Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Monday is close the shop!!

Yesterday I went for the haircut but found the above poster displayed on the barber shop’s door – “On Monday is close the shop.” Although the write up was grossly incorrect grammatically, it still conveyed its message. It also made me smile (something which is very unusual these days as every TV channel and newspaper carries news of floods, crimes being committed, orders of the epic court not being implemented, match fixing, target killing and much more). And this shop closed announcement was one such thing that I took lightly without expressing any reservations for it being  written incorrectly.

We in Pakistan are always worried about the accent of English being spoken by ordinary people, or even literates and well educated as well. We label their English as “Punjlish, Gulabi English” and many other names, even though we understand what they actually mean to express.

Imagine for a moment that you happen to land in a country where no one speaks English and you do not know their native language. How difficult it becomes if you want to ask for directions, a place to go or a hotel to lodge. And then someone from the crowd steps forward as tells in broken words that you readily understand. I faced this situation many times while I was in Iran long time back. When the little Persian that I knew exhausted, I would look for someone who could speak any sort of English to make me at ease. At believe me it used be an uphill task to find someone like this, as mostly people in Iran take French or German as a second language and English is not a favourite.

Likewise, any English speaking tourist would be too glad to converse with a person speaking Gulabi English and feel at home. So next time if you come across such a situation, fell happy that at least you are being understood and listening to "something" in return that solves your  problem.


Shirazi said...

I love pinglish and this post.