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In India, we have over a dozen official languages and countless local dialects. So how does a farmer from Bihar speak with a fisherman from Kerala [Images] [Images]? The answer, for now, is 'not easily'.
One day, however, all Indians will use English as a first, second or third language. This will allow them to communicate effectively not only with other Indians, but also the rest of the world.
Of course, getting to that point won't be easy. For most of us, English is still a challenge. With all its irregularities, exceptions and rules, English is a very difficult language to master.
With that in mind, rediff.com presents our English Bloopers series. Here, we publish written and spoken mistakes spotted and sent to us by observant Get Ahead readers. It's a great way to review the basics, clarify a few issues and share a laugh or two!
So, stop by each Monday, Wednesday and Friday for another fresh batch of English Bloopers.
Most North Indians are definitely better in the Hindi language than we are in the English language. Problems arise when we speak English words with a Hindi accent. Look at the the word 'genuine'. The tendency to pronounce this word as 'genine' is incorrect. The twist of the tongue at the right moment is neccesary to pronounce 'u' in the word 'genuine'.
When the word 'cost' is written in the Hindi language, a half moon curve is correctly marked over the the Hindi letter 'Ka'. Therefour, most of us pronounce 'cost' as 'cast' while speaking. Both 'cost' and 'cast' are English words but have entirely different meanings.
Venkat Ramani sent these errors. He says, 'If you find any gaffes in my corrections, blame it on my English teacher!'
Wrong: He is calling to you
The 'to' is not needed in this statment. You could either remove the 'to' or replace it with 'for'.
Correct: He is calling you.
Wrong: Say me the truth!
This is especially prevalent in Andhra Pradesh. It should be 'tell'.
Correct: Tell me the truth
Wrong: The real fact is that you are not married.
This is redundant, because a fact is true or provable. Therefore, all facts are real.
Correct: The fact is that you are not married.
These are common mistakes that can be heard in call centres in Hyderabad. The employees have trouble pronouncing words such as, 'Government', 'Against' and 'Environment'.
Wrong: Fathers name
Wrong: Martial status
I often come across these common mistakes in resumes or cover letters. 'Fathers name' implies more than one father while 'Martial status' implies military rule.
Correct: Father's name
Correct: Marital status
Ramamurthy Sridhar, from Bangalore, sent these three bloopers.
Wrong: I am having a lovely family.
This type of error is easy to hear in India. We use the present continuous tense in place of the present simple tense.
Correct: I have a lovely family.
Wrong: This vehicle is dead cheap.
When a product is very cheap, a lot of us say it is 'dead cheap'. Actually, the phrase is 'dirt cheap'.
Correct: This vehicle is dirt cheap.
Wrong: It will be a very cut and right report.
The proper phrase is 'cut and dry' or 'cut and dried'. It means that something is settled or routine.
Correct: It will be a very cut and dried report.
MORE English bloopers
If you'd like to share common bloopers you come across when people speak/ write in English, do mail your list, along with their correct alternatives to firstname.lastname@example.org -- we'll highlight them right here as a helpful guide to those trying to improve their English. Also, make sure you include your FULL NAME, AGE, OCCUPATION and the CITY you are based in.
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