|Feb 16, 2004 9:06 am
||Discover Mumbai series....A Primer to Mac English
|| How many times, whether traveling by train, bus or in the environs of Bandra have you had the benefit of hearing what is popularly known as MacPao English ? Don't have a clue as to what I am prattling about, huh? Read on dear Fus and Fas...and continue to Discover Mumbai...
Native to Mumbai is the East Indian community. Our very own PhotoTakeOuter is one. East Indians are the descendants of indigenous Marathi speaking people of Mumbai and its environs, who were converted Christianity, around the mid 1500s. The designation "East Indian" was adopted by the community on the occaasion of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.
This here is a basic primer to the peculiar English that East Indians speak...which to the first timer, sounds like pretty trashy English. Erroneously its also known as the Bandra Mac accent - but believe me its very much confined to East Indians all thruout Mumbai and its environs - all the way from Alibaug right upto Uttan...and where ever East Indian "gaothans" abound.
The original author of the peice is unknown, else I would have given him/her due credit. I have however added to the worthy lady/gent's words.
So let me give you a few ground rules, and the next time you find yourself, in Rajan, Shirley or Chuim in Bandra or any other gaothan, you can blend in perfectly...albeit a little practice will be required.
Always use "d" for "th".
Eg. Dere for there, or dat for that, but taut for thought (dont ask why) and tink for think
Never pronounce "h" anywhere. H is always silent.
Use "wat" for what, liberally, even if there's no question asked or implied.
Eg."You coming wit me wat men."
Use a Hindi/Marathi verb with an English ending.
Eg. Lagoing, ass-fatting
Use words twice to emphasise your point.
Eg. "Aayee Nobby, walk fast fast men or we'll miss da train."
Use 'Cun" for "come on".
Eg, Cun men, we'll jam up tonite or wat.
Use the word "men" generously, even if speaking to a womam.
Eg. "Aayee Gracie, 'ow you feeling now men?"
Use the word "no" even if the sentence dosent have a negative connotation.
Eg. " 'Ey Eric, Gracie makes good dukkar pulao, no."
Now that you got the hang of the language, here are some masterpieces of the East Indian Mac English:
Situation: Meeting Larry on Saturday morning in the bazzar
- 'Ow you men Larry ?
Situation: Larry's wife explianing her fish buying spree at lunch later that day.
- Da koli woman no, was giving me dis dis small pomflit for bleedy fifty rupees men. I told 'er not to do s'aan patti wid me men.
Situation: Elederly men from the gaothan talking at the local Irani joint during Sunday morning sermon
- Aare, dat bledy Sandy no, yesterday 'e lagoed solid whisky at the communion party men.
Situation: Spinster aunty yelling to school boy in Chuim village
- You don't 'ave any sense wat riding cycal so fast.
Situation: Line heard at Supari talao during a football match, asking Savio to bend the ball like Beckham
- Cun, men Savio. Put tru men, put tru.
Situation: Boys stealing mangoes in the afternoon in Rathodi village, near Malwani.
- Aare see dere men, dere, aare left men, see dere men, arre big bugger men dere. Hit one s'ot with da catty men.
Situation: Often heard after a Saturday night binge
- Aaye, what men basket, why you are saying anything aboud my fadder and mudder?
Situation: Family rosary ate the Pereiras
- 'Ail Mary, full of grace, da Lord is with dee, blessed art t'ou...Norma ! NORMAA ! ! Just see wedere da back door is locked..amongst woman and blessed is da fruit of t'y womb Jesus....it's closed no?? ok baba...'oly Mary....
Situation: Swapping recipes while standing and gossiping at the junction
- You know T'eressa, dat day I took little ginger garlic, little onion, so much so much masala dat i ground, put chicken and the curry, came out good mem...
Situation: Housewives gossiping at Cross feast party
- Dat day no, solid rain came no, so i made nice hot hot soup and we had it wit' da kadak gutli pao Peter bot...
One of the most common ways of gossiping among the older generation is done in a very six degrees of separation-ish kind of way, in which a person may may be linked up with anyone from the owner of Johnny's Cold Storage at Pork market junction to the Cardinal. Ok here goes....another example of conversation...
- Do you know Joe's son Eric is getting married to Diana?
- Who, Die-na, men?
- Aare, Diana men, Alfie's and Maggie's daughter...
- Who, Alfie men?
- Alfie men from dere. Remember, w'en dey were small dey used to stay near Brian's 'ouse on C'apel road, near the bakery men... 'e married dat girl Maggie from Surley village..
- Who Maggie, Mary's daughter?
- No baba. Annies sister, Joanie's daughter. You know Annie no, her son Clyde was married to Hazel and dey were living for donkeys years in da Gulf, den after Clyde 'ad his stroke, 'e retired and dey settled down 'ere. Dere son is dat Leslie...he was an engineer...very very smart boy...now all dat drinking 'as ruined 'im.
- Yes, yes...i know 'e was married to dat nice girl Corina from C'imbai, but den after s'e 'ad 'er miscarriage, all 'is drinking and all started...and dey got divorced...
...and this way it keeps going on and on, talking about everyone they know and not going back to poor ol' Joe.
So practice 'ard and you may yet pass off as genuine - of course dont try this with East Indians - they will see thru you immediately.
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