I have often been asked, "What is your good name?" I often feel like answering , "Well my name is Kanika, but dunno if its good or bad". Unfortunately, can't blame this person either, as he has simply fallen into the trap of 'literal translations' like many others, where "आपका शुभ नाम क्या है" translates to "What is your good name" . Spoken English is tricky for many of us.
Recently, on one of the Telugu national channels, I heard an advert, that was like blasphemy to my ears... let me write this in hindi... as English would probably not be able to do justice to it... "एंटेरटाइनमेंट, एंटेरटाइनमेंट , एंटेरटाइनमेंट"... my ears went red, and mind numb for a few seconds, and my heart went out to all the young kids, who watch this every day, and would probably grow up saying this word as एंटेरटाइनमेंट, and not एंटरटेनमेंट. I realized the root cause for such errors that I had been seeing in my Trainees all these years.
It is oft said that Indian English and pronunciation is among the best in the world. The sad part is our schools today are focusing a lot on the written communication (that too is quiet redundant now... will take this up at a later stage), and not enough on spoken English. The Teachers have the theoretical knowledge, however, they often have indianisms and literal translations in their own speech. in this scenario, how do students get corrected and learn to speak better.
Recently, when visiting my Son's day care, I noticed one of their teachers singing rhymes to the kids, that I could not understand... i went in closer, and heard again... this is how it went... "Rrround und Rrround the GORdon the Biiurr weint". i didn't know whether to laugh, or be sad for the kids.
So here are a few tips, for speakers of English as a second, or third language, to speak better.