Friday, June 13, 2008

Lost (and found) in translation

Isn't it a shame that perseverance like some other qualities like innocence, shrewdness which as children we casually and effortlessly master but let fade with age? It is both amazing and bugging when after lengthy discussions with a child about why (s)he is not allowed to do something or why (s)he is not ready for something or why (s)he cannot have something, the child goes back to square 1 the very next day(and the next day and the next day...) and asks 'Can I have/do it?' just in case Amma forgets and let her/him have/do it!! But then, thinking about it, as parents, we do persevere in repeating some gems handed down thro' generations hoping they would echo like 'அசரீரீ' in their later years just like it did/does to us.

எடுத்தால் எடுத்த இடத்தில் வை(Eduthal edutha idathil vai) - The most common 'asareeree', I guess! Even if you are an organised person, if your spouse/partner is not, then 'searching...' is unescapable!!

கண் பார்த்தா கை செய்யணும்(KaNN paartha kai seiyanam) - If there are things strewn on the floor or water dripping from a faucet or see any unfinished task, my hands will go 'para-para' because of this gem from my grandfather!

Do you hear any (more) of these 'asareerees'?

Cho says in Muhammad-bin-thuglak, 'அரசியல் ஒரு சாக்கடை, அதில் எது வேண்டுமானாலும் கலக்கலாம்(arasiyal oru saakkadai, adhil edhu vendumaanaalum kalakkalaam!)!' Not-so-very-similarly, English language has a lot of kalakkals! Didn't know that a word's language of origin gives clues to its spelling! Kudos to those kiddy bees! Anyway, coming to my point, I'm wondering how some English words got totally different meaning in India. Like how 'smart' got to mean beauty instead of brains. How wild 'assault' got tamed to mean 'casual'? And how 'hold on' became to function as bus' stop chain!!