When we met Herr and Frau Nickel in Munich for the first time, while parting I said ‘wiedersehen‘ (bye)… and she could figure out it was said in the Schwabisch dilect (of course rest of the conversation happened in Broken English). Now there are just handful of German words that I know and two years of Stuttgart has turned them Schwabisch. Munich speaks Bayerisch Deutsche…But more cosmo Munich doesn’t require that much of Deutsche in routine…

And I used to think it was such a big deal there were so many tones and dialects of Gujarati. But this is all cultural. When you are supposed to write an academic paper, a news paper article, a magazine piece, a blog and a tweet, you can’t use the same language either… How our tones, random adjectives, way of speaking, handy support (ummm, hmm kinds) and so many other things are used more casually these days. This casual use of language has gone so much into our heads. I’ve to consciously refrain from it and make my language all pompous and academic in my academic paper…
My word processor understands ‘humor’ and the news paper style-sheet demands ‘humour’…In spite of setting my language options to UK-English, blogger shows me a red-underline in ‘Humour’…and those newspapers demanding the UK-English style sheets have custom-made word processors in the offices who still have only US-English spell checks…
If this was not all, our neighbour is a Gujju-British, and somehow while I’ve spoken to him twice, we end up talking of ‘surviving in Germany’ and I pronounce it as ‘surrrvival‘ and he goes ‘suvvival in Gevmany‘ (No pronouncing the R as long as possible).
With all awareness of Vs and Ws et cetra et cetra…I personally believe my English pronunciations are not as much Gujarati as popularly known but then what do I know!
I don’t want to get into the dialects English has in both coasts in the US. Dealing with all these dialects and languages and types is just one side of the coin. But how many sides does a language have?
Advertisements