THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

Friday, April 10, 2009

When We Speak in Manglish..

Scene from class VIII of a school in Kerala

Teacher: Who can tell me the name of Gandhi's son?
Students go into a hush.
Only one hand goes up after a while.
Student: Dineshan
Teacher: What??? Dineshan who?
Student: Yes, madam, Dineshan. You dont know that also?
Teacher (nearly enraged): Who taught you this nonsense
Student: It is not nonsense madam. We were taught this since junior school
Teacher: Taught what?
Student: Gandhiji is the father of di-neshan.

Although the above is just a really funny joke passed on by a friend as an SMS, it very aptly highlights a big problem we have in Kerala.

As much as the hypocrites talk about clinging on to tradition, we also try to catch up on English, which is obviously very essential in this day and age. So it really doesnt matter what the hypocrites say and think. But unfortunately, their influence force enough people try to mix up the two languages, instead of learning both separately and clearly, and what we get is Manglish. And add to it the substandard, new-age filmy jokers and mimicry artistes who try hard to make people laugh by using abuse, twisted words, slang, and accentuated dialects. Children actually even end up picking up these distortions, and imitating cheesy lines as they get applauded for it.

Manglish is the polluted, adulterated, and confusing version of language when you mix up Malayalam and English badly. It is what gives malayalis that infamous "malayali accent", which is now so bad that it affects job prospects and even relationships, and terrible inferiority complex while talking to fluent English speakers.

This is an issue our teachers, schools, universities and boards need to give great attention to so that our children and the new generation come out confident and ready to take on the world. May sound like a silly little non-issue, but quite clearly, this is definitely an issue that we need to work on in our schools.

Happy Easter folks!

59 comments:

Static Variable said...

reminds me of all those things i used to hear in school. students are odaling and chaadaling !

we are going to uschool

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

the sms joke is new to me! LOL it is!

silverine said...

I have spent many a fruitless hour trying to unlearn my cousins from pronounciations like olimbics (olympics), aapul (apple), sero (zero) and Jambionship (championship). Then to my chagrin I realised that such pronunciations are reinforced by the M dailies and magazines too!! Just look at their spelling of English words in Malayalam, exactly as it is pronounced orally!! Sigh! However having stayed outside Kerala all my life and listened to the boring nuetral accents here I have to say that I zimbly love the mellu agzent! :p I will be very sad the day it disappears. I have to admit my colleagues like it too and instead of being derisive about it like in the past, today it is considered an accomplishment if you can master it! :)

Happy Easter to you and all at Dawgs on Gundry.

Anoop said...

I agree that its not amazing to have Manglish or that Mallu accent. But face it, its part of our identity. I don't see a major harm due to this. I know of people who survive around me with the Mallu accent and I don't really think knowing or using some Manglish taints someones English very bad..
It's not a phenomenon unique to Kerala.. its there everywhere... look up wikipedia for Singlish, Hinglish and what not.. they are not complaining are they? :)

MC said...

@ static variable - reminds me of the chuck berry song.. my ding a ling!

@ karthik - i know..it was damn funny!

@ silverine - you mean ahhppul..agree it is fun and funny to hear the agzent at times.

but i am assuming there are larger implications for the future generations. especially with the cruder versions of the agzent coming out from places like trivandrum, which people imitate and celebrate, even though it sounds dismally substandard.

@ anoop - well, lets hope they begin complaining before it is too late.

bhuji said...

Technically what you are discussing is code mixing as linguists term it. Its not only in Kerala , every state in India faces more or less the same problem when it comes to accent and codes. if you speak to foreigners - French, German, Italians and Arabs they got funny accents too and we imitate them saying its classy.

Well errors need to be rectified but that happens only when students get to speak the language. So dont try to prevent Hinglish, Manglish and Tamlish , lets seek innovative , viable methods for language teaching.

Mahesh said...

I personally have not faced any problems with my Mallu accent. This after having studied in Malayalam medium till I graduated/ Yes, I have been ridiculed for pronouncing "whare" for
"where" but that's just about it. People from some other states like Orissa - have horrible pronunciation and some people like those from AP have bad grammar. In fact, my accent actually helped me when I lived for about an year in Paris. Parisians dont speak English, and many time they said they can understand me better than my neutral-accent friends because of my stronger accent. Also, most of the time this so called Mallu accent is more of an imagination than truer one. I have met many hypocrites who think I am from north - my surname being Mathoor - and then suddenly start finding my accent funny just when tell them that I am from Kerala! I think this language issue is really a non-issue. We cant help having a little accent as long as we speak Malayalam, and even that will disappear as more and more of us use English and it is being accelerated by globalization.

Anonymous said...

Of course mallus think there is nothing wrong their accents. What they do not realize is that the whole world laughs at them!

binil said...

I agree with many posts here, but not this one. We have lots of problems in Kerala, but our accent is not one of them. Sure, it is chic to attempt to speak "propah english", but be aware that the thing you are imitating is just that - another accent.

bhuji said...

why do you post it anonymously if you want to criticise mallus for not being worried about their accents. Have you ever thought what creates and accent. Here after 100 years we are thinking of a universal bill for compulsory primary education.And you expect us to speak Utopian english. You and I are blessed to use this language and just coz smeone pronounced it wrong he is not going to hell. As someone said try hearing the biharis, oriyas and tamilians too. Concern should be on proper education and not fighting over they teased us coz we pronounce things funnily.

MC said...

@ bhuji - irrespective of whether you are french, italian, bihari or tamilian, i am saying it helps to have a neutral accent IF you are speaking english and looking at communicating to a global audience. that is the way forward. i am glad you agree, and would love to hear the new teaching methods you mentioned.

@ mahesh - We cant help having a little accent as long as we speak Malayalam, and even that will disappear as more and more of us use English and it is being accelerated by globalization.so why wait for globalization? we agree that we need to speak good english, and in that case, let us begin in our schools.

@ anonymous - just like everything else!

@ binil - i dont think propah is proper. i am saying proper should be proper.

@ everyone - the point is that if we (or at least the next generation if you think you are past the period of change) aspire
to communicate globally, and be confident enough to take on the world, then language skills is so important. i have seen this is one area where malayalis fail miserably. i dont think we need to see the issue of our accent as an insult (this is the usual response of a malayali to any constructive criticism), but instead try and see the solutions - which is quite simple if we start focussing on it right from the schools.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahahhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

Awesome dude!!
p

Anonymous said...

hahaha i just read the comments
odaling, chaadaling, uschool hihihi so cute...gundry!

pp

bhuji said...

MC , teaching English to first generation learners and second generation learners is so different and believe me a research area in itself :). Even in US they are struggling with it coz of the different ethnic races and multiracial classrooms. Look at malayalam for instance how different each dialect is. Our country hardly bothers any research in linguistics we have others issues to deal anyways. The best way to learn a language could be to have an embedded classroom apporach, Which could be more activity based listening to music, seeing movies so you catch up pronunciation, reduce rote learning and focus on accent and dialogue delivery through dramas,puppetry, some innovations are being done in SSA to make education activity based hope it will help. And more research and application of those research in language testing if you really wanna solve these issues pr we end up discussing and joking

phoenix said...

I do not care what you mallus think...your accents is embarrassing...get rid of it...and stop humiliating NRK's like us. NRK = children born of mallu parents born and bought up onside Kerala. You mallus are a major source of embarrassment for us!

Anonymous said...

@phoenix: Grow up!!

phoenix said...

@brave anon with no guts to sign in with his name: SHUT UP!!

Anonymous said...

@phoenix: and I suppose 'phoenix' is your real name?? You are such a funny person..lol!

People speak in all kinds of accents and there's no need to be embarassed. Joking about it in fun is alright but atleast they are trying to do their best learning to speak another language that's not native to them. Kudos for that! You being embarassed about your own community is pathetic!!

So.... grow up!!!

phoenix said...

@Anonymous Coward: Sign in with your blog ID if you want a response from me. Or shut up!

Anonymous said...

@phoenix: I do not want a response. Merely educating you..or atleast trying to. Thank you!:) And threatening people and calling names?? haha Nice touch..Grow up!!!

Anonymous said...

@phoenix: and you are still responding :)

Anonymous said...

I guess having a bad accent is better than having bad grammar or the language itself.. you know that cant be bought or brought or bought err whatever...the thing is that you cant buy it onside or offside (cricket??) or anywhere FTM...
when NRKs grow up to be adults they cease to be NRKs? cause the definition here says NRKs are children...me poor mallu so confused...
And let me post anonymously..no not of any fear but bcoz its been promised that there won't be a response to an anonymous comment and frankly let it be, you are just making a bigger fool of yourself everytime u open the mouth.

chillbreeze said...

Malayalis find their accent mocked at ‘simbly’ because they do not find it ‘eassy’ to pronounce certain words, which is why Lola Kutty became a hit with her ‘zilk’ saris, ‘jaismin’ and her coconut offering at the end of every show!

The stereotype of the heavily accented Malayali simpleton with oiled hair has been done to death. But Malayalis educated outside Kerala or living abroad - the NRKs or NRis are not particularly amused, for they do not see themselves thus. A Malayali born and brought up outside Kerala turns out to be highly successful, erudite and respected all over the globe.

Malayalis in Kerala are poles apart from those outside, the differences so marked that it is almost laughable!

A Malayali at home argues about issues that may not even concern him/her. S/he picks up a red flag and agitates, to fit in with the crowd. An NRK minds his/her own business, smiles away from issues and keeps his/her nose clean.

A Malayali in Kerala scoffs at English speakers, calling them show-offs, looking down upon English medium schools, which are ‘mummy-daddy’ schools to him/her. When abroad, s/he cultivates a decent accent, trying to fit in with people, making sure that his/her children too do their best to speak English well.

A Malayali back home does not lift a finger at home as he feels the woman should slave at home, while he sits back and gives orders. After all, his friends would sneer if he helped out, male chauvinists all the way. The moment he sets foot on foreign soil, he learns to clean, cook and even change nappies.

It is not surprising that Malayalis have been doing well for themselves outside, and maybe it is time for their counterparts back home to get rid of their ‘frog-in-the well’ attitudes and turn into men of the world and class instead!

Satish Menon said...

I am a born and bought outside Kerala pheno-menon myself. I speak little Malayalam because it is not my primary language of communication in Pune. As far as Kerala culture is concerned, I have no idea. Having lived outside Kerala I wouldn't even claim to have a rudimentary understanding of it.I saw Kerala, just like other tourist destinations during holidays. I have a Malayalee surname but it is only my parents and ancestors who can claim to be Malayalees. So yes, there is a large group of people called NRK's in India and abroad.

bhuji said...

Crap Crap and Crap. What's this NRK, NRI business now. I lived 15 years outside India. This is my 10th year in India and I am mostly outside Kerala but I read Malayalam , speak, write and follow it well. well I analyze happenings in my state too so there could be many like me. Have u people spoken to the Japanese or Chinese for that matter they are quite insistent on speaking their language and following their tradition. Jackie chan has a funny accent dudes but he earns billions for it. Admit it you are ashamed when you don't know yourself.


Punjabi friends i grew up with tell me no matter where in the world they are they wnt forget their language and culture and our so called NRI's take pride and say omg my son can hardly speak mallu m he hate this chakka, kappa when the kid might be saying no papa I like it. We are nothing but a group of hypocrites.

This is not an issue frankly.

phoenix said...

@bhuji: You may have lived outside Kerala for 15 or 85 years. What makes you an NRK is living outside Kerala in your formative years i.e from birth to teens. That is what makes the big difference. You grow up with Indians not mallus. And whether you think this is crap or not does not matter to us. And unlike other Indians we NRK's are ashamed of our mallu roots because of the disrepute mallus have bought upon themselves outside Kerala. Which is why we shun anything mallu. There are some NRK's who are strictly brought up according to Kerala customs and they are an embittered lot as they get ridiculed as mallus. If you
are an NRK then you are a good example of the same. Whether this is an issue or not will be decided by us. Now shut up if you cannot put up!!!

Dhanush said...

Manglish is the polluted, adulterated, and confusing version of language when you mix up Malayalam and English badly. It is what gives malayalis that infamous "malayali accent", which is now so bad that it affects job prospects and even relationships, and terrible inferiority complex while talking to fluent English speakers.
I do not agree with Manglish giving malayalees mallu accent. Accent is diff from Manglish. Accent is part of a culture by which any human being is raised, so English can have a Spanish accent, French accent, Chinese accent and also a Malayalam accent. And I never had any issues with my accent to talk to the ppl all over the world, and I have found it extremely hard to understand the Chinese and Japanese, but never felt it bad because I understand that its is part of them.

Manglish is the upstart language of the new generation which says "Oh yaa, nammal work cheythu kondirunnappol power just poyi. " . This is diff from accent.

And I don't think the joke is in any relation to the accent. Di - Neshan is just a zimble joke on The Nation, which u can construct on any other language too.

Praveen said...

I guess the malayali accent is less in the new breed of students compared to those about 5-10 years ago. Now students themselves are making a conscious attempt to make their accent clear of any geographical identities...But still in village schools and colleges, its still prevalent and can only be controlled with a dedicated effort which should start from the teachers

bhuji said...

Someone was right about you phoenix u really are awfully hilarious. what made u think i wasnt out in my formative years? Are u god? Who are the "We" ?? You some omniscient narrator? who is going to decide? what. I am stating facts not some prejudices like you. And how come you do not respond to all the people who comment on other accents thriving? By denying ur mallu roots u cant undo anything.Neither am I for this whole crap nor against. I dont have a mallu accent but neither do I have probs with ppl who have it.


The more u resist the more u defend.
Ur humourous :)

bhuji said...

oops and phoenix I am not an NRK I am jus a humble NRI. Now do I get an award or 10 credits more than an NRK :)

dont burn urself not u neednt resurrect like ur name suggests.

phoenix said...

"dont burn urself not u neednt resurrect like ur name suggests."

Wow what English!

Two comments from Bujji!!!Wow!! Miss Bujji seems awfully keen to defend herself! Ooooh rub some balm on the bruised ego...it might help. LOL!!!

Annemarie said...

@phoenix: lmao!!! Attagirl!

Manoj said...

Phoenix - Don't waste your time on these people. Check out the spelling of "Catharsis" in her blog :-P NRI my foot!! Must be a gelfi who love to call themselves NRI! Pathetic lot!

Arun said...

well, it is true that mallu accent sucks. but so does the local UP or bihari or kannada accent. all those regional accents suck. and nobody wanna change.

blame it partly on our educational system which has not taught many Indians the correct spelling of what sounds like "pronounciation"

as part of my profession, i do hundreds of interviews every year and i have increasingly started to believe that if you have studied in a typical english medium school in kerala, you still have MTI.

I have come across engineers of all kinds but who could not speak well. in fact, i have seen this trend only in later years.

the neutral accent carriers in kerala are those who did their early schooling in the "older" schools in ooty and other similar places, kids from families which generally speak english, kids from the NRI club and so on.

i have had to work sometimes with women who brushed up their accents in call centers and who used to throw the occassional mallu "O" when rolling their tongues.

and then you have the kind who think it is cool to say "Mate" when it is actually pronounced "Mite" down under.

and of course u need to have attitude. the kind that wants to improve.

a lot could be in the genes too?

after all, all mallus are not dravidian or are they? lol.

Sad Truth said...

//What makes you an NRK is living outside Kerala in your formative years i.e from birth to teens.//

That is a valid point! NRK or NRI or whatever you term it cannot claim to be Malayalees unless they grow up in Kerala, study in Kerala schools and live in the Kerala society. I have seen some of the so called NRK's trying desperately to pass themselves off as Malayalees. But the reality is that you cannot be a Malayalee just because your parents are! :-)

Karthik said...

Phoenix da jawaab nahin! :-)))))

MC said...

Folks, this post was not about NRI, NRK, Keralite or Mallu. It was a simple attempt to bring out one of our major deficiencies in terms of communication - and I dont know why some people are trying to pretend it doesnt exist or it doesnt matter. It certainly does! and I can understand that if some of us feel depressed about it since we have reached a stage where we cannot change it for ourselves. but then let us realize the problem and atleast make sure that the next generation do not end up in the same rut!

I am sure those of who that say it is okay to have the accent or say it is part of our culture and such other excuses, will certainly correct their own children when they learn English. So let us at least accept there is a need to address this issue as a first step.

I feel communication and soft skill training should be a part of the curriculum in schools so that speaking good clean languages and mannerisms can be taught at that stage itself - it may be difficult to change it at a later age.

DPhatsez said...

kollaam! back to school chalus again :)

'All are mathematics'

Incognito said...

It is worthy to consider whether it is content that is important or accent, whether the cover of the package is important or its content and give proportionate importance to the content.

Language is the means to communicate ideas and thoughts.
What is important is the worth of the thought.

It is that which is required to be given deserving significance and developed, which gets submerged in the endeavour to concentrate on accent.

It is noteworthy that only about 20% Indians understand English whereas Hindi is understood by 75% Indians.

Also important to note that world over, the number of people who do not understand English are more than those who do.

So, as a medium for communicating with the world, English has serious limitations.

As a medium for communicating with our fellow indians, it is totally inadequate.

What is more important for us as a nation is that we communicate better with our own fellow countrymen before doing so with foreigners.

It is also important that we appreciate the role of our indigenous languages in preserving our cultural heritage and civilisational ethos developed in this land by our ancestors.

That is essential to inculcate feelings of self-esteem in the later generations as much as it is in our present one, the lack of which is evident from the tendency to look west, ape west and seek approval of the west.

It is rightly said- 'The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.'

What we see in this tendency to adore western ways is indicative of 'Stockholm Syndrome'.

Anonymous said...

People who speak one language primarily, will speak any foreign language with an accent, if they are only learning it for an hour or so a day. People whose use of English is low, will definitely have an accent. But I find this intense inferiority complex with only South Asians.

Actually, many caucasians in Europe don't even speak English. They call the English spoken by the French as sexy. So really, there is no need to feel small about an accent. I mean, a North American accent would give a headache to a Brit or Aussie.

-Kajan

kuttappan said...

boys and girls, its not really about the accent..its more about using correct pronunciations and speaking it right.

if you are learning something, then atleast learn it right!!!

so stop pretending the issue does not exist!!

Tys on Ice said...

man, you seem to have triggered off a lot of passion here...the joke was fantastic...

saw the picture u have given below...funny thing is that he looks a lot like my father...another life , another time, who knows, eh?..

workhard said...

Hiii.. that was really funny.. i know how almost every language happens to mix it up with english and then u get new words.. that get added to the vocabulary.. the story really made me laugh:D

Haiku

Jagadeesh K said...

I agree with you about the persisting problem in teaching english at school level. I don't worry much if some mimicry artist tries to sell a joke by picking a case in this. But even after enjoying these parody shows we are not taking these problems seriously - something more alarming but not a topic for this thread.

Let us have look at the way in which english was taught at school. During my studies, my English teachers tried every best possible method to help us remember the rules of english grammar (and thus learning (?) English) Based on these lessons we were required to answer a set of questions during exams. More than this, we were forced by-heart poems which will be helpful while asked to write (with exact punctuations) during exams. Terrible isn't it..? It just helped me to improve my memory skills. Believe even 'Daffodils' or 'Solitary Reaper' seemed to be very boring while tried hard engrave the words in my memory.
What if you didn't memorize? Humiliation - in the form of beating also.
I was able to remember 'Daffodils' and 'Solitary Reaper' because of my mother's sweet and vibrant narration.

I was never helped by any of my English teachers on how to appreciate a poem well or how to write a poem.
I failed to dwell into the thoughts of poet,the social, emotional and intellectual explorations he made. I missed his inspiration. I simply burned his words in my memory (but it is not there since i didn't liked the way it went in)

I can very well understand the innocence and ignorance of school kid attributing Mr. Dineshan's fatherhood to an old, toothless , bald headed person called Gandhi.
We must rather appreciate the kid's intelligence in grasping at least this much information from that 'English' class.

While I grew up in school, there existed a deep concern against the so called English medium schools. The concern was the 'English' medium schools might kill our poor malayalam language. Much of the proponents of this was teachers and scholars of Malayalam Language

And what is happening now...?
We found English speaking skills are required to secure a 'bright future'. The same class of people voted against English is now waiting infront of Veta (a spoken english training institute). I don't know how many of them had already started a study center for English.

From my personal experience, I understood that what we need to teach or learn at schools is the art of communication. How well you can articulate an idea in your mind by framing the most apt and brilliant sentence structure, be it any language - your mother tongue or simply how to express yourself.

Let me sum it up - While teaching English, help students to think in English, finding the meaning,the usage, right pronunciation (i would rather vote for this than accent)

Tailpiece:

Dad to son: from tomorrow onwards you should attend the tuition for Malayalam language.
Son: Daaaaad,but i dont know any software developed in that.

Biju said...

In total agreement. The problem here is the way english is taught in schools. You cannot translate english directly into malayalam. For example: Jewellers translated into malayalam reads as 'Jeweleaars'. I quote this word because you can see a board in any corner of a town or city in Kerala. The Mother Tongue Influence(MTI) is evident in other non-malayalee indians too but not so much, maybe for the fact that, malayalam is a language which is spoken nasaly and simply how it is spoken.

I am not worried about the mimicry artists or numerous jokes cooked up on malayalees and the accents. Its just pure fun and I take it in that spirit.

The effort should be to learn both languages (English & Malayalam) equally rather get it half cooked and mix both and torture them. I have written a blog English Malayalee

Leslie said...

I am someone who phoenix will categorize as NRK. Having stayed in various parts of India and abroad, it is not difficult to see that all people speak English their way. Even in the UK, the land of English, received pronunciation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation) is not used by everybody. English are embarrassed by the way Scots and Welch speak English.

I dont think that the English spoken by Maratis or North Indians are any better. It is just that we have grown to accept that as Indian English. To an Englishman, Manglish is no different from Tanglish or Hinglish. They find everything funny.

Anonymous said...

Every language in the world is a perverted form from a single source. Even the foolish scientist accepts, there were three basic languages: Sanskrit, Latin and Greek. So what is the big deal about pronouncing a perverted language correctly.

Common Malayalee said...

If you read the article by EMS called "Malayalikalude Malayalam" he says that if a malayalee from Trichur speaks in English, the accent won't be same as a guy from Kottayam speaking. So it will be everywhere.

Even the style of speaking malayalam in Kerala differs from place to place..pinnayalle English:)

If somebody really wants to speak like a guy in New York they can join call centre training centers.

I think MC must look for better topics to discuss

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jayakrishnan said...

@kuttappan,
[i]boys and girls, its not really about the accent..its more about using correct pronunciations and speaking it right. [/i]
Gobsmacked!!
pray tell me what exactly you mean by accent? Accent in simple words is a manner of pronunciation of a language..There are different accents because people pronounce words differently..
Be a sad Socrates than a happy pig,for ignorance should never be a bliss..Happiness is a bubble they say which can burst any moment..!!

as a digression ,I am presenting a link below which is an insight to the different dialects & accents of England (not Britain or UK btw),

http://web.ku.edu/~idea/europe/england/england.htm

jayakrishnan said...

[i]While I grew up in school, there existed a deep concern against the so called English medium schools.[/i]

@Jagadeesh,looking at your photo,you donot seem that old:-)


The fact is there can NEVER be a common accent or a neutral accent for any language over a geographic region ! Scottish accent happens to be very different from English spoken in any other part of the world..And their pronunciation of words are just as funny as a malayali kid saying "di neshan"..But I haven't seen anyone taking the mickey out of their accent & pronunciation.. How many of you know that even the so called neutral accent of the Indians (which some of us boast of having) are also at the receiving end of mocking in the west..They like the Spanish accent ,they like the French accent but they hate the Indian accent (read neutral accent)..

Jayakrishnan said...

Its not just the malayalam accent which is a target of the mimicry artists..If you have heard a person named Russel Peters who had recently done few shows in India & I happened to watch one of them ,you would know that his prime targets are the mindless Bollywood movies and the north Indian accent wich he calls Indian accent (jero,jone,their way of pronouncing "T" which cannot be written but can only be orally expressed,their "thhh.ankyou" and many other gestures)

Jayakrishnan said...

Btw kerala is one of the very few states in India where has never been any opposition to teaching either English or Hindi..Any other claims are facually incorrect and a result of sheer ignorance..You take the case of Tamil Nadu,Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh,the whole BIMARU states ,you can never say the same...Even in the so called vibrant Gujarat,you would hardly find people who have a good command over English language (few years back students had been dropping English in 10th or schools did not allow them to take English so that they have better chance at passing 10th. )..Ofcourse one or two creative people in the malayalam literary/cultural world might expressed their views on English in some private & public forums (which is quite expected and they have all the rights to express their views)..But that was never a political voice/slogan or a linguistic movement so to say..Quite contrary to the views expressed here,malayalis have historically been quite open you other cultures..They are (always have been) quite good in English (both written & spoken) ..Even the taxi & auto drivers in Kerala can handle OK English..They are the least parochial of all..You would hardly find any linguistic chauvinist among the malayalis but you would find a lot of multi-linguistic folks...The very fact that the malayalis (including most of your parents) have done wonders outside Kerala,negates such observations expressed in the forum..From my experience they have this uncanny knack of mastering not just English but the local languages of the place they are living/working pretty soon unlike most of the north Indians & tamilians who are reluctant to respect the local culture & language..

LIke I pointed out in my previous posts,this article (?) is totally irrational & would remain absurd as long as all the people in the world except Keralites speaks has a common English accent (which you consider perfect) & pronounces the English words alike..

As for the conversation between the dad & son on softwares & mother tongue,its quite dangerous IMO..Its an attrophy to breed a generation which only knows about softwares & video games and cares zilch about art,literature,sports,social & cultural activities..IMHO communication onyl one of the important qualities ..It is not "the" most important..As far as I am concerned,intelligence (practical knowledge ) & creativity are much more important..Dont tell me a society full of dumb BPO (no disrespects) kids,who are trained to fake their natural accent to please the westerners is the most ideal society..For a society to be perfect,you need good technicians,good carpenters,good poets,good architects,good writers,good doctors,good teachers and many others

Toms said...

The words most murdered by Malayalees are:
kangaroo (the worst offended word)
bear (Malayalees pronounce this as ‘beer’)
bass
twitter
Queen
birthday
Mascot Hotel
mixed, fixed (another worse case pronounced as miksed, fiksed)
form (they say ‘farum’)
Tortoise
turtle
garage
chassis
heart (prnounced as ‘hurt’)
Australia - there is only 1 'aaa' sound, no 'o' sound!!!!
All r’s which are silent are pronounced by malayalees

Anonymous said...

Dont mind about English, you are going to talk english everywhere in Kerala. The foreigners dont complain about Malayalee english, there are strong malayalee expat community in the middle east, they dont face any difficulty. Every state in India has their own english accent. if you speak like the majority in that state then no problem, but if you are minority than you will sound different. Anyway there are many english accent say American, Scottish, Irish, Caribean, Australian etc.. you dont worry about it.

kumaramalayalee said...

We should be proud of our language i.e., Malayalam, and there are no doubts about that. The real concern still remains; can we really communicate in English in this globalized world where 75% of transaction is done using this language. It is not important for us to fight using this blog as a means. It is very important for at least our younger generation to learn this language the right way and use it to earn their livelihood , I mean a decent employed life. Unsheath English like a sword when you want to use and sheath it when you don't use it. Let us strive towards giving our next generation a good future.

aananthnb said...

Heard English.. English...I mean Victorian English. That's Dam..
funny....

...leave English...Malayalis don't even speak Malayalam the same way between the shot distance of kalikkavla.....to.....kasaragode. Some Malayalam accents are even difficult to understand. Then how is it possible to fully adapt a foreign language.

Having said that, a language student should always attempt at achieving the proper accent.

Anonymous said...

Since Malayalees have gone all around the world and won't get much job in their state, except in IT (thanks to communists), it is very important to speak English with a neutral acccent. The newspapers and local TV channels are not doing justice to Malayalees. When they write English words in Malayalam they dont give the correct prononciation.

ELDHOSE said...

Most of the people commented against Keralites saying their English accent is funny....Most of the Northie morons will not be able to follow up with the Keralites accent and they are trying to make fun on Keralites...actually the reason is that these people can't understand Keralites English accent 'coz Keralites speaks english in similar accent of Europeans ...Most of the Indians are not able to understand European accent...Indian accent is the worse and it gets mocked by most of the foreigners

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