Indian English: It vill be wery helpful, yaar!

It is the year 2020 and call centers are opening all over the West, as the new economic power IndiaStudents
outsources work to the countries where many jobs originated. Millions of Americans, still struggling to adapt to a global economy, are willing to accept jobs that pay them in a new currency sweeping much of the world: EuRupees.

Some of them, eager to land one of the customer service jobs from India, are attending special training sessions in New York City, led by language specialist Dave Ramsey, who goes by a simpler name for his Indian clients: Devendra Ramaswaminathan.

On this warm afternoon, the professor is teaching three ambitious students how to  communicate with Indian customers.

Professor: “Okay, Gary, Randy and Jane, first we need to give you Indian names. Gary, from now on, you’ll be known to your customers as Gaurav. Randy, you’ll be Ranjit. And Jane, you’ll be Jagadamba. Now imagine you just received a call from Delhi. What do you say?”

Gary: “Name as tea?”

Professor: “I think you mean ‘namaste.’ Very good. But what do you say after that?”

Gary: “How can I help you?”

Professor: “You’re on the right track. Anyone else?”

Jane: “How can I be helping you?”

Professor: “Good try! You’re using the correct tense, but it’s not quite right. Anyone else?”

Randy: “How I can be helping you?”

Professor: “Wonderful! Word order is very important. Okay, let’s try some small talk. Give me a comment that would help you make a connection with your Indian customers.”

Randy: “It’s really hot, isn’t it?”

Professor: “The heat is always a good topic, but you haven’t phrased it correctly. Try  again.”

Randy: “It’s deadly hot, isn’t it?”

Professor: “That’s better. But your tag question can be greatly improved.”

Randy: “It’s deadly hot, no?”

Professor: “Wonderful! You can put ‘no?’ at the end of almost any statement. You are understanding me, no?”

Jane: “Yes, we are understanding you, no?”

Professor (smiles): “We may need to review this later. But let’s move on to other things. Have you ever heard Indians use the word ‘yaar’?”

Randy: “Yes, my Indian friends use it all the time. Just last night, one of them said to me, ‘Randy, give me yaar password. I am needing it to fix yaar computer.”

Professor (laughs): “That’s a different ‘yaar,’ yaar. The ‘yaar’ that I’m talking about means friend or buddy. You can use it if you’ve developed a camaraderie with a customer. For example, you can say, ‘Come on, yaar. I am offering you the best deal.’ Do you understand, Jagadamba?”

Jane: “Yaar, I do.”

Professor (smiles): “Okay, let’s talk about accents. If your client says ‘I yam wery vorried about vat I bought for my vife,’ how would you respond?”

Randy: “Please don’t be vorrying, yaar. She vill be wery happy and vill give you a vild time tonight.”

Professor: “Vunderful! I mean, wonderful. You have a bright future, Ranjit. And so do you, Jagadamba. But Gaurav, you haven’t said anything in a while. Do you have any questions about what we’ve just learned?”

Gary: “Yes, Professor, I do have one question: Wouldn’t it be simpler to learn to speak Hindi?”

Photo by Meyshanworld

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Dilip Barad says:

    This is incredible. Excellent.

  2. rammie k. kaonga says:

    absolutely fantastick. kindly also include me on your mailing e-mail adress for your latest releases. u

  3. rammie k. kaonga says:

    wonderful and humorous pieces of indian english there, jeri good only no i also speak weri weri good.

  4. A vari vari entresting peece of moost papular langwage of naxt deecaade

  5. Murtuza says:

    Hahaha.. Cool article YAAR !

  6. Amazingly funny. I couldn’t stop laughing for at least 10 minutes after reading this article…….so realistic way how Indians speak and staying in USA…how you can have plenty of fun out of it !!

  7. Anoop V says:

    Yexcellent article, yaar. Thanks for a fun read.

  8. Fantastic! Yaar! No?

  9. You are deadly funny, no? I am laughing out loud while I am reading your writings, yaar. I vill being happy reading them again. I vonder if you vill be thinking my blog is funny too. Stop by, yaar!!
    http://www.SavvySingleChristian.blogspot.com

  10. This is really really funny!!!

  11. Vely vely phunny, Indian Ingliss as she is spocken iss one of de very phunniest languages in the werld.
    For rib ticking humor, you should check the English classifieds in Kuwait. The Arabs beat our Indian English anyday

  12. Your columns are just great. Really good and not overdone humour. If possible can you pl add my email id so I receive the columns regularly?

  13. I have killed myself laughing at your columns; especially this one. You are sooooo funny!!! Well done and keep it up. We need more like you to keep this world sane with laughter!!!
    No…?
    😉

  14. I can not stop my laugh seriously.. very realistic conversation. i felt, am overthere and listening to all of them

  15. Arvind Ranganath says:

    A scene from my junior high Arabic class in Dubai which I think would be an ideal comment for this blog : –
    (Teacher shouting at students making noise and laughing)
    (Intekaab-ud-din)(Teacher)
    “Ayy! Ya Allah! Yuu ShutUpp Yuu! (pointing first two fingers) ”
    “Yyyy yuu lafff? Yuuu dink I phunnyyy? Yuu ShutUpp Yuu!”
    (Danish Arif Faquih)(Student)
    “Sorry, sir, but no my fault sir. This boy make laugh!”

  16. Very Good, I like it.

  17. That was a great scenario, and very hilarious.

  18. Priya Rajaram says:

    absolutely hilarious and rib tickling stuff. all of these columns are superbly creative and original in content and the choice of words is excellent. i am a subscriber to this column and have enjoyed every single one of them thus far. have recommended link to my friends to subscribe. great to have some good guffaws.

  19. Hilarious!

  20. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! hilarious! how have I never read your stuff before. awesome =) funniest when read aloud for sure!

  21. Kathryn Evenson (Katendra?) says:

    Now only am I seeing your informational article for the learning of the term yaar. Once I had made reading of your words they made the inspiration in me to do likewise. In this spirit only am I making the posting to give thanks to you Mr. Durai sir. This is a very most excellent thing you have been telling it to the peoples who are living in the US of America.

  22. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. A concerned Englishman says:

    Hands down, Indian accent is better than any other non-native English speaker’s accent (Try Greek or Spanish).

  24. Nice one…hilarious. I had written something about the “No” termination, long time back.
    http://sachinb.blogspot.com/2006/09/please-say-no-to-no.html

  25. So great,very realistic conversation. I won’t help to laugh…. keep it up

  26. LOL!

  27. very good & shy

  28. Eurupees, dave ramsay…rofl

  29. worth reading

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