It was reported yesterday that British diplomats posted to India will have to learn “Hinglish”.
It doesn’t seem to make any sense to me ,as on one hand we lament the correct use of grammar and the language as a whole, at the same time we are asking our diplomats learn a mish mash of English.
As I was born and brought up in the Sub-Continent, allow me explain what they mean by this.
This concept came about when the natives, while conversing in English, could not think of a right word to say what they were trying to; so they substituted it with a Hindi word.
That was all very well, as the other person knew exactly what you meant and the conversation carried on.
This is not a recognized language and is not taught in schools, at one time its use would have been frowned upon. Just as the “text-speak” or abbreviated use of the word, is not recognized in formal writings or speech.
The so called “Hinglish “ became chosen mode of speech for those whose grasp of English was poor and laziness prevented them from learning the proper dialect.
Bollywood started to use this in their films, as they wanted to be on the trend. Besides 80% of the general population in India is il literate and this kind of mashed language could be understood by everyone.
Though those of my fathers generation must be turning in their grave. My father insisted that if you are going to learn and speak another language you must do it well, with proper regard to grammar and syntax and pronunciation.
Yesterday on Tom Chiver’s blog on the Telegraph blogsite when I said this he replied that surely it is a language in its own right and should be learnt by our diplomats?
It is not a language it is not taught in the schools in India and it has only come into being because of the reasons I have mentioned.
So should our diplomats must learn this fractured English?
While we are trying at home to raise standards by re marking exam papers to improve the standard ,the ambassador is asked learn a parody of it.
Is this right?