Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pronunciation tips for Desi tongue - lucky you, if you are trained at a call center

The problem most desis (including me) face when speaking English has similar pattern. I am not talking about the accent or emphasis on certain sounds but something more basic. Most of the time the problem is in translating the English vowels into Devanagari. We mix up अ and ए for A, इ and ए for E, ऐ and इ for I and अ and ओ for O. Most of the time we get it right. But some times we mix up.

May be the examples below can be of help to you if you are like me who frequently gets
'I dont understand what you are saying' look from walmart associates when asking for pecan (p-ई-k--n) aisle (इ-l) :) OK I exaggerated a bit...but here are some samples that we often goof up.

Note - The dash is just to separate english letters from Hindi. Not to suggest any phonetic pause.

Aisle - Do not ask for an इ-l seat. Ask for -l seat
Apple - This is a classic mallu (thats me) issue. Do not eat आ-pple, eat ए-pple
Can't -Do not say K-आn't, say K-ए-n't
Configuration - Do not say k--nfiguration, say k-अ-nfiguration
Data - D-ए-ta and D-अ-ta are OK
Deposit - Do not D-ए-posit your money, D-इ-posit it.
Detail - Ask for D-इ-tails or D-ई-tails, you will get it either ways.
Dinosaur - D-ऐ-nos-ओ-r
Direction - Ask for D-इ-rection, not D--rection
Economy - Indian
इ-k-ओ-n-अ-my is booming. Not -k-ओ-n-अ-my
Feminine - Appreciate F-ए-m-इ-n-इ-n beuty NOT F-ए-m-इ-n-ऐ-n beuty
Finance - F-ऐ-nance OR F-इ-nance - bot are fine
Garbage - G-
आ-rb-ए-j NOT G-आ-rb--j
Garage - Your car is in the G
-अ-r-आ-j or G-अ-r-आ-sh NOT in G-अ-r--j
Hi - Say H-आइ NOT H
Hello - Say H-अ-llo NOT H-ए-llo
Manager - Ask for a M-
Naive - N
-अई-v. Dont be a N-ऐ-v
Narrate - N-ए-rr-ए-t a story. Dont N-आ-rrate
Oven - Heat in an -v-ए-n NOt in ओ-v-अ-n
Oscar - Watch ओ-sk-अ-r awards, NOT ओ-sk--r awards
Pecan - Never ever ask for buuter p-ई-k-ए-n icecream. You will NOTget it. Ask for p-इ-k-आ-n OR p-इ-k-ए-n OR p-ई-k-ए-n
Valet - Park your car with v-आ-l-ए or v-आ-l-एt. Both will park your car.
Vinyl - Do you have V
-ऐ-n-अ-l floor or V--n-अ-l floor? You have the first one.
Wallet - I have a long story to tell about this. I had to spell this to walmart associate. Never ask for v--llet ask for v-ओ-llet
Walnut -

Its really N
अts.. but cant help it :)

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