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Conversation styles of people in Pakistan?!!

People have weird ways of talking here in this country, and its always amusing to see them utter, splutter and spew words in their own unique style. I’ve been interested in observing and wondering as to how does one acquire a particular way of communicating and what it says about that person, talking is an identification tab worn by the person, the words we choose, the pitch and tone of voice, the inflections, all reveal who you are and where you come from.

Screamers: These people don’t talk they holler, they scream and they love to punctuate their words with boisterous laughter or abuses according to occasion. If they are happy they will guffaw, laugh loudly and talk at the same time drowning others in streams of endless talk. When they are angry, they shout as if the increase in volume would somehow put more essence and substance in their words, as though it would make them more effective! I believe these people suffer from a malady, in their own minds they are somehow ‘very small’ literally and figuratively, they suffer from delusions in thinking and vision, and since they think themselves puny and inconsequential they shout and pant and scream to make up for the smallness of their person! (how very tragic is that)

Mutterers: On the other end of the spectrum lie the mutterers. They are so very irritating because they are always eating half their words and saying the other half under their breath! With this sort you have to always keep guessing as to the true meaning of their cumulative words, its like deciphering a code as you can’t possibly be asking them to repeat everything they ever say, and even if you are stupid to do that all you’ll end up with is extra mutterings to work through!

Mumblers: This style isn’t the same as muttering, this is talking coherently but very very softly! It’s lovely and refreshing to see and hear polite people but, it’s unnerving if you are so polite as to efface your own presence, and somehow lose your self in the surroundings. Usually wives of aggressive, type A personality, I’m-so-full-of myself kind of men display this way of talking, the husband are such an overpowering and overbearing presence in their lives that they are reduced to mumbling and whispering, trying to exist in shadows and as a shadow (how very pathetic)

Twang and Twist: Then we have the youngsters who have never stepped on a plane, or maybe traveled a bit, men and women who may have visited other countries and interacted with foreigners while shopping abroad, they magically get a twang in their tongue – a foreign accent!on one trip to any other country be it Dubai! how??? is my question??? of course one can imitate, ( I can do that quite nicely) but how? in a trip, a holiday, how does one acquire a new accent?? it bewilders me so much every time I see and hear it! and I tell you it’s painful to my ear drums. The cant’s become caants, the half becomes haalf, dance becomes daence!!!! don’t people! We aren’t all morons here so spare us the ordeal, there is already torturous happenings to contend with in this country! To encounter this force one can tune to one of the hundreds of most inane and vacuous radio channels, whose VJ’s are constantly barking out rehearsed, awkward and abrupt messages day in and day out – Hello Paaakissstan (tan as in sun tan and not than as in pan) UFFFF!!! or “how are youuuuuu alll todayyyy” Please! it’s like someone scratching a nail on a blackboard!!! stop!

Ethnic: Of course with such diverse regional languages spoken in Pakistan we have a rich variety of talking styles and these I find are the most fun and somehow beautiful, because they are not put on, they are there despite the person, usually without his knowledge, he is just not aware of it! the Urdu speaking people using “N” at the end of every word, like ‘Humarein”?? or “aun” like karaunchi??? huh? what?? ghauns (grass in urdu.) Urdu speaking people consider themselves the keepers of high-culture and true inheritors of the classical Lucknow style of manners and language, it may be true in theory but most of the children of these people cannot speak proper and correct Urdu, let alone pronouncing the words correctly. Then we have the Punjabis, who can never pronounce Q correctly much to the chagrin of the Urdu speakers, they soften it to make it sound like K, and every time I hear QEEEMA being said as KEEEMA, I, can hear my father swearing!!!it would bug him so and you know what I for the life of me cannot and will not torture my vocal cords so much to emphasis the damn Q!!!(sorry abba) so its Kee all the way for me!!!! The diction and mannerisms of Punjabis comes across either as an argument or as a lewd joke! how do people sound like when they have a serious discussion in Punjabi is what I wonder?? I can’t fathom this at all. When I hear punjabi being spoken I at once get the visage of a fat woman sitting somewhere giving a lecture on one thing or another!!! The pathans are another breed, and their style is vivacious, loud but in congruent while speaking Urdu always confusing the gender.

English medium: isn’t just a style its your whole CV. It says where you went to school, who all you are likely to know, where can you possibly be living (few societies make the mark) what you normally wear i.e which class you belong to. These people are self-assured and who wouldn’t be having an edge over 179.99 million people of the country! they are it, and in, and have arrived while the rest are lagging far behind with hardly a hope of catching up ever. They speak mostly in English, and in Urdu when they have to bark orders at the slaves and serfs around them. The lilt in their voice, the clarity of diction, the frequent use of words like ERR… “like”, “dude”, “man”, “get out of here!”, “shut up”.

Urdu medium: are those 179.99 million people who cannot speak the English language as their mother tongue, unlike their English medium counter parts they do not think in English so every word if spoken of English by them must first be translated in English, which is sheer agony! There is a whole way they speak the words of English mixed up in Urdu, such as “mein friendship offer karta houn” (is it a drink by any chance that I never knew about?) or the frequent use of “missed” calls and “ye mera cousin hai” to every guy one’s hitting on.

Languages are a world within a world, those who share a language, share that world and can relate to its nuances and what one calls the insider jokes, idioms, stories and meanings of gestures.

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