BangaLore #9: How to talk first class

Jan. 10, 2009, midnight | By Sonalee Rau | 15 years, 1 month ago

Well, since we're finally in 2009 (the year before the year of all years...ONE-OH) here's a little something from SCO to you: the official unofficial guide to talking like an Indian! Practice speaking with these "Indianisms" to be as hip as those "Slumdog Millionaire" characters.

1. Do you stay here?

The word "stay" is not just a command for your pet Rottweiler anymore. Indians use it as a synonym for "live", as in where you live.

Eg. "Do you stay in Rockville?"

2. Very less

This is used as a synonym for fewer, little or small.

Eg. "I had very less breakfast this morning because I wasn't hungry."

3. Take a decision

That's right – take it from right under their noses! Indians replace the word "make" with "take" in this phrase.

4. You agree, no?

This Indianism is usually used to add emphasis to a question. Just add "no" to the end of any question you ask. (No one will be sure how they should answer you.)

Eg. "You are coming with me, no?"

Um... yes? I mean, no?

5. You must be knowing what I mean

Why be concise when you can be long-winded? Indians love the present progressive tense. Instead of asking your friend for the time, ask them if they are knowing what time it is. Or inquire whether the public library is having a copy of your favorite novel.

6. Small small things

Two words are better than one – if you refer to that small small dog or that green green tree in your yard, people will better comprehend their respective smallness and greenness.

7. First class

No longer just a type of seat on an airplane, this phrase is used to mean "top-notch" or "excellent" in India.

Fascinating, no? So whether you stay in Maryland or Bangalore, here's wishing you a first class new year. Take sensible decisions and don't let small small things upset you, even when you are having lots of homework and your free time is very less!

Editor's note: Sonalee Rau, who moved to the city of Bangalore over the summer, blogs about her life in India in the "BangaLore" series. For past entries, enter "Bangalore" in the Quick Search box.

Tags: BangaLore

Sonalee Rau. Sonalee (suh-NAH-lee) is a chipper Chipper and a would-be magnet junior. She spends a great deal of time playing tennis (Blair is red hot), doodling, reading, quoting famous people, quoting not-so-famous people and lamenting her inability to play the piano. She is also a big … More »

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