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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)

(Picture Courtesy: wordpress.com)

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Here’s Why TikTok Ban May Not Give the Desired Results

Owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, TikTok claims that it has over 120 million monthly active users in India

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The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

With crores of people in India already using TikTok and all of them having the option to share the app with others, blocking its access on Google Play Store and Apple App Store may not produce the desired results, experts have warned.

TikTok, which is very popular among children, is facing criticism from different quarters for circulation of “pornographic content”.

Google and Apple blocked the download of the Chinese short video-sharing app, following a request from the government.

But there are some market and technical realities which will not make the ban very effective on the ground and the possible issues and concerns will continue to bother people, increasingly worrying parents, according to market research firm techARC.

“I don’t believe the TikTok ban is going to be very effective for now, given that tens of millions are using it. I also don’t see how exactly this ban will be implemented,” leading tech policy and media consultant Prasanto K. Roy told IANS.

“This knee-jerk reaction of banning is impractical and doesn’t solve the core problem. For instance, if there is abuse on Twitter, banning Twitter is not the solution,” Roy added.

Any existing user of TikTok, who has the app installed on the smartphone, can share it with any such seeker through apps like ShareIt. Once the app is shared, the user can install the app and become a new user, said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC.

“There is a need to have a holistic approach to get rid of such increasing digital menace, which cannot be absolved by technology and/or legal recourse alone,” Kawoosa said.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google and Apple to block the app following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the original Madras High Court order on April 3.

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TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

Expressing concern over the “pornographic and inappropriate” contents on TikTok, the high court had directed the Centre to ban the app.

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refused to lift the ban on TikTok and set April 24 as the next hearing date.

Owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance, TikTok claims that it has over 120 million monthly active users in India.

So already a considerable number of users are on the platform..

Although the app is now not available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, people can get them from the third-party app stores such as apkpure, androidapkbox, uptodown and apkmirror, techARC said.

Also Read- Jio Sets New 4G Availability Record in India: Report

“It will be next to impossible to enforce any law or order with such fragmented markets,” it added.

According to Roy, TikTok needs to do more to ensure age restrictions are followed, and use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other means to take down inappropriate content.

“Banning sets a poor example and reference point — and sets us up for retaliation, in a global digital economy where India has made its mark,” he added. (IANS)