Let us see few Indian English Expressions.
A FRIEND from the United Kingdom, who visited India recently, sent me an email in which she narrates an interesting experience.
"During my visit to Chennai in April, I went through the advertisements in the matrimonial column of an Indian English newspaper. I found these two ads very interesting:
The underlined terms in the ads are not Standard English expressions. Are these terms commonly used in India? What do these expressions mean?"
Yes, the terms convent-educated, wheatish complexion, foreign-returned and homely are not Standard English expressions. They are typical Indian English expressions. They are commonly used by Indians who speak English. Non-Indians who are not familiar with these expressions cannot understand the meanings intended by the users of the terms.
What does the expression convent-educated mean? A convent is a place where catholic nuns stay. In India, schools run by nuns are called convent schools. In most of these schools the medium of instruction is English and students are trained to speak impeccable English. The schools are also known for quality education and discipline. Now any school run by Christians is called a convent school. It is incorrect to use the terms convent educated or convent school, but even many educated Indians use the terms.
The term wheatish complexion means neither dark skinned nor light-skinned. Most men in India prefer light skinned women to dark-skinned women. As the term dark skinned has a negative connotation, women use the term wheatish complexion to describe their skin colour.
I have never come across the term single and innocent.
The intended meaning of the term innocent in the phrase is that the girl is a virgin. The advertiser wants to convey the message that she is not married and is a virgin. The expression sounds funny.
A number of Indians use the term foreign-returned.
The word foreign is an adjective but it is used incorrectly as a noun in India.
Look at these sentences which use Indian English Expressions:
The sentences should be rewritten as:
The term homely girl is used to refer to a girl who is traditional-looking, simple and humble. It is opposed to a woman who is modern and Western-costumed. It has a positive connotation, but Indian feminists are of the opinion that the term is used by male chauvinists to describe a typical house wife who is very submissive and supports male domination.
Look at these sentences:
In the sentences, the highlighted terms/words/phrases are typical Indian English expressions.
The term near and dear is used to refer to friends and family.
The term Himalayan blunder means big mistake.
High Command means the top leader or President of a political party.
The term good name is a literal translation of shub naam (Hindi).
Foreign hand refers to involvement of a foreign organization or individual.
The word iron is used by native speakers of English, but in India we use the term iron box.
There is no cousin brother or cousin sister in English. Your cousin is your uncle's or aunt's son or daughter.
Look at these examples:
The auto is to mean auto-ricksaw.
The actual meaning of the word cinema is a place where we films / movies are screened.
In Indian English Expressions, the term ragging means harassment of new students by seniors in educational institutions. In Britain, the word rag means a series of amusing events and activities organized by college students once a year to collect money for charity.
NOTE : This is written by Mr. Albert P. Robert : An ELT resource person. Thanks to him.