Indianization of English Media in India

Topics: English language, Languages of India, Loanword Pages: 5 (1689 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Indianization of English media has become a reality nowadays, which cannot be overlooked. It is a bi-product of the Indian cultural renaissance of the nineteenth century. The root of English in the Indian sub-continent can be traced back to the incident of 31st December, 1600, when Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to a few merchants of London, giving them a monopoly of trade with India. Initially English had to contend with the competition of the Portuguese language which was widely used by all European traders in India. Slowly but steadily, however, with the annexation of Indian princely states, English became the language of education in India in 1835, and was made the official language of the then government in 1837. Confronted with a new, exotic, and diverse culture, the British rulers were really at a loss to express themselves their own experience in India and to communicate effectively with the natives. Their subjects found themselves equally at a loss to communicate with them. (An interesting record of earlier nuances of Indianization is found in Henry Yule, A. C. Burnell, Hobson-Jobson: a glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical,geographical and discursive. London: Murray, 1903. New edition by William Crooke. Reprints: London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. Hobson-Jobson: the Anglo-Indian dictionary. Ware: Wordsworth, 1996. First edition: 1886.) In some sense, Indianization started as a matter of convenience, but soon it took on its own life and became an independent process with other primary purposes. One such purpose is ardently pursued by the English newspapers in India and other South Asian nations: communicating in a style and language that is easily understood by the growing reading public. 2. IMPACT OF SOCIO-CULTURAL NORMS

The Indian variety of English is significantly different from the native English varieties. In choices of words, in imagery, and in the nuances of meaning, the communicative strategy of Indian English newspapers have more or less an Indian flavor. Braj Kachru 1984, who has considered the process of Indianization of English in detail, maintains that features of the English language in India have been considerably influenced by the Indian socio-cultural norms that stipulate rules by which word symbols are related to each other to transmit messages. 3. A COMPLEX NETWORK OF RELATIONSHIPS AND MEANINGS

More often than not, word and meaning are interwoven into a complex network of relationship. Therefore, to appreciate an expression fully, a decoder must know not only what it refers to, but also where the boundaries are that separate form from the expressions of related meanings. The importance of recognizing the boundaries between lexical items can further be illustrated by a brief look at polysemy: a term, which is used to describe a single word with several different but closely related meanings. Simply put, polysemy refers to any word having multiple meanings. In English, for example, we can talk about the 'head' of a person, the 'head of a pin,' or the 'head of an organization'. Knowing that a single word denotes a particular set of things in one language is, however, no guarantee that it will denote the same set of things in another language! Unfortunately, this assumption runs heavily through the Indianization process of English. 4. IMPORTANCE OF SOCIO-CULTURAL ASSOCIATIONS

The socio-cultural association of lexical items is an important area of study in communication research. Native speakers of a language have a whole series of associations with certain items and these associations are common to the society as whole. Those who are not fully familiar with the socio-cultural norms of the society cannot fully appreciate these associations. Lack of acquaintance or inadequate understanding of these socio-culturally specific concepts...
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