Expert’s in Englis

Clicked in Madurai.
Apr ’07

‘I can walk English. I can talk English’. Or something to that effect was spoken by Rajinikant. And the audience would go gaga over that !

Oh yes. English has come a long way since it was the exclusive privy of the British, the Maharajas and the Dubash ! It has become fairly mainstream. Our domestic help at Madurai says, ‘Thank You’, ‘Please’, ‘Lift the phone’, ‘who is speaking’, ‘how are you’ and the like.

And that she does with so much elan, that it sometimes has people wondering who after all was on the other side of the phone !

Nevertheless, in a small city like Madurai, the desire of every other average parent for his child to speak ‘smooth’ English, is next only to his / her desire to be have a child with fairer skin !

With IT organisations and BPOs in their pre-recession glory, ever threatening to open shop in smaller towns, organisations like Veta ( picture above) flourished. Suddenly, speaking English was not only a fashion statement, it could also prove to be a bread winner !

And so, in Bangalore or Chennai if you spoke an accented English, well, you were thought to be working your butt off in a call centre. But in Madurai…well, you still could peddle glory using your language ware !

Yesterday, a friend spoke to me from Madurai. He said that the scene is changing. And that , interviewers were suddenly checking grammar and spelling proficiency in interviews.

I dont know if this is true.

If it were, I wonder how many ‘ Expert’s in Englis ‘ survive !

9 thoughts on “Expert’s in Englis

  1. Pearl says:

    Among the many call centers I am forced to use, several of them have been in India, something apparent only by the number of people I’ve spoken to have all ever-so-slightly-accented English and their ability to be extremely polite/human. My favorite part of an Indian call center, however, is being asked about the Mall of America or if I am enjoying the Vikings’ win record (football team in Minnesota). Call me old-fashioned, but I enjoy those little extra touches!
    My only regret is how often I have to say “excuse me? can you repeat that?” when I ask for names. I grew up without Indians in school (only one in high school: Paul Singh) and I am not accustomed to the names.
    As for learning “Englis”, we have quite a number of Americans that could use a lesson. It is shocking how many Americans don’t know the difference between “there”, “their”, and “they’re”.
    Actually, it’s not shocking. It’s pathetic.

  2. nsiyer says:

    Again! your eyes seem to catch those which ordinary mortals miss. But one needs to be careful of the ‘VETA’though it does provide comic relief.
    People who graduate from ‘VETA’ are just not to be missed. They will come out with things like “Please bare with me”,or ‘Genital reminder’or like someone told you after you trained him – “I enjoyed you thoroughly’.

    All said and done, the world is a happier place because of ‘VETA’ – probably energising like ‘BOURNVITA’.

  3. HaRi pRaSaD says:

    🙂 You should send this to ‘The Hindu’. They have this column where readers can submit such funny pictures. They publish it with your name and you get to win some gift too…

  4. Jeevan says:

    It’s a sudden boom, where compulsory speaking in English get more values and pride when in public. U leaves nothing to stop making it interesting kavi!

  5. Kavi,

    Please give me the addresses of those people. I have groups and groups of people coming from Indian companies and spoiling the reputation of our country. OMG… When we come there for holidays, most of my relatives try to speak with us in English to our embarassment. We love to hear Tamil, and kids are well versed in mother tongue. What to do? It is the other way.

  6. Kavi says:

    Pearl :Ah ! Now, that is going to warm the heart of anybody who comes anywhere close to a call centre out here !! Those extra touches are worked on, with great care ! So !!

    Iyer sir ! Ah !! ‘Please Bare with me is hilarious’ ! And yesterday i saw on a truck..’ Prise the lord’ ! And i thought..yeah baby ! Prise him !! Why leave him !?!

    HariPrasad : Hmm thats interesting..!! Will try !

    Swatantra : Thank You ! 🙂

    Jeevan : Thank You ! 🙂 I cant match you..but i make an attempt !

    Balaji : I can feel your pain !! Those days of going to the US / UK embassy and putting on a fake accent continues..i guess !!

    Sigh !

  7. Priya says:

    I have friends who always try to speak only in English and I have not spoken to them in few months. It triggers me why on earth people think they shud speak Eng’ just becoz u are settled outside India.

  8. enjoyed your each and every post on sign boards

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