Monday, May 17, 2010

Speaking English - James Bond style

Over the years, especially in the last ten years or so there has been a profusion of institutes offering courses in various foreign languages, English tops the list. The claims made in the advertisements placed by these institutes are quite interesting, while some are downright humorous, others are totally bizarre. Some institutes teach American style English, some teach neutral English, (what is neutral English? I have no idea); there is one which teaches ‘Stylish English’, you can see their wall paintings along the railway line in the Western Suburbs of Mumbai. Two or three years ago I had noticed press advertisements of one institute which said ‘Learn to speak English like Parsis and Catholics’. But what takes the cake was a poster campaign I witnessed a year ago in Bandra, I do not recall the name of the institute but I do recall some of the copy matter which said: ‘Learn to speak English like James Bond and hypnotize people with your talk………..’ I don’t remember the entire copy but I do remember that it was very interesting. The posters were plastered all over Bandra and were difficult to miss; I regret that I did not take a photograph.

So if you wish to learn English you could choose from learning to speak in an American accent or neutral English, if you are a ‘stylish’ person and wish to learn English you know where to go. Or you may want to say: “My name is Bond, James Bond, licenced to speak……… English".


  1. Aroop, your observations are most amusing; I love it or, to say it in Ronald McDonald's English, 'I'm loving it!'.

    The idea that English as spoken by Parsis and Catholics is something to aspire to is also very interesting, if mildly worrying.

    I can only assume that 'James Bond English' is one with a Glaswegian accent, guaranteed to seduce and, indeed, rescue the demure damesells trapped in a live of drudgery at 'reception' or as tea-making PAs.

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