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Why do punjabi TV people randomly switch between english and punjabi?

Gunark

TRIBE Member
So I'm watching punjabi TV, and in between the high-pitched yodeling, and weird 70's style zoom-ins on the guy and girl's faces (it's ALWAYS one girl and one guy, although the guy sometimes has his buddies egging him on while doing West Side Story-style background dancing), the announcer (VJ?) comes on and talks for a while. When she talks, she does it mostly in Punjabi. But everyone once in a while she'll drop into english, and say things like:

"She was found dead in her apartment bajubi blabi barabi jaweee weee court case ajoobi barawii blah blee blee. Prescription glasses are akee kujabee jabawee."

Now I understand if she was saying english proper names in english.... but no, she just randomly says parts of sentences in punjabi, and parts in english. What the fuck? This isn't the first time I've seen this either... in indian movies they do it all the time, although the amount of mixed-in english varies greatly.

Somebody please explain this to me. I understand the whole British colonial influence on the language/culture... but what's with the random language switching?

P.S. I really love this shit. The music is awesome, and the visuals clash with my cultural sensibilities wonderfully.
 

rubytuesday

TRIBE Member
Beats me but I love weekend punjabi tv.
After I read A Fine Balance I wanted to say "yaar" a lot and this makes me want to again, as well as "sexy" and "hi-fi."
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Because people can understand both.

So why not?

I was just talking about this last night. There are phrases and words in English that are universally known. Like I would never say "CD" or "MP3" or "McDonald's" in Chinese. It's just too complicated when everyone knows these instead of the exact technical/literal translations.

But for something like "bedspread" or "chair," the Chinese word for them are much better and easier to say without getting a "what?"
 

echootje

TRIBE Member
Isn't it just the same as other culturally adopted terms we use from the French, Greek, Latin and others.

Like Bon Voyage?

Rob
 
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Gunark

TRIBE Member
Mofo: yeah that's totally the case for homey words... like "bedspread", "broom", "blanket"... they all come to me in polish before english, especially if they're shorter in polish, because as a kid I heard them in polish a lot more than english (you don't really talk about bedspreads and brooms with your friends in elementary school all that often)

but this punjabi thing isn't just words... they'll just say the first half of the sentence in english, second half in punjabi. It's totally random.

echootje: nope... go watch it for a while... it's not just any special phrases or words. Just chatoic language switching. Like they're forgetting half way through the sentence what language they're talking. And lot of the time it looks like they're reading off a teleprompter, which I guess means the script is written in half english half punjabi?


I'm really thinking about this to much aren't I
 
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rubytuesday

TRIBE Member
I think it's different because they're actually fully fluent in both english and punjabi (sorry if it's some other dialect or name). I know some very multilingual people and they tend to switch things up as Gunark described. I think once you're fully fluent in more than one language you're able to switch really easily like that.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by echootje
Isn't it just the same as other culturally adopted terms we use from the French, Greek, Latin and others.

Like Bon Voyage?

Rob
Yah. Kinda.
But I think English speakers use those phrases for effect.
Ya know, like "C'est la vie!" or "Ciao."

The only thing I can think of in Chinese is probably something like "________ chic" to describe a style of clothing or "keep fit (pronounced 'feet')" which means the whole idea of exercise.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Gunark
Mofo: yeah that's totally the case for homey words... like "bedspread", "broom", "blanket"...
Wow, that's almost as bad as when I told a girl she was "homey" because I thought she had a look that was "of the home."
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Gunark


echootje: nope... go watch it for a while... it's not just any special phrases or words. Just chatoic language switching. Like they're forgetting half way through the sentence what language they're talking. And lot of the time it looks like they're reading off a teleprompter, which I guess means the script is written in half english half punjabi?
It's Punglish.

Much like Chinglish. Not like Engrish.

Gunny is hot.
 
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Gunark

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by MoFo
Wow, that's almost as bad as when I told a girl she was "homey" because I thought she had a look that was "of the home."
see i should've just said "domowy"... no such confusion in polish :)
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
In my language, there's really no way of saying "of the home" or "wholesome" without it being totally fucking sexist or repressive.

I love patriarchy.
 
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diablo

TRIBE Member
Indian people sort of shake their heads when they mean yes/okay.

They also seem to use "yes" and "no" randomly, rather than using the one that the situation calls for.
 

vinder

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by diablo
Indian people sort of shake their heads when they mean yes/okay.

They also seem to use "yes" and "no" randomly, rather than using the one that the situation calls for.
haha!

*shakes head* yes definitely
 
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The Tesseract

TRIBE Member
ZOMG!

heaven forbid people become bilingual!
that might lead to the rebuilding of the tower of babel, which god will smite once again, ruining us all.
 

Hamza

TRIBE Member
its some retarted south asian style...even presidents will give a speech and switch between local language - english.


It's irritating as hell - we were talking about this the other day.



end thought.



oh, and ruby, its not yaar, its

YAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
 

LivingRoomPornstar

TRIBE Member
I guess I just always assumed that some of these words didn't always translate easily into their native tongues, or that they learned words for those specific things in English before they learned them in their own language.

*shrug*
 
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