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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Monday, September 26, 2005

Understanding Tanglish

The RRR records his difficulty with global understanding. Beginning some time ago I have been reading the blogs (and occasionally commenting) from a group of interesting people in Malaysia and have been gratified at their interest in mine. They are Indians living in Malaysia and often write in an idiom called Tanglish. I assumed that Tanglish was the Tamil language converted to English form by using the English alphabet, much as modern Vietnamese is. I was wrong. I discovered this when I tried to find an English/Tanglish dictionary.

Apparently Tanglish is a patois made up of Tamil and other languages mixed with English. English has become the Lingua Franca of global business and politics. One website carried the interesting comment that Tanglish is not taught by parents to their children, but rather by children to their peers and used to communicate in code to keep parents and other adults from understanding what the rebellious youth are saying to each other. At least that was the case 10 years ago. Now it is becoming a "hip" language that upwardly mobile Asian college students and young professionals use to communicate with each other.

As a child of the 60's I understand the concept, if not the idom. All generations do the same thing. It's a sort of generational shop talk.

I remember the famous drug culture Three Universal Answers which could be used to answer any question. They were:

1. Drugs, sex, and rock 'n roll.

2. It must be the drugs.

3. Wow! (said in a slurred, drawn out fashion)

example:

What is the meaning of life? "Drugs, sex, and rock 'n roll."

How can you be so shallow and ignorant as to believe that? "It must be the drugs".

And if the person is too wasted to be even able to answer with 1. or 2., simply "Wowwwww!"

To quote oldest son, "You 60's weirdos ruined America"

Wowwwww!

A philosopher would have a great time explaining the "I - Not I" progressing to "Us - Not Us" principle involved.

2 Comments:

Blogger Shamgar said...

Glad you joined us, welcome.

4:38 AM  
Blogger visithra said...

hehehe Tanglish is global Shamgar ;p

and most my readers are indians staying across the globe - not jsut msia ;)

and of coz a few non indians ;))

6:27 AM  

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