“I can talk English, I can walk English, I can laugh English because English is a very funny language” is popular saying by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie ‘Namak Halaal’ in 1982. People may assume that Indians don’t know English but they do, even if it means literally translating a sentence thought out in another language.
Infact the problem for most Indians is that they end up converting English into Hinglish,
Hinglish is a mixture of the words “Hindi” and "English". Many speakers do not realize that they are including English words into Hindi sentences or Hindi words into English sentences. The literal translation from ones mother tongue into English is also known as Indianism, and can really perplex a true English man.
This is how a student wrote an essay on the ‘Cow’ in a competitive exam. “The cow is a successful animal. Also he is quadrupud, and because he is female, he gives milk, but will do so when he is got child. But he has got four legs together. Two are forward and two are afterwards. She chew with his teeth whom are situated in the inside of the mouth”.
'Don't eat my brains' is a literal translation from Hindi where a euphemism is used in Hindi chastising someone not to worry them and if that is translated literally and Indianism is born.
Indians use the words ‘Only’ and ‘No’ at the end of every sentence. Take for example --‘I am here only, ‘We are always having fun like that only’. ‘You are coming to the party no, Come no, I will miss you no’ this is not true blue English but it is accepted parlance in India which a foreigner might not understand.
Some of the Indian eateries have very funny shop names which change the whole meaning of the word and it difficult to control your laugh. Take for example: "Sharma sweets and snakes, Ladies bottom, Rs 199/- onwards", and Idly sambar becomes "Italy samber".
A sign board which is put up at a diagnostic centre boldly proclaims-- Blood, stool, urine, seman and pregnancy are tasted here. Don't be too surprised if the patient dies before anything of his gets tested.
Fortunately, these Indianisms are able to bring a smile on millions of people's faces. ‘Pardesi babu’, a Bollywood film released in 1998 had a popular song starring Govinda, with an excellent line summing up an Indianism “Jaha pao me payal, hath me kangan, ho maathe pe bindiya, it happens only in India”