Baby Talk

This is a transcript of an email recently received by a friend of mine who works for a multi-cultural non-government organisation which will remain nameless but which begins with ‘U’ and ‘N’:

As you may be aware, I was blessed with a baby child with her full of innocence and beauty, which must keep me in joyous mood forever. Prior to show her elegance and leadership in this world, she is definitely going to render tinkling of her bangles and anklets in my life. Hence, I would share a few hour joyful moments of my life-time celebration with you all.  May these celebration hours be at 5.00 pm of today as a part of our […team meeting…].

Hence, this is my benign invitation to all of you to join today in our […] party at 5.00 pm at our […] office. See you all at 5.00 pm.


Dear All,

With warm regards to all of you.

[Name removed to protect the benign)

Now, I haven’t posted this as an easy way to poke fun at anyone else’s English.  Oh no, my Hindi, afterall, is nonexistant, so I’m in no position to mock.

It was more that I love literal translations from one language to another – especially when the cultural differences between the two are so great.  

I mean, how completely, poetically, evocatively marvellous is the phrase “…she is definitely going to render tinkling of her bangles and anklets in my life.”



On a related(ish) topic, I had dinner with a friend last night who recounted the following:

She went to visit her nephew, Max, who is 4 and is going through a Batman phase (a phase which follows the Thomas The Tank Engine phase, apparently).  They discussed Batman for several minutes – my friend rapidly running through her stock of Batman-related facts, which was not extensive given that she’s a girl and not a nerd-girl – then Max The Nephew thankfully changed topic.

“I have a rabbit”, he announced, proudly.

“Oh, that’s exciting!” said my friend.  “What’s your rabbit’s name?”

*A look of utter contempt at the seemingly boundless stupidity of adults crosses Max The Nephew’s face*

“Bat-Rabbit of course”


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12 Responses to Baby Talk

  1. OmbudsBen says:

    I don’t know if other parts of the world got the same promotional blurbs on television that we got here in the US when the TV show Batman aired in the 60s. So this might not make sense.

    A couple times a week my commute intersects with that of my wife, and when we are to meet at the usual place, the Oakland West BART train station, we can confirm with the same phrase televised into our juvenile noggins so many decades ago by giddy TV catchphrase, when they urged us to watch again next week at the: “same bat time, same bat station.”

  2. Jenny says:

    What a beautiful way to announce a new baby! It may be hard to understand literally, but emotionally, it’s very easy! She paints a beautiful picture!

  3. modestypress says:

    Somewhere, perhaps even at this moment very, there is a future James Joyce (or perhaps a Joyce James, who may be a transgendered person) who will write (or has writed, if not jinkled and ankled) a book in international English, which will be the Waking Finnegan of the 21st Century.

    Unfortunately, before she can write it, she will be hit with a crickety bat and suffer damaged braindrain.

  4. truce says:

    Ombudsben – yep, we got the same thing even when they were re-running the show in the UK in the 80’s. My brother and I still revert to “Holy Electrically-Charged Death Ray, Batman!” etc in times of stress…

    Jenny – I know, its so enthusiastic and proud that it makes you smile, doesn’t it? But the writer was the father, not the mother 🙂

    Mr Random – you have tinkled the nail exactly and precisely on the spherical cranium.

  5. Average Jane says:

    I am very blessed to live in a delightful country called India where people take the most amazing liberties with your very forgiving language.
    This was indeed hilarious!

  6. pandemonic says:

    Ha ha.. Bat-Rabbit… 🙂

  7. LazyBuddhist says:

    Wow, I never knew babies had the power to keep us in joyous mood forever. Someone should have told me that before the baby train left the station.

    Ahhhh. Bat-Rabbit. Maybe he’ll get him a little companion – Ro-bit

  8. I need more benign invitations in my life. Most of the ones I receive are somewhat subtextually surly.

  9. The world is not ready for another Finnegan. I have a crickety bat I am willing to donate to the cause.

    It would also be useful for dealing with Bat Maxes! (Hey, it is Monday Morning and I’m feeling grumpy. Just the thought of the Batman theme sets my head pounding!)

  10. piereth says:

    Gorgeous. I’m a sucker for any childrelated stories at the mo!

    And well done on Stockholm – it might very well be a drone-a-thon but it’s lovely there at this time of year…. xxx

  11. trucie says:

    Average Jane – I suspect that many of the most appalling liberties are actually taken by native English speakers in the UK itself, but India certainly has a more poetic turn of phrase 🙂

    Pandemonic – I know. I love the straightforwardness of children.

    LazyBuddhist – “Ro-bit” LOL

    David – ah, well clearly you need either to a) go to India or b) have a child. Possibly both.

    Archie – I love that theme tune. I want it to play every time I enter a meeting…

  12. truce says:

    thanks piereth m’dear, and hopefully I may get chance to see you when I pop back to Blighty??

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