"INDIAN ENGLISH: IT VILL BE WERY HELPFUL, YAAR!"
It is the year 2020 and call centers are opening all over the West,
as the new economic power India outsources work to the countries
where many jobs originated. Millions of Americans, still struggling
to adapt to a global economy, are willing to accept jobs that pay
them in a new currency sweeping much of the world: EuRupees.
Some of them, eager to land one of the customer service jobs from
India, are attending special training sessions in New York City, led
by language specialist Dave Ramsey, who goes by a simpler name for
his Indian clients: Devendra Ramaswaminathan.
On this warm afternoon, the professor is teaching three ambitious
students how to communicate with Indian customers.
>> Professor: "Okay, Gary, Randy and Jane, first we need to give you
>> names. Gary, from now on, you'll be known to your customers as
>> Randy, you'll be Ranjit. And Jane, you'll be Jagadamba. Now
>> just received a call from Delhi. What do you say?"
>> Gary: "Name as tea?"
>> Professor: "I think you mean 'namaste.' Very good. But what do
you say after that?"
>> Gary: "How can I help you?"
>> Professor: "You're on the right track. Anyone else?"
>> Jane: "How can I be helping you?"
>> Professor: "Good try! You're using the correct tense, but it's
not quite right. Anyone else?"
>> Randy: "How I can be helping you?"
>> Professor: "Wonderful! Word order is very important. Okay, let's
>> some small talk. Give me a comment that would help you make a
>> with your Indian customers."
>> Randy: "It's really hot, isn't it?"
>> Professor: "The heat is always a good topic, but you haven't
>> correctly. Try again."
>> Randy: "It's deadly hot, isn't it?"
>> Professor: "That's better. But your tag question can be greatly
>> Randy: "It's deadly hot, no?"
>> Professor: "Wonderful! You can put 'no?' at the end of almost any
>> statement. You are understanding me, no?"
>> Jane: "Yes, we are understanding you, no?"
>> Professor (smiles): "We may need to review this later. But let's
>> to other things. Have you ever heard Indians use the word 'yaar'?"
>> Randy: "Yes, my Indian friends use it all the time. Just last
>> of them said to me, 'Randy, give me yaar password. I am needing
>> fix yaar computer."
>> Professor (laughs): "That's a different 'yaar,' yaar. The 'yaar'
>> I'm talking about means friend or buddy. You can use it if you've
>> developed a camaraderie with a customer. For example, you can
>> on, yaar. I am offering you the best deal.' Do you understand,
>> Jane: "Yaar, I do."
>> Professor (smiles): "Okay, let's talk about accents. If your
>> 'I yam wery vorried about vat I bought for my vife,' how would
>> Randy: "Please don't be vorrying, yaar. She vill be wery happy
>> give you a vild time tonight."
>> Professor: "Vunderful! I mean, wonderful. You have a bright
>> Ranjit. And so do you, Jagadamba. But Gaurav, you haven't said
>> in a while. Do you have any questions about what we've just
Gary: "Yes, Professor, I do have one question: Wouldn't it be
simpler to learn to speak Hindi?"