Okay, final (maybe) language lesson. It’s been my observation thus far that most of the Indian people here who speak fluent English rarely speak only English or Hindi in a single conversation. Especially when in a social setting where they’re very comfortable with one another. They speak Hinglish. It’s like what we call Spanglish in the US. They merge the two and happen to say whichever version of the word or phrase that comes to mind first, or whichever one seems to fit best or best describe what they’re trying to say.
Even on TV, which sometimes makes me crazy. Like, at the end of a commercial that’s been completely in Hindi, the actor will suddenly switch to English and say, “I highly recommend this product. It’s by far the most effective ‘what-ever-he’s-selling’ there is.” And I’m thinking, “Really dude? Pick a freakin’ language! Just PICK one!” That’s obviously on one of my ‘not-so-go-with-the-flow’ days. Anyway, as I’m learning some of the words and phrases, I’m beginning to be able to pepper my own speech with a bit of Hinglish.
Much to Nissan’s chagrin, here are my first two faves: Ek minat and Aacha. Ek minat is my most powerful. It means “one minute” and I say it holding up one finger. So it’s my “hold on a second”, “wait just a minute”, and “HOLD YOUR HORSES”. “Aacha” is the most fun to use. It actually means good, or nice, as an adjective in a sentence, but used by itself it can mean “Is that so?” or “Oh really?” So I’m sure that it’s no surprise to those of you who know me well that I enjoy that one a lot, with my sarcastic tone and one eyebrow raised. I think Nissan wishes I hadn’t learned that one. Yes, Aacha!