Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nenglish in Print

I haven't heard Nenglish very often in Nepal. When I was staying with friends in India I was fascinated by the constant code-switching between Hindi and English. I had seen that in Bollywood movies but I didn't think people actually spoke Henglish all the time, that their main language of discourse was actually a mix between two languages.

In Nepal I have heard it only a few times on the buses, usually among private school students. On the news I have heard some Nepali politicians switching back and forth, and everyone else seems to use a whole lot of English loan words, but usually there seems to be a heavy favoring of one language over the other.

There is a blogger whose articles occasionally appear in the English-language Nepali Times whose writing style mimics English conversation with Nepali pronunciation and heavy Nepali loan words and phrases. Here's one of his blog posts - Sick City. It is pretty difficult to understand if you don't know Nepali and are not up on the current events.

Some things that I thought were interesting:

- Nepali pronunciation of English words like "tyam" for time, "feelim" for film, "estyle" for style.

- The reduplication I mentioned in this blog post that is used frequently in conversational Nepali: "...them Tibetans protest srotest...", "... how to play them football sootball...", "... asking them bideshis for help selp"

- Nepali particles like "kyah," "hola ni," "rey."

- Overusing the word "them": I've never heard Nepali English speakers talk that way, but it's definitely in imitation of how some Nepalis speak English.  

1 comment:

  1. This might be of your interest.