Thursday, April 30, 2015

The silent killers in the english language!

I was watching an IPL match last week in which all the commentators were foreigners.

And it was Manish Pandey who was bowling. I really don't remember who was batting or the other team against which KKR was playing :(

Anyways it doesn't matter as I am not here to talk about cricket or Manish Pandey or KKR or IPL. Ok... enough, let me straight jump on the point!

All the commentators in the panel, as I have already mentioned in the very first line of this write-up were foreigners, were pronouncing Manish Pandey's last name in a very weird way, "Paandii", which is actually correct if you read it letter to letter literally. And we all who were watching the match (and also, who were not watching like me) were so amused and were smiling on the 'cute' pronunciation. And then few of my friends narrated similar kind of tales where some foreigner client calls them or their friend's names in a very funny way.

But then later it stuck me, we Indians are foolish enough to feel amused on these cute pronunciations of our names and words. In fact, many clever and smart people start calling their names in the same 'cute' accented way! I wish I could have had the guts to put few names here but then I cant! Thanks to the decency that at times you are forced to maintain, to be socially acceptable!

Anyways, now let me divert a bit from the above topic. Was watching one of Russell Peter's show a few days back and who so ever has seen him, would be aware of the fact that he is so awesome and so capable of cracking hilarious jokes on almost every breed, every species on this planet! So, in that particular show, it was our turn: Indians and our pronunciations of certain english words. He gave an eg of Louis Vuitton. Most Indians call it L-O-U-I-S, with a 'S'! And he and everyone else blasted with a laugh, at the 'indian-ish' pronunciation of Louis. Everybody was almost rolling on the floor, laughing!

I don't understand! I mean whats wrong in pronouncing something in the exact way as it is written! I mean, isn't how it is suppose to be? And if someone (even a foreigner) reads a word 'L-O-U-I-S' for the first time, guess he/she will pronounce it in the same way, with a 'S' because that 'S' is visible there, with the same capacity as other letters! So, when other letters are being pronounced, how on earth a reader is suppose to know that 'S' in that whole lot carries some special status and so, is supposed to be silent!

And there are innumerable words in english language, where some or the other alphabet is silent! I mean, how are we, normal and ordinary people (many so called sophisticated people would call us 'uneducated') suppose to know that something somewhere might be silent in a word? So, if we are reading a word for the first time, are we suppose to do a whole analysis on this 'find the silent alphabet'? Guess, we would do that as well, out of compulsion though, else we might have to be a victim of the hilarious jokes... BTW, why don't they put some sign on the 'special' alphabets, may b a tilde (~) or something on top of these special characters, which indicates that though the alphabet is there in a word, it is useless, it has to be ignored, it is just there for the heck of it and its existence has no meaning at all. In short, it is silent!

And when some foreigner, can't read our names (the way we do), written in their own language, we find it cute and amusing. We do not, remotely think of making fun or cracking cheap jokes! Infact, we start doubting our own pronunciations! We, Indians I tell you are great in our own sense!

Now there is another problem of dealing with words from other languages. Let me elaborate. A friend of mine once in a group called Volkswagon as it is, with a 'V'. When suddenly another friend pounced on him and said. its 'F-olkswagon' dude! And the guy with the 'V' pronunciation was so embarrassed as if somebody has questioned his complete education, particularly his learning of english language! I mean, isn't that so insane?? 'V' is supposed to be read as 'V'. That is how it is taught to us since Nursery std! How on earth, a person is suppose to know that 'V' is pronounced as 'F' or 'H' or whatever, in some other language?  And is that a reason enough to make a fun of someone?

Don't know if there will be a day, when we Indians will stop following and worshiping west, in each and everything, blindly and insanely!

P.S. Few days back, I got to know in Jetta, 'J' is silent!!! First alphabet itself is silent! And I had always been pronouncing it with a J, a huge and loud one.

P.S.S. Smile and pronounce whatever you feel like and just do not bother about what people think. Nobody is a perfect genius here. They will have their own list of words, in which they wouldn't be aware of the 'silent' alphabets!

Keep smiling:)


  1. Interesting take, I liked the last line where you say, each one will have their own list of words they can pronounce right.

  2. The 'J' in Jetta is silent! But even the Top Gear crew kept calling it the Jetta with the J.

    Another funny pronunciation-spelling combo is Yvonne - it's actually spelt E-von. But how is one supposed to know? :O

  3. Thank you Guys :) I am so glad you you liked it...

    @ Vishal: Actually, even I am in dilemma for jetta! I have actually stopped using the word :(


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