Coming From? - Common India 'Engrish'

One Pen

There are a few phrases that any visitor to India will become familiar with rapidly. Here’s a quick run-down of common “Engrish” you’ll come across:

Coming From? – The most benign, they just want to know what country you’re from. You’ll get this from interested people in the country, cabbies and people that are generally interested in where these strange Westerners come from.

One Pen? – Carry a bag of US Pennies around India and you will instantly win friends among the countries youth. One Pen, or One Penny? is a common request for a coin from your home country. Almost always from the cutest little non-ragamuffin kids you’d ever want to meet.

Pleez Maydamn, Pleez Seer… – Speaking of ragamuffins. This is the common cry of beggars, usually with one or more dirty children in town. Responding in any way is a form of encouragement to them.

Come Shee My Schop? – Walk down any street and you will be invited in to look at …well crap. Usually a Shawl, Pashmina, or jewelry. For some reason, these are always directed to me instead of LeeAnne. I’m not sure if that’s because the think I wear the pants in the family or if …well, let’s move on.

No Baksheesh? – This will come from the guy in the museum that approached you, was a little too friendly, and knew a little too much about the exhibit. You may not know it, but he has decided that he is your guide, and you owe him a tip. Before you leave the exhibit, he wants his, it makes no matter that he approached you, not the other way around.

There are certainly many more, but I just wanted to give you a kind of top 5. Remember, bring Pennies – make Friends.