March 18, 2010

On Indian English

Via Mint: Sailaja Pingali, author of Indian English (Dialects of English) on the characteristics of Indian English. (Download the podcast here).

March 14, 2010

Bookie jargon

Some notes on betting jargon, just in time for the IPL season. These are compiled from stray mentions in newspaper articles - if you can add to this list, or suggest a comprehensive guide, let me know.

Sauda: A bet

Sauda fok: Stop payment. When underworld dons suspect that a match has been fixed without their knowledge, they order a 'sauda fok', cancelling all payments.

Fancy sauda: I found this term on Cricinfo which provides the following explanation.
Some bookies and very big punters bet huge amounts between themselves on what is called 'fancy sauda'. This can be on anything, from estimating innings scores, top scorers or wicket-takers and staking from Rs 100-10,000 per run against the difference in team totals. It can take in small details, such as who will bowl the next over from which end and how many runs will be scored in an over, or off the next delivery. Putting a realistic figure on these transactions is difficult and though there are very few punters involved in this, the stakes can often be very high.

Dabba sauda: appears to be something similar, going by this quote from LiveMint:
The bookies have already started accepting interesting bets, called dabba sauda. These include bets on the political fortunes of BJP rebels and the survival of former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, who has made his dislike for Modi’s style of running things in Gujarat clear.

English is now India's second language

The Times of India summarizes recently released census data on bilingualism in India.

More Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. What's more, English speakers in India outnumber those in all of western Europe, not counting the United Kingdom. And Indian English-speakers are more than twice the UK's population.

English was the primary language for barely 2.3 lakh Indians at the time of the census, more than 86 million listed it as their second language and another 39 million as their third language. This puts the number of English speakers in India at the time to more than 125 million. The only language that had more speakers was Hindi with 551.4 million.