Monday, June 11, 2018

How to speak Macapao

No offence intended, part of our history, from a long, long time ago: author unknown. A friend in Goa sent this. A derivative of this was familiar in East Africa.

Goans have always been called “Macapao” by the local Bombaywalas. This probably originates from the fact that the staple breakfast of the working-class Goan is bread. Hence when he goes to the bakery in the morning he says, "Maka pao de", meaning "Give me bread" And hence the nickname Macapao.

Here is a basic primer to the very special dialect of English spoken by East Indians. Sometimes erroneously referred to as Bandra accent, it is actually spoken by East Indians, wherever they may hail from, all the way from Alibagh to Uttan (and wherever else East Indian "gaothans" exist)

So the next time you find yourself in Shirley or Chuim or any other gaothan, here is how you can blend in reasonably well - though of course, a little practice is required.

1.  Always use 'd' for 'th'

- For example: Dere for there; dat for that; taut for thought and tink for think.

2. Never pronounce 'h'. 'H' is always silent

- For example: 'ouse, 'ome, 'orrible.

3. Use 'wat' for what, even if there's no question asked or implied.

- For example: "You coming wit me, wat men?"

4. Use a Hindi/Marathi verb with an English ending 'ing'.

- For example: Lagaoing.

5. To emphasize your point, use words twice.

- For example: "Aayee Nobby, walk fast-fast men or we'll miss da train."

6. Use the word "men", even if speaking to a woman.

- For example: "Aayee Gracie, 'ow you feeling now, men?"

7. Use the word 'no' even if the sentence doesn't have a negative connotation.

- For example: "Aayee Eric, Gracie makes good dukkar pulao, no?"

So now dat you got de 'ang of de language, 'ere some masterpieces of Macapao English, men:


Meeting Larry on Saturday morning in the bazar

- "Ow you men, Larry?"


Larry's wife explaining how she bought fish at lunch later that day.

- "Da Koli woman no, was giving me dis dis small-small pomflit for bledy fifty rupees men. I told 'er not to do s'aan patti wid me, men."


Elderly men from the gaothan talking at the local Irani joint during Sunday morning sermon.

- "Aare, dat bledy Sandy no, yesterday 'e lagaoed solid whisky at the communion party men."


Spinster aunty yelling to school boy in Chuim village

- "You don't 'ave any sense, wat riding cykal so fas'-fas, men"


Cheering at Supari Talao during a football match

- "Cum, men Savio. Put tru men, put tru!"


After a Saturday night binge...

- "Aaye, what men, bloody basket! what you are saying aboud my fadder and mudder?"


Boys stealing mangoes in the afternoon in Rathodi village, near Malwani.

- "Aare see dere men, dere! Aare lef men, big bugger dere! Hit one s'ot with da catty men."


Family rosary in the Pereira hosehold

- "'Ail Mary, full of grace, da Lord is with dee, blessed art t'ou... Norma! NORMAA!  Jus' see if da back door is locked amongst women and blessed is da fruit of t'y womb Jesus.... it's closed no? OK baba...'oly Mary, Mudder of God"


Swapping recipes while standing and gossiping at the junction

- "You know T'eresa, dat day I took little ginger garlic, little onion, so much so much masala I ground, put chicken and da curry came out good men."

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