Telugu Speakers of English and the Influence of Mother Tongue on Their Comprehensibility

1948 Words 8 Pages
English in India is taught and learned as a second language. The significance of the ability to speak or write English has notably increased in the 20th century. English has become the de facto standard in India not because it has been approved by any ‘standards’ organization but because it is extensively used by many information and technology industries which are acknowledged as being standard. All learners make errors in the process of learning English. It is inevitable that they make mistakes, however, the question here is, ‘Why do learners continue to make the same mistake even when such mistakes have been repetitively pointed out to them’?
Not all mistakes are the same; some are deeply ingrained to be corrected, while other
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Understanding the influence of Telugu on spoken/written English
II. The impact of these errors on comprehensibility

Context and Implications:

India has become the world’s back office. The existence of a large pool of English knowing/speaking population in India is one of the reasons. Suddenly, English has come in to the limelight. MNCs and corporate houses insist that fresh graduates have their English in its proper place, hence, learning ‘communication skills’ and ‘soft skills’ became critical.

In Hyderabad, 60 to 70 percent of the MNC employees are from Andhra Pradesh and most of them are Telugu speaking as Telugu is the first language (henceforth L1) in the state. Thus, almost 70% of the trainees are Telugu speaking and the English they speak is swayed by their L1 (Telugu). Our ears are exposed to many variations and multiple usages of English as it is spoken by trainees, colleagues and sometimes clients.

We would unconsciously explore many coinages and influences in their English. We can try and correct these in the trainees’ speech and writing after informing them why a particular phrase or sentence would be termed ‘unacceptable.’ But it gets tricky when that ‘speech’ is endorsed for similar usage in popular culture, especially films, advertisement hoardings, etc.

What is therefore required is a deeper understanding of errors, their causes and their severity in communication. We need to be armed with some theoretical understanding of errors and be

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