BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

Kindly allow

What are Indianisms and how do they really crop up in our day-to-day usage? Indianism, as it is popularly referred to, is ‘a word or idiom characteristic of Indian English.’ Simply put, when Indians do not know how the native speakers of English say something, they fall back on the Indian language they speak and thereafter what they say is more Indian English than native English.

During one of our recent brushes with visa authorities of a certain country, I happened to see this signboard, “Kindly note that it will take up to a working week for your visa to be processed.” When you speak a language, it is not always about whether what you are saying is right or wrong. Sometimes, it is more about how the natives say it.

In this case, racking our brains over this sentence, we might deduce that it is perhaps not grammatically incorrect. However, the natives say it differently. Based on what they say in a similar context, I can tell you that this sentence is better said this way, “Kindly allow up to two weeks for your visa to be processed.”

So as you can see, these are minor differences in usage, but they will go a long way in making you sound a lot more authentic.

Back to the Main Page of this month’s issue >>

Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar started his career as a translator way back in 1993 and heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies – BITS Private Limited. 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 create an identity for the Indian translator within and outside India.