Picture of the Day: Pinglish? Probably not

Posted on July 19, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Humor, Photo of the Day, Pinglish
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Adil Najam

Building on my other post today (‘Trilingual’) and after Sabizak’s message on our first ATP post on Pinglish, I am no longer sure if I am using the term correctly or not. Hence the question mark.

However, this one is somewhat like another earlier ATP post, titled ‘Lost in Translation’. Literally, the translation is not incorrect. However, the addition of the word ‘Room’ at the end makes all the difference.

[By the way, another one I saw in yesterday’s The News was the reporter quoting someone as calling an event a ‘golden evening’; I assume the real word used was ‘sunehri shaam’!]

But let me say that the choice of this photograph as the Picture of the Day is not motivated by the quality of translation. I saw this and wondered what has happened to all the ‘Garam Hamams’ in Pakistan. They were an urban necessity for a long time and some are still around (I remember using them back when I was a University student in Lahore and we had a multiple-day water closure).

In some places, Turkey for example, traditions of public baths are remembered and conserved as part of cultural heritage. The South Asian tradition of public baths – and this ranges right across the subcontinent – seems to have been less well cared for.

This picture was taken in Peshawar in 1996 and is from the personal travel website of Galen R Frysinger, a retired scientist who now spends his time travelling the world and recording his travels at his website.

7 responses to “Picture of the Day: Pinglish? Probably not”

  1. Aamir says:

    LOL There is so much of this all round, silly spellings and all.

  2. Adil Najam says:

    Thanik you nitpicker. You are right and if we don’t speak for teh apostrophe, who will ;-)
    I am making the change …. I guess this is part of teh Pinglish culture too… since there aren’t any apostrophes in Urdu.

  3. Nitpicker says:

    You said ‘what has happened to all the ‘Garam Hamam’s’ ? Surely you meant ‘Hamams’ (plural of hamam which should be without the apostrophe); I take apostrophe protection rather seriously :)

  4. aatif says:

    this is really funny and pretty much true! even in 2006, our dearest national tv (ptv) makes so many and stupid spelling mistakes mainly during the news on the tracker scrolling on the bottom of the field. even some non-english speaker would pick the mistake out.

    i’ve also seen some serious spelling mistakes on the wedding films. how can you spell groom’s name wrong in his own wedding movie?

    i don’t understand, why don’t they use a spell checker – like ms word to the least. it works well and atleast checks spelling for you dumbheads! make it handy and use it once you air it up!

  5. Owais Mughal says:

    There is a ‘lost in translation’ thing and then there is an absolutely funny spelling phenomenon too. Most notable example is the word ‘inflammable’ written behind Pakistani trucks. Very few seem to get it right.. It can be seen written as anywhere from inflemable to in-flamable etc. Here is a photo I took of a Karachi bus in June 2005. It is showing the scenery of Titanic on its maiden journey. Note the spellings of titanic as well as the exaggeration of accommodation available on titanic. Also note the lock on bus’ gas-tank.


    Adil Sahib. Very interesting topic :)

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