Wikinvest Wire

Inflation in the negative in India

Friday, June 19, 2009

They talk very fast on Indian business news shows...


Dan said...

They listen even faster...

staghounds said...

I think she's being paid by the word!

dmckeeve said...

It just seems like they talk faster, because your brain is working overtime to process the different accent, crackly audio, and the alternate phrases they use, like "let's go across to Mr Georgi", "entered the negative zone", "the common man needs to be taking the benefit of inflation, but that doesn't seem to be coming across."

Their English is just different, and your mind is spending significant cycles noticing and interpreting that. Listen for a few weeks and once you get used to the accent and common phrases it won't seem too fast.

"Interest rates within the system" - "within the system" is meaningless here (I believe), and if it is a common filler phrase in Indian (financial) English, then your brain would learn to ignore it.

Every time you can't understand a word because of the accent, your mind is going to go into hyperactive language processing for a microsecond while it tries to figure out what the word was based on recent context. The same dynamic occurs when learning a new language, which is what makes it so tiring.

The amount of text that they flashed on the middle of the screen during the interview is impressive - might overtax the usual American watcher. The slice of Indian society that is listening to financial news in English is a lot more intelligent than the average cnbc listener, that is for sure. (Learn to speak a foreign language fluently and work a professional job in that language before you argue with me on that one.)

I'm not criticizing Indian English at all - it is a legitimate variant, because millions of speakers use it. If you find yourself feeling critical of it, just reflect on our increasing usage of the plural "them" to replace the singular "he/she" in America. What a grammar nightmare, but note how your ear is getting used to it and it no longer seems so horribly wrong. Language mutates because the human ear adapts to what is is exposed to frequently.

Tim said...

Makes sense to me.

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