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Language Skills of an Average Indian


Someone on Quora asked - how many languages does an average Indian speak?
Here is my irreverent, but very true answer :)

Average Indian learns

  1. their mother tongue because that’s what their mother, grandmother, uncle, aunt…. teach them when they are babies.
  2. language(s) of the kids in their apartment block / local area because that is the language they use to play and get into plenty of mischief.
  3. language of their servant so they can get their food, clothes, cleaning etc
  4. language of the local shop keeper(s), vegetable sellers, street vendors, fast food guys etc
  5. Bombaiya Hindi to enjoy Bollywood / Regional Indian languages to enjoy regional films.
  6. messed up Urdu to enjoy old bollywood songs
  7. Hinglish for friends in school / college
  8. Hindi, English, state language to pass exams
  9. confused Sanskrit / Arabic / Latin / Persian / Hebrew (del as appropriate) for their (ir)regular worship of their ‘family’s religion’.
  10. language of their girl friend / boy friend / husband / wife / life partner (del one or more as appropriate) to get on with life!

Enjoy life :)


© Bhagwat Shah   
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