By: Barnali Bose, Editor- ICN Group
Just as the British left us a rich legacy of their language,so also they adopted a number of Indian words in their vocabulary.
Indian Vocabulary that has been incorporated into the English language:
Many Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu words are now part of the English vocabulary. Most of these words came to be part of the English vocabulary during the British rule in India.
I would hereby like to enlist a few English words that are Indian in origin.‘Avatar’ which is also the title of a popular English film is a Hindi word derived from Sanskrit,meaning ‘descent of a divine deity’.
Some of the words have undergone modifications.‘Bungalow’ comes from ‘bangla’ meaning country-house of European style. ‘Dacoit’, meaning robber comes from ‘daku’’and ‘sepoy’ is a modified version of ‘sipahi’ meaning ‘soldier’.
‘Chit’, ‘a short note’ comes from ‘Chitthi’, a word used in Hindi as well as Bengali meaning letter or note.‘Jungle’, or a wild thicket has come from ‘jangal’.
I have often heard ’Karma’,originally Sanskrit, being used in English films and series. ‘Loot’ meaning ‘steal’ is actually Hindi so is ’Thug’ that means ‘conman’. ’Khaat’ meaning ‘bed’ was modified into ’Cot’.
‘Hullabaloo’ meaning noise was derived from ‘hullagulla’,a Hindi word.‘Typhoon’ comes from ‘toofan’ an Urdu term meaning a cyclonic storm.
’Veranda’ called ‘baranda’ in Bengali and Hindi is originally Portuguese. Interestingly,there were no verandas in England, it being severely cold there and hence the word was non-existent in the English vocabulary before the British rule in India.
’Yoga’ originally ‘Yog’ in Sanskrit is now both an internationally used word and practice.’Bazaar’ meaning ‘a local market’ is now English.
Some common French words incorporated in English:
In fact, the British also acquired a number of words from the French.The French and the British crossed paths quite often not only in Europe but also in India. It was so especially in Bengal as the British capital,Calcutta was in close proximity to Chandannagar,then known Chandernagore, a French colony.
‘Deja vu’,the feeling that you have experienced something similar before; ‘vis-a-vis’,face-to-face; ‘Tete-a-Tet’ head-to-head; ‘par excellence’ by far the best; ‘Bon voyage’, happy journey; RSVP( Repondez ’il vous plait)in response to an invitation, just to mention a few are French words and phrases often used in English.
That languages cannot be compartmentalized is therefore well proven. No language can claim to have remain untouched by any other.
( To be continued )