A reporter hit the streets of Mumbai to ask Indians some pertinent questions about the English language (video above). The questions tackled traits of Indian English, like the “Indian accent”, the prominence of the language and its rising dominance over native languages.
Representing the YouTube channel Asian Boss, which brings to their audience “authentic perspectives on cultural and news trends from Asia”, the reporter’s conversations were interesting, to say the least. Turns out, many Indians (at least the ones in the video) grossly overestimate the percentage of the Indian population that can speak fluent English. The guesses varied from 40%-80%, which is much higher than the estimated approximately 10% of the population that does actually speak the language fluently.
The video also addressed stereotypes in Western culture about the Indian accent, like the character Apu from The Simpsons. The character has been heavily criticised for an exaggerated, racist portrayal of Indians – and the people in the video agree as well. As one of the women interviewed said, “We do not speak like that, stop doing that.”
The YouTube channel has also posted a video (below) in the past which shows what foreigners think of certain English words or phrases that are commonly in use in India, but mean something else in other parts of the world.