It’s an entirely different country you know. To master the Indian language, you would have to become a master of 15 different languages…and that’s just the ‘official’ languages. Unofficially, it seems every city, town, village, hamlet and quite possibly 3 member family has their own language.
In Chennai, the city where I’m staying, the official language is Tamil.
When I came over, I thought it would be only proper of me to learn a few words and phrases such as hello, please, thank you, yes, no, why is my dinner trying to escape from my plate, excusemewhereisthebathroomineedtogonowgetoutofthewayarragagghghghahg…mama etc.
Unfortunately it turns out that all the common phrases are spoken in English, so as good as my intentions were, they would have been in vain.
When you hear the Tamil language being spoken, it’s quite strange because there are English words mixed in – sometimes this is enough for you to get the jist of what they are saying, without actually understanding what they are saying…if that makes sense.
However, since most of their English is learned from american TV shows and movies, they don’t understand the brits when they talk. For example, when I was conducting the interviews, 70% of the candidates put that they spoke and understood English, but they needed a translator to say the exact same thing I was saying but in an Indian accent.
In other news…
You know you are in India when…
The motorbike you are on (ridden without a helmet of course) breaks down in the middle of the street. The problem is assumed to be no petrol in the tank. You park up the bike and wander to the nearest gas station. You don’t have a proper petrol container, but that’s ok, because you just bought a 500ml bottle of mineral water and tipped the water out. Viola! Instant petrol container. Fill water bottle petrol container up with petrol. Spillages? No worries mate, it saves us having to clean the floor. Take petrol container back to motorbike and fill up gas tank. Motorbike still doesn’t start. Scratch head. Stare at ground. Give up. Push motorbike back home.