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The Indian influence on English Language

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New Delhi: The cultural invasion on India and other countries in the subcontinent might never cease and we will keep on trying to speak in proper English language and keep ignoring our respective mother tongues. But it is a fact that even before the British set their foot in India, their language had influences from our culture.  The perpetual influence of India’s culture on the English language indicates the importance of our cultural heritage and the role it played in enriching the foreign language.

It is a common phenomenon that we use words without paying heed to its origin. Words like nirvana, shampoo, cashmere, ginger, bungalow are very commonly used in the English language but very rarely one realizes that these words originated from Indian culture.

Undeniably, before the East India Company landed in the subcontinent, India was a power-house in various field including trade and commerce. As the then trade expanded in European nations, Indian words made their way into the vocabulary of the English Language.

It was only in 1615 that East India Company acquired a territory in the Indian subcontinent. But Indo-Greek trade and business ties between India and Portugal had already facilitated the usage of Indian words in foreign languages.

Words mainly from Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Malayalam and Tamil made their way into the English Language.

Ginger, pepper and indigo first entered Greek and Latin vocabulary and then crept into English.

The root of the word ‘ginger’ can be traced from Malayalam. It was the Greek who imported ‘ginger’ and later it travelled across the world. In the 15th century, people in the Caribbean and Africa began growing ‘ginger’ giving it a global recognition. It is even tough to think now that ‘ginger’ is an Indian word.

Mango’ which is commonly known as ‘aam’ also has its origin in India. Malayalam and Tamil languages had the word ‘mangai’ which entered into the Portuguese culture as ‘manga’. Later, the British added the word in their language and called it ‘mango’.

The word ‘cashmere’ also has its root in India. The word evolved from the wools produced from the sheep and goats of the Kashmir region.

The smartphone generation would be surprised to know that the word ‘shampoo’ has its origin in India.  The original word was ‘champo’ which originally meant a body massage given after pouring warm water over the body.

A small boat is called ‘dingy’ and it too has its origin in India.  ‘Dingy’ is a small boat mainly used by Indian fishermen.

‘Juggernaut’ has evolved from the word ‘Jagannath’ which means the chariot of the Indian God and its procession.

There are a plethora of words in the English language which clearly testifies the richness of the Indian culture. It was the British who gauged the opportunity to use Indian words to spread their influence in the Indian subcontinent. Incorporating Indian words in the English vocabulary facilitated the British to communicate better with the local people.

However, a lot has changed now. Earlier, the influence was from East to West but now it has changed its direction completely.  It is the West that is dictating the terms now.

The attack on Indian language is so stringent that most Bengalis have forgotten that ‘ashbabpotro’ means furniture.

(With inputs from various sources)

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Fall

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the fortnight have declined

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Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls
Petrol Prices On The Reverse Trend For The Last 13 Days: Prices Falls, flickr

Domestic petrol prices, which had hit record levels for 16 consecutive days in May, have been on the reverse trend for the last 13 days, including Monday, but the relief for consumers has been slow in coming.

The pace of decline has been less than half the rate of surge.

Percentage-wise, since May 30, when prices started to take a downturn, petrol prices have slipped 2.35 per cent in Delhi, compared to the 5.5 per cent in the previous 16 days.

In absolute terms, prices have gone down by Rs 1.85 a litre since May 30, compared to the increase of Rs 3.8 per litre in the during May 14-29. On Monday, fuel was sold at Rs 76.58 per litre in the national capital, down 20 paise from Sunday’s level, the IndianOil Corp’s website showed.

In Mumbai, where petrol prices were the highest in the country last month, the decline has been much slow at Rs 1.23 per litre so far, against the rise of Rs 3.76 a litre during May 14-29.

On Monday, petrol price in Mumbai was Rs 84.41 per litre against Rs 84.61 on Sunday. Similarly, in Kolkata and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 79.25 and Rs 79.48 respectively.

In Kolkata and Chennai too, the decline has been Rs 1.81 and Rs 1.65 per litre in the last 13 days, around 50 per cent of the previous rate of increase.

In tandem with petrol prices, diesel too has seen a decline, but of only around 2 per cent in all the major cities including Delhi, compared to over 5 per cent rise in the previous fortnight.

Petrol station
Petrol station, flickr

Both in Delhi and Kolkata, diesel prices in the last 13 days have declined by Rs 1.36, and in Mumbai and Kolkata, the fall was of Rs 1.44 and Rs 1.45 per litre respectively.

Also read: Petrol price slashes by 32 paise and diesel price by 85 paise

On Monday, prices of the fuel in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai were at Rs 67.95, Rs 70.50, Rs 72.35 and Rs 71.73 per litre, respectively. (IANS)