Watch Telugu channels in English

BY R.Jagadeeswara Rao| IN Regional Media | 24/11/2014
Has it become fashionable for Telugu channels to use English even when it is not necessary? Or is it that those in charge have a poor knowledge of Telugu?
Using English when equally expressive Telugu words exist defies logic, says R. JAGADEESWARA RAO (Pix: Public Point on ABN).
Telugu is a rich and highly developed language. If, despite this, people use English words such as ‘tea’, ‘bus’ or ‘coffee’ for the sake of easy understanding, no one should have any objection to it. But why use English when it is not necessary, as many Telegu TV news and entertainment channels are doing these days, particularly when announcing programmes? 

If the custom spreads across the more than 50 channels beaming news, entertainment, devotional, and sponsored programmes, where will it all end? 

Let me start with the word “news”.  The exact Telugu word for news is vaarthalu. Incidentally, vaartha is the singular for vaarthalu and vaartha has no exact substitute in English. But except for a few channels like ETV, it is 'news' on all other channels. So the 'Inews' channel starts with ‘news’ at 7 am and follows with the ‘total newspaper analysis’. This expression, without even a single Telugu word, is seen in the background in the Telugu script while experts analyse the 'news'. 

This channel also broadcasts other programmes such as “rural news’’, “news watch” etc. and uses expressions like “watch next”. The morning “news” on the ABN channel is followed by "public point" The anchors and news readerson this channel frequently use the expression "we report-you decide" and "welcome back".  

For some channels, the morning "news" is 'breakfast news", for others it is "newsbreakfast". And 10TV channel asks viewers to "stay tuned" and broadcasts a "good morning" programme. Its scrolling announces "international sports" programmes.

"Prime Time News" and "Headlines" are the expressions used by the CVR News channel which incidentally, has two other Telugu channels with English names viz "Spiritual" and Health".

If it is "South Screen" for 10TV channel's entertainment programme, it is "Show Time" for the HMTV Telugu channel and "Screen Unlock" for the Xtra entertainment channel.

The Studio-One channel beams "News Bulletin" and "Capital Coverage" as a regular Telugu programme. For HMTV, "What Next" scrolling givesdetails of news and programmes to be followed. Among other channels, the following phrases and titles are commonly used: News Scan, News Live, News Now, War Room, Superfast News Updates, Breaking News, Gemini Comedy and Gemini Life. 

Ironically, on the occasion of Telugu Bhashaa Dinotsavam (Telugu Language Day),all and sundry talked about the importance of the mother tongue and the need to popularize and propagate it. But there is absolutely no follow up action, with the honourable exception of ETV which is bravely using "guttedaaru" for contractor and "antarjaalam" for the internet. Some have suggested that "pramaanapatram" is a better word than “affidavit”.

Every language has its special features and untranslatable expressions.Similarly every language absorbs some words from other languages and these often gain acceptance, enriching the language. 

But for Telugu channels to use English words when equally expressive Telugu words are available defies logic. Has it become fashionable to use English even when it is not necessary? Or is it that those in charge have a poor knowledge of Telugu?

'Edutimanishiki cheppetanduke neetulu unnayi' (morals and sermons are meant to be preached by implication, not to be practiced), was a popular line from a film song penned by  (late) 'Aatreya'. All and sundry preach the importance and greatness of Telugu language. There was enough of preaching and sermonizing. It is time to practise.
(R. Jagadeeswara Rao is a freelance journalist in Visakhapatnam. He can be contacted on:
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