sounds very familiar to me, but just that little bit strange. It’s like meeting someone I know I have met before but can’t quite put a name to. For example, I know what this means: We use this book till class 4, although I would only use ‘till’ with expressions of time and would say We use this book up to class 4. And I know what this means: I am thinking loudly although I’d use ‘out loud’ instead of ‘loudly’.
I never cease to be amazed by the creatively of English in India (or ‘Hinglish’, or ‘Rashtriya English’, if you prefer) and the way speakers put existing words together to form new compound words (e.g. batchmate a person in the same year as you at college or school), incorporate terms from Indian languages into English (e.g. chaddi buddy – which is my current favourite), and very slightly change idioms, making them even more visual and apposite (e.g. My shoes are biting me – such a lovely image and so much nicer than My shoes are pinching me!). And prepone fills such useful space (as a simple single-word alternative to ‘bring forward’) that it’s used by a German colleague in London when she’s speaking English.
English has always been able to absorb words and influences from the languages and cultures that it comes into contact with; some linguists refer to it as global language (very simply, a global language with local features), although this is a modern term and English has been borrowing words en masse from other languages ever since the Norman Conquest in 1066. I’m always interested in finding out more so please do comment below, or post your favourites on our facebook page!
Indian English: He has gone out of station.
British English: He has gone out of town.
Indian English: My daughter is in the family way.
British English: My daughter is expecting.
Indian English: To In-Charge
British English: To whom it may concern
Are you coming to this year’s FREE BELTE Conference in Brighton, on 20th October? Come along to Ian Badger’s interactive training session ‘Producing and Using Authentic Listening Materials’, at 10.30, and visit the Collins stand to have a look at all the new titles we’ve published last year. Apart from our four popular IELTS Skills titles, there are two new titles for IELTS – Vocabulary for IELTS and Grammar for IELTS. We’ll also bring some copies of our NEW lower-level IELTS series – Get Ready for IELTS.
There’s more good news! Ian Badger’s Listening books will be available at BELTE from the English Language Bookshop – at an unbelievable 30% discount. There is also a special price on on our IELTS range – so don’t hesitate and pick up a copy direcly at BELTE!
In the November issue of the EL Gazette you can read an interesting interview with Collins ELT author Ian Badger. In ‘Keep it real: authenticity is the secret of success’ Ian speaks about incorporating real-life recordings into teaching and why listening is a key business skill.
Ian Badger is the author of English for Business: Listening and English for Life: Listening. Both books are based on 100% authentic recordings of English as it is spoken around the world.
Please click here to read the interview on p. 17 of the EL Gazette.
Idioms and phrasal verbs drive you up the wall? Hit the ground running with the new editions of the COBUILD Idioms Dictionary and the COBUILD Phrasal Verbs Dictionary.
Providing in-depth information on thousands of British and American idioms and phrasal verbs, they are essential reference titles to help learners of English gain a fuller understanding of the language.
Both books now also contain self-study exercises to help learners of English remember the idioms and phrasal verbs they have learnt, and how to use them. There are also free additional worksheets available online at http://www.collinslanguage.com/collins-elt-learners-of-english/cobuild-worksheets.
No more guessing games or relying on teacher intuition. Working from a regularly updated corpus of over 4.5 billion words taken from authentic sources, Collins COBUILD products provide learner-friendly resources on how words are really used.
Dr Wayne Trotman, Teacher Trainer at Izmir Katip Celebi University, Turkey
And if you don’t do things by halves – there’s more idioms and phrasal verbs practice available from Collins:
Collins Work on your Idioms focuses on the most common 300 idioms. Each idiom is covered in depth, with clear examples, definitions and exercises to help you to really learn how and when to use the idioms correctly.
Collins Work on your Phrasal Verbs presents the 400 most common phrasal verbs so that you learn the ones that you really need to know. Each phrasal verb is covered in depth with clear examples, definitions and exercise so you become confident in using them.