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Stijn Hommes
02-21-2010, 02:31 AM
I have no idea what forum this fits best. Mods, feel free to move it if you do.

I'm editing a couple of short stories for someone. They are from India and I notice a couple of odd linguistic snafus articles (the, a, an) and a lot of issues regarding verb tenses.

I've learned something from this: don't agree to edit before you see the work.

Now that I'm committed and on a deadline: can someone offer me a good source on Indian grammar (just the couple of most spoken languages around there) so I can try to decipher what they meant. Their grasp of English is sufficiently weak that asking the person directly probably isn't going to help -- especially because of the deadline.

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-21-2010, 05:46 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Indian_English may get you there.

It helped me when I was editing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English#Grammar is especially good.

Keyan
02-21-2010, 12:25 PM
Which part of India are they from? It's got about 14 major languages and lots of minor ones.

It can make a big difference (think of Swedish vs French, for instance).

If they're Hindi or Bengali speakers, and you are okay with sharing the stories with me in strict confidentiality, I can probably help, fast.

Most Indian languages don't have articles, but "one" is sometimes used for an indefinite article. "One girl was walking" or "One elephant was walking" instead of "A girl" or "An elephant..."

PM me if you like.

Keyan
02-21-2010, 12:36 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Indian_English may get you there.

It helped me when I was editing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_English#Grammar is especially good.

I checked it out... I agree. That's a remarkable compilation.

Terie
02-21-2010, 12:57 PM
I wrote a rather lengthy reply in the original thread, which you can read here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4662207&postcount=4).

Stijn Hommes
02-21-2010, 10:50 PM
Thanks for those links. That was exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. If anyone can think of any items missing from that list, please feel free to post them here.

quixotic!fantastic!
04-09-2010, 01:32 AM
I don't know how helpful this is, but at least in Tamil, the language spoken in Tamil Nadu in India (south-east) and Sri Lanka, I had a lot of trouble explaining articles (an, a, the) to my kids.

The reason was because when they say it, they use "one," for a/an, and "this" for the, when they are speaking English.

So they will say, "Yesterday I saw one boy go into one shop. This boy, very poor." Or something like that, instead of, "Yesterday I saw a boy go into a shop. The boy was very poor."

Also, because in India most people know SOME English, they've learned it incorrectly in a lot of cases, just because they've learned it from other people. At least where I was they used that grammar because they had grown up hearing it and saying it - a VERY hard habit to break.

Furthermore, in Tamil at least, the direct translation really is "this" or "one."

I hope that helps!