Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nuances of English Language

Pic: Mr. Manoj Mayankar  speaking to students at the media training center, Niscort.

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This Friday, the 5th of Feb Niscort had a visitor in the form of Mer. Manoj Mayankar, have just prepared a writeup on his lecture, here goes...

Importance of correct English diction in Indian Media



Niscort, 5 Feb: “English is one of the funniest and complex languages in the world.” clichéd Mr. Manoj Mayankar, guest speaker at the 104th World Around Programme here at Niscort media training institute.


The guest for the interactive session has had 21 years of association with the All India Radio ( AIR). Down these years he is also well versed with languages as Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu as well as Hyderabadi.


Taking his cliché of English being complex and funny he stressed that in Popular culture  the Hindi Movie, “Yaraana” (Friendship) is a classic example.


In the celluloid offering starring Amitabh Bachchan and Amjad Khan as friends, there is a slight misunderstanding as to why the pronunciation of the term “Go” is not “Goo” despite the letter “O” in it.


Stressing further he said that this language is open to interpretations and this is the very juncture where the problem arises. This is so for regional influences of speakers in different geographical location creeps in, he said.


“This is the accent problem,” he highlighted. It is seen that this further results in  the speakers facing problems to communicate at a higher platform. Even people speaking what is called “Neutral English” are akin to this problem, he said.


Elaborating further on the topic, he construed that normally in interviews the purer variety of the language is spoken. He intelligently equated the medium to a structure when he seemed to propose that, “English as a language has a purity of hierarchy.”


His lecture went on to clear myths and cobwebs regarding the nuances of the medium with him adding that “there is no kamal (Lotus as pronounced and spelt in Hindi) ka “ka” in English.”


He highlighted that the problem with speakers is that not much care is taken note of the right sound for a word, a common case point at hand is how people pronounce the term “Education”, he suggests. Adding further to this he said Teeth play an important factor in pronunciation


He said that language is a different ballgame altogether and stated that “in the practical sense, it’s difficult to mathematically quantify purity of a language.” This seems to justify the use of audio-softwares for the language-learning packages available, he said.


To diminish anomalies’ the technique of sound forge is used with the end result being that the pronunciation and purity cannot be enhanced, but simultaneously the spelling can be checked with its implementation, he informed.


Taking the problematique to a practical level he showed to the students an analogical and hypothetical model which went on to explain the hierarchy of purity in the medium. He interestingly equated the pronunciation levels with purity of metals like Gold with the highest and correct level of diction earning the A+ category against a hallmark of 24 karat gold margin.


Speaking to engrossed to students who were much to the amusement of all were trying pronounce the correct version of words spelt by Mr. Mayankar, made him add that south of London residents takes proper note of its diction.


In terms of nuances creeping in a medium, he said the diction of the residents of places like Dadar and Borivili in West India will be a classic example.


Much to the awe and speculation of the students, he took up the case of the pronunciation of the term “ Sorry” in the South of the nation, where he adds, the “O” of the word in hand is spelt softly with it making “ sorry ” akin to the term “so.”


He went on to add that one of the commonly found components of pronunciation is where the stress of the word is applied. He further added that more than social ramifications, it is the financial aspect behind one’s correct usage of the medium and applied diction.


Taking a cue from Popular Culture he reflected on Channel V’s spoof on English Language usage with the make-believe anchor, Lolla Kutty making people laugh in awe at her antics. He added that off-screen the actor doesn’t speak in such an accent but her histrionics make her speak so.


Speaking on the hierarchy module the guest speaker opined that B+ is a level where Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) gradually tapers away giving way to a certain level of clarity and neutral word structure. This can be due to a number of reasons which can be correction in the educational institutions, interaction, with peers, social grooming so on and so forth.


It is generally seen that most students in the country use B+ while speaking to their friends. In terms of language usage in Media, the baseline and the punchline in advertisements is of refined English.


He opined that in Human comprehension Purity signifies “Class” which emanates from an intrinsic desire of humans to exert class so shouldn’t it be the same while one speaks?

he reasons.


In course of this lecture he ignited many a nostalgia when he went on to mention about Pratap Sharma, who happens to be actress Tara Sharma’s father, adding that he was the most expensive voice with regard to voice over in advertisements aired during the DoorDarshan days.


It has been found that in electronic media, if one speaks about the sports commentary and that too with regard to Cricket in India, Sunil Gavaskar and Harsha Bhogle tops the list.


In European and western media, he gave the example of Tim Sebastian, anchor of hard talk. Mr. Mayankar had a word of advice for aspirants thinking in terms of correcting their diction. According to the linguist, listening habits as well as practices like speaking, reading aloud coupled with writing which has a strange co-relation with thought processes and are akin to an X-ray, he suggested.  


He also spoke about the newly crept “Americanism” in this language, the immediate examples of which will be the text messages or SMS as they are called. Speaking on the inculcation of correct diction he had a word of caution for the budding students, when he opined that “It is not a BPO or an I.T. Culture and wouldn’t necessarily come in three modules as claimed by the language packages.”


Speaking on new trends, he reportedly likened the suddenly crept Americanism in the B and B+ usage to “ a crow with peacock feathers.” 


He allegedly stated that the current generation growing on packaged dictums and falsely guided notions of throwing attitude should understand and figure out where they stand which is why openness and humility will help them move out of their shells.  


so long folks...

Keep loving life...






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