Guess what?

Guess what!


Don’t everybody get excited all at once

But it’s somebody’s birthday! Read the rest of this entry »


Jaan-e-Mann: Let’s Fall In Love Again, Part 1

Dora helps us review another film. Here she answers some questions. Next time we’ll get her plot summary!

Who is in this movie? Salman Khan, Preity Zinta (is Shahrukh in it? Who’s the other guy?) Ed note: Akshay Kumar

Why did you like this movie? Because it had Salman Khan and it was an interesting movie that I could enjoy, and sometimes they talked in English.

What are some things that happen in the movie? Salman getting divorced, Salman having to leave his wife for a few months,

Where is it set? It starts in India, and then they go to New York City.

What are the people in NYC like? They are friendly, but they talk like Australians.

Who is Salman in love with? He is in love with Preity Zinta.

Who is Preity Zinta in love with? Salman

Is she in love with Salman the whole time? Umm… I really don’t know that.

Who else is in love? Akshay Kumar.

Did you like Akshay’s character? Yes.

Why? It was funny and amusing. He talked like an Indian.

What did you like about Salman’s character? He was nice.

Did he do anything funny? It wasn’t really funny, but it was kind of funny in an awkward way… Salman was acting like he didn’t care if Akshay married Preity Zinta.

Is there a villain in the movie? There sort of is. Pia’s (Preity Zinta) brother. But we don’t want to spoil it.

Were there are any songs you really liked? The song with all the dwarfs jumping out of closets and riding in motorcycles and singing: That song.

Why do you think they used dwarfs in that song? Were there any other dwarfs in the movie? Salman’s uncle was a dwarf.

Who played his uncle? (It is at this point that Sarah and I regret that Dora knows all about Salman Khan but doesn’t know anything about Anupam Kher).

Were there any things that you thought were silly or that really surprised you? When Salman snuck into Preity’s apartment, he found out Pia had a baby. He loves it.

With THAT surprising twist, it’s time for the…


Twice as Much Sunil

It’s late, I’m tired. But a quick pick-me-up comes in the form of an advertisement with TWO Sunil Shettys! Be still, my beating heart:

Lakshya is Actually a Remake!

I’ve featured songs from Lakshya before… but this was too funny to pass up. Please watch these in order. :)

What’s with the English?

When you try to introduce someone to Bollywood, one of their first questions will be “Why do they keep speaking English?” My first answer is “because they want to!” (additionally, one might point to a little thing called the British Raj, which may have some significance in the question at hand)

But regardless of the why, English is undeniably part of Hindi films. Like it or not, the film hero is going to say things like, “Hello, sexy!” to his grandmother, or other older women; it hardly seems worth wondering about. But truthfully it’s really very nice for the non-Hindi speaking among us to at least be able to pick up on a little of what’s going on without the subtitles. This occasionally has amusing results, when you realize that the subtitles are often only loosely related to what’s actually being said (“Mmm! brownies” becomes “Mmm! Yummy!” etc.) Of course, the subtitler’s job is never easy, Memsaab Story has a few examples of things that don’t translate well.

Aal Izz Well from 3 Idiots is a good example of of Hinglish, beginning with “Jab life ho out of control. . .” Hopefully you recognize some of those words. (The Bollywood Fan has a really good translation, if you want to find out what’s actually being said.

As well as Hinglish, where English and Hindi are mixed, the other thing to be aware of is even when they’re speaking in English it may not always be easy to understand because it is Indian English, which is a legitimate and distinct dialect of the English language.

I ran across a really interesting article on the subject of Indian English. Here are some basic points:

Indian English speakers often use reduplication as a way of emphasizing an action — I have been told before to “Come come! Sit sit!” Reduplication can also replace very for intensifying or extending something, as in hot, hot water and long, long hair. Such usage is common in spoken Hindi.

You’ll hear this kind of repetition in movies a lot, either in Hindi or in English “choti choti” (“small small” I belive) and “abhi abhi” (“now now”), to name just a couple common ones.

Something which Indian English has that is not found in other varieties of English is the use of only and itself to emphasize time and place. It comes from the Hindi word hi and produces sentences like “I was in Toledo only” and “Can we meet tomorrow itself?”

Subtitles often contain this sort of thing, and it no longer bothers me. If that’s the best way to translate the meaning, so be it.

And quickly, a list of Hindi words that get carried over into English conversations:

achchaa = good
arrai = hey
bahut = a lot
bus = that’s it
ek = one (as a number)
ghotu = one who reads a lot
hajar (hazar) = a ton (more than a lot)
ho gaya = done; finished
koi bat nahi = no problem
kya hall hai = how are you
lakh(s) = one-hundred thousand
lekhin = but
masala = risqué; spicy; hot (like a film)
muthlab = meaning
paka = pure
teek hai = okay (lit: it is right)
yaar = buddy; pal

I’ll leaved you with a video. I don’t know what movie it’s from, but since it says it’s South Indian, it probably isn’t actually Bollywood, but since it’s funny, I’ll let it pass.