BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

You can go, you can even come back

Indian languages are a work of art. No, I mean, really! How many languages would allow you to actually use two verbs meaning opposite things and still make sense. Confused? Look at the Hindi “ज़रा बाहर होके आता हूँ” or the Marathi “जरा बाहेर जाऊन येतो” for example. Both sentences use multiple verbs, one in the sense of ‘going’ and the other in the sense of ‘coming’.

So what’s the problem? Well, none whatsoever as long as you stick to speaking an Indian language that allows you such a usage. The problem however arises when this influence carries over to the English we speak.

Very often, I have heard people say, “I will go out and come back in twenty minutes.” A certain Indian can also be found on TripAdvisor asking if “he can go there and come back the same day.” Yes, as you guessed it, this is the influence of your “ज़रा बाहर होके आता हूँ” or “जरा बाहेर जाऊन येतो” now playing out in the kind of English we speak.

Clearly, this isn’t the right way to say this in English. These sentences would be better constructed as “I am going to the bakery. I will be back in twenty minutes” or “Will Nainital be a day’s trip?”

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Sandeep Nulkar Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to bring credibility and recognition to the Indian translator within and outside India.