English remains India’s second most-spoken language after Hindi. In fact, English speakers in India are way more than those in all of Western Europe, excluding of course, the United Kingdom.
Moreover, Indian English-speakers, according to a 2010 estimate, are more than twice the UK's population.
However, despite all these staggering facts, Indians sometimes struggle with the simplest of sentences and expressions because they often translate directly from Hindi when they speak English.
The resultant phrases, as Indians themselves pointed out last week on Twitter, are often nonsensical or downright hilarious.
A 22-year-old student Ojas Korde started a hashtag #IndianEnglish on Thursday, which soon became a top trend in the country that generated more than 20,000 responses within a few hours.
Indians posted hundreds of tweets, making fun of their English language fails, many of which included images of street signs and boards on shops and restaurants with dubious spelling and grammatical errors.
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One Twitter user joked, “British messed our motherland we mess up their mother tongue.”
Here are the top ten funniest examples from the #IndianEnglish trend:
I hate sound pollution due to traffic. It's very horny. #IndianEnglish— Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) June 26, 2014
Boss: will u do this job? Employee: yes sir, its my left hand job. #IndianEnglish— ????? (@MohitParmarr) June 26, 2014
I have 2 daughters, both of them are girls #IndianEnglish— TheOneThatGotAway (@Roshni128) June 26, 2014
Open the doors of the windows! #IndianEnglish— Srikar Kandalam (@srikarkandalam) June 30, 2014
#IndianEnglish In big big cities these type of small small talks happens— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) June 26, 2014
"Indians are great at making fun of ourselves," a well-known former journalist in India, John Thomas, told the BBC, adding Indians nonetheless are highly class-conscious and think speaking “correct” English is very important.
"An ideal Indian of class should be able to recite Wordsworth as well as literature of his mother tongue,” Thomas stated.