Indian English Vs American English

Do not use Can’t or Don’t
Americans do not understand most of the Indian accent immediately - They only understand 75% of what we speak and then interpret the rest. Therefore try not to use shortcut terms such as "Can't" or "Don't". Use the expanded "Cannot" or "Do not".

Do not interrupt when client talks
As a general matter of form, Indians interrupt each other constantly in meetings - DO NOT interrupt a client when they are speaking over the phone, there could be delays - but wait for a short time before responding.

Use "Does that make sense" instead of "Do you understand me"
When explaining some complex issue, stop occasionally and ask "Does that make sense?". This is preferable than "Do you understand me?"

Do not write or say, "I have some doubts on this issue"
The term "Doubt" is used in the sense of doubting someone - we use this term because in Indian languages (such as Tamil), the word for a "doubt" and a "question" is the same. The correct usage (for clients) is: I have a few questions on this issue

Use “busy” instead of “engaged”
When you call someone and if their phone is busy, some people say ‘The line is engaged’. Please don’t use the word ’engaged’ because it has a completely different meaning. Use the word ‘busy’ instead.

Do not write "the same" in an email - it makes little sense to them.
Example - I will try to organize the project artifacts and inform you of the same when it is done. This is somewhat an Indian construct. It is better written simply as: I will try to organize the project artifacts and inform you when that is done

Correct usage of Mail and Email
In American English, a mail is a posted letter. An email is electronic mail. When you say "I mailed the information to you", it means you sent an actual letter or package through the postal system. The correct usage is: "I emailed the information to you"

Use “advance” instead of “prepone”
To "prepone" an appointment is an Indian usage. There is no actual word called prepone. You can "advance" an appointment or reschedule an appointment.

Correct pronunciation for “tier”
In the term "N-tier Architecture" or "3-tier Architecture", the word "tier" is NOT pronounced as "Tire". I have seen many people pronounce it this way. The correct pronunciation is "tea-yar". The "ti" is pronounced as "tea".

Use “ago” instead of “back”
Avoid using "Back". Instead of "Back" Use "ago". Back is the worst word for Americans. (For Days use "Ago", for hours use "before")

Use “However” instead of “But”
Avoid using "but". Instead of "But" Use "However".

Don’t use "Today Evening", "Today Night". Indian commonly use today evening or today night which is incorrect.
These are not correct; "Today" means "This Day" where the Day stands for Daytime. Therefore "Today Night" is confusing. The correct usages are: "This Evening", "Tonight". That applies for "Yesterday Night" and "Yesterday Evening". The correct usages are: "Last Night" and "Last Evening". The usages "September End", "Month End", "Day End" are not understood well by Americans. They use these as "End of September", "End of Month" or "End of Day".

Don’t use “please do the needful’
This is a common Indian phrase and it does not make any sense to Americans. Instead, you can use ‘Please do the necessary’, when you want to request someone to do something for you.

Don’t use pardon
Do not say "Pardon" or “Beg your pardon” when you want someone to repeat what they said. The word "Pardon" is unusual and is somewhat very formal. Instead, you can say- Sorry, I didn’t get that or Sorry, what was that?

Do not use screwed up
Do not use the term "screwed up" liberally. If a situation is not good, it is better to say, "The situation is messed up". Do not use words such as "shucks", or "pissed off".

Use proper punctuation
In email communications, use proper punctuation. To explain something, without breaking your flow, use semicolons, hyphens or parenthesis. As an example: You have entered a new bug (the popup not showing up) in the defect tracking system; we could not reproduce it - although, a screenshot would help. Notice that a reference to the actual bug is added in parenthesis so that the sentence flow is not broken. Break a long sentence using such punctuation

No Sir/Madam
When you talk with someone for the first time, refer to them as they refer to you - in America, the first conversation usually starts by using the first name. Therefore you can use the first name of a client. Preferably at BIC, do not say "Sir" for men and do not call women "Madam".

No word “updation”
There is no word called "Updation". You update somebody. You wait for updates to happen to the database. Avoid saying "Updation".

Use power instead of current

When you say, there’s no current at home. People are quite confused and they really don’t know what refer to. Instead, you can say – there’s no power at home. Getting a ride When you want someone to drop you somewhere you can say, “Can I get a ride” instead of “Can you give me a lift”? Use “gas” instead of “petrol” Americans rarely understand when you say “I went to “petrol bunk”. Please use “gas Station” instead Use receipt/check instead of bill When you go to a restaurant, you ask for a check not for the bill to make your payment – You can say ‘Can I have the check’ to the waitress. When you go to a store, you ask for a receipt and not a bill. Miscellaneous items College is also referred as school. Zero is also referred as “O” as in English alphabet Cheque is referred as “Check” Colour is referred as “Color” Guys use “wallet” and girls use “purse”. This cannot be used interchangeably. What do you refer to the back portion of the car? Trunk In terms of payments, when someone says ‘I used “plastic” to make the payment’, it refers to the credit card  Use ‘daycare’ instead of crèche. Some folks don’t know what crèche is.       

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful