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Code Switching in English in India

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Literacy Narrative Essay
Code switching is switching the way you are talking depending on who you are talking with. The three ways of code switching are: language, register (high register or low register) and dialect, which is accent and word choice. For example, you speak differently with your teacher than how you speak with your friend, like “Hey, whtss up?” to your friend, while “Hello, how are you doing today?” You speak in more formal way and with more respect with teachers and parents than your friends.

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Hindi is like my mother tongue as I am from India and English is what I speak with my teachers and friends in school, or strangers outside of my house. I speak Hindi with my parents, my granny, my uncle, pretty much everyone in my family speak in Hindi with each other except my cousins. For example, if I want to say “Hello, how are you?” to my parents or any of my family member I’ll say “Hello, aap kaise ho?” and if I want to say the same thing to my friends I’ll say “Hey, whtss up?” I hear English more, but at home I hear all people around me speaking in Hindi.

When I say something in English sometimes my dad’s like “What?” but with my sister it’s perfectly fine. Sometimes accidently I mix 2 languages- Hindi and English. For example, once I asked my sister,” Hey girl, how are you? Kya kar rahi ho?” means “Hey girl, how are you? What are you doing?” My sister speak more like in American accent as she is in 4th grade and her English is better than mine and she speaks faster than me. When I speak in English with my friends, more friends of mine are Indian or their parents are from India and they can understand me and even though when I don’t know how to put something in words, they can understand what I am trying to say. But with my other friends who are not Indians I can understand them very well, but then again when I speak sometimes they can’t understand perfectly what I am trying to say.

Even though I and my sister speak in English many times, it’s different with her and someone else like stranger outside of my house. One guy I met in one of my classes, he is Spanish and I never understand what he says until he repeats once or twice. My sister’s accent is more like American but then also it’s not perfectly American, as we both studied in British accent in India. So, when I speak with stranger like in mall or somewhere I can understand them perfectly, but when I speak with them they are like “Where are you from?” and when I say,” I am from India” and after that when they come to know that I just came 2 years ago, the first question I hear is,” how can you speak so well?” and I’ll be like,” Because I studied in English medium throughout in India, but it was British accent and here its American” and then they will be like,” Oh yeah, I see.” Sometimes when I speak with my sister, she also doesn’t know how to say something or some word in English from like Hindi, as her vocabulary is still growing and she’ll be just like,” Leave it, I’ll say in Hindi.” In starting when I came to United States, I was feeling more comfortable in Hindi and even now when I am around my family it just feels comfortable to talk in Hindi with them, but though I think now I feel like more comfortable in English. English is the language I speak more than half times and so I feel more like speaking in English nowadays. In starting I had some problem understanding people with fast American accent, but as time went by now I feel like I can understand them perfectly. Even though when I feel like I want to learn English like in American accent, my British accent and American accent always mixes up. Presently, how I speak is neither in perfect British accent nor in American accent, it’s like mixed up of both accents, even though the more is like British accent. Even in Hindi I speak many English words while speaking. Code Switching plays major role in my life, but I think it’s really confusing to understand it as it’s in many ways, but I guess it’s ok. I hope I learn better and perfect English in coming years and I really want to learn it perfectly.

Cite this Code Switching in English in India

Code Switching in English in India. (2017, Apr 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/literacy-narrative-4/

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