With people from different countries residing together, English is the common language here.As long you do not know Arabic, Chinese, Philippini and the variety of Indian languages (Hindi/ Malayalam/ Telugu/ Tamil/ Bengali ….), you have to stick to English. Fortunately CUSAT has influenced my Hindi/Bengali skills. Needless to say, Chennai IT companies have brimfully brilliant Telugus,Tamil and mallus So I can deal with Indian languages. But when the ones I meet do not know any of these as much as I do not know theirs, we choose English. The mother tongue influence on English would end up confusing most of the time.
After enrolling for driver’s license test, I had to clear a theory paper which wasn’t a big deal at all. Anyone would get through. So after the exam, I went to the invigilator to collect my result, and he said, “You fail”.WHAT??? No way. I look at him again and see an impatient him shouting, “You fail. Please collect your belongings and leave.Next in queue…”.I collect my mobile and then he hands over the result along with my file which says I have only 2 wrong answers, and I realize he said, “Your FILE”.What a relief..
Neighbour Egyptian anty is fond of Pari. She mixes Arabic and English together to help us understand better,but ahem… Being my mother’s age,we give her due respect and visit whenever possible. Pari is her adorable darling. During one such visits she asked “Ul-Zatayam baby crying, Why?”.I stood perplexed trying to figure out Ul-Zatayam, while her hands went round and round to comprehend, repeating “Ul-Zatayam,Ul-Zatayam”.. All the while at her home, I was trying to decipher Ul-Zatayam, when she asked, “How are your parents – Fazer,Mazer?”. So ‘Z’ was for ‘th’ and then it suddenly struck. Ul-Zatayam, Ul tha tayam – All the time. “All the time baby crying, why?”.Poor thing!!
So we have to learn and deal with not only British English and American English,but also Chinese English,Philippino English (though I cannot tell who belongs to which country,I can tell after they talk),Arabic English,Egyptian English,Turkish English etc etc… But that’s all fine. Mother tongue gets mixed up with foriegn languages.Natural.
But sometimes people create the fake English accent and totally twist my senses. Long back in mid 2005, when we were at Brighton, our team planned for a Swiss trip. Exactly on the day before the trip,London bomb blasts happened and therefore heavy police checking prevailed at all airports. After landing at —— airport, a police man asked my colleague why we were visiting Swiss, and my colleague answered with heavily accented English. “We are tourists, sir”. His Tamil and English emphasized the word ‘tourist’ too much that the police man asked again. “What terrorist?” :- ) There stood our horrified colleague,but oh!! What a lovely joke it was for us. From then till now (6 yrs) he is been referred to as Terrorist