It’s Becoming OK To Speak American In India
Commentary on: Indians look to America for a new accent on English
from Arab Times
Establishments of call centers in India over the past fifteen years has compelled many Indians who were educated to speak English with an English accent to switch over to an American version. In Mumbai, India’s most cosmopolitan city, numerous foreign language schools are being open which promise students they will emerge with an American accent. Raj Oberoi, who runs the Just Talk Institute, says, “People want to learn an American accent because they want to study abroad, perhaps they’re going on a business trip or they think they’ll be able to impress people if they talk with an American accent.”
The “Queen’s English” is still the dominant method of teaching English in Indian schools, but the impact of American television and movies is bound to alter the manner and accent of young Indians. Dr. Ram Badode, head of English at the University of Mumbai, says there has been a “drastic” change in the English being spoken by his students because they look to the United States for further study and to secure jobs. He also has found a change in how students spell words. “There is a major change in terms of spelling and accent and it’s gaining currency.”
The impact of the call centers in shifting attitudes toward an American approach to the English language can not be over looked. Thousands of jobs await young Indians who can speak an American form of English. Perhaps, deep in the inner thoughts of Indians is the reality that by speaking an American form of English it is a step toward fighting India’s colonial legacy.
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