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1. Do not write “the same” in an email – it makes little sense to them.
Example – I will try to organize the project artifacts and
inform you of the same when it is done
This is somewhat an Indian construct. It is better written
simply as: I will try to organize the project artifacts and inform you when
that is done
2. Do not write or say, “I have some doubts on this issue”
The term “Doubt” is used in the sense of doubting someone – we
use this term because in Indian languages (such as Tamil), the word for
a “doubt” and a “question” is the same.
The correct usage (for clients) is: I have a few questions on this issue
3. The term “regard” is not used much in American English. They usually
do not say “regarding this issue” or “with regard to this”. Simply use, “about this issue”.
4. Do not say “Pardon” when you want someone to repeat what they said.
The word “Pardon” is unusual for them and is somewhat formal.
5. Americans do not understand most of the Indian accent immediately –
They only understand 75% of what we speak and then interpret the rest.
Therefore try not to use shortcut terms such as “Can’t” or “Don’t”. Use
the expanded “Cannot” or “Do not”.
6. Do not use the term “screwed up” liberally. If a situation is not
good, it is better to say, “The situation is messed up”. Do not use
words such as “shucks”, or “pissed off”.
7. As a general matter of form, Indians interrupt each other constantly
in meetings – DO NOT interrupt a client when they are speaking. Over the
phone, there could be delays – but wait for a short time before
8. When explaining some complex issue, stop occasionally and ask “Does
that make sense?”. This is preferrable than “Do you understand me?”
9. In email communications, use proper punctuation. To explain
something, without breaking your flow, use semicolons, hyphens or
As an example:You have entered a new bug (the popup not showing up) in the
defect tracking system; we could not reproduce it – although, a
screenshot would help. Notice that a reference to the actual bug is added in
paranthesis so that the sentence flow is not broken. Break a long
sentence using such punctuation.
10. In American English, a mail is a posted letter. An email is lectronic mail. When you say “I mailed the information to you”, it means you sent an actual letter or package through the
postal system. The correct usage is: “I emailed the information to you”
11. To “prepone” an appointment is an Indian usage. There is no actual
word called prepone. You can “advance” an appointment.
12. In the term “N-tier Architecture” or “3-tier Architecture”, the
word “tier” is NOT pronounced as “Tire”. I have seen many people
pronounce it this way. The correct pronunciation is “tea-yar”. The “ti”
is pronounced as “tea”.
13. The usages “September End”, “Month End”, “Day End” are not
understood well by Americans. They use these as “End of September”, “End
of Month” or “End of Day”.
14. Americans have weird conventions for time – when they say the time
is “Quarter of One”, they mean the time is 1:15. Better to ask them the
15. Indians commonly use the terms “Today Evening”, “Today Night”.
These are not correct; “Today” means “This Day” where the Day stands for
Daytime.Therefore “Today Night” is confusing. The correct usages are: “This
Evening”, “Tonight”.That applies for “Yesterday Night” and “Yesterday Evening”. The correct
usages are: “Last Night” and “Last Evening”.
16. When Americans want to know the time, it is usual for them to say,
“Do you have the time?”, which makes no sense to an Indian.
17. There is no word called “Updation”. You update somebody. You wait
for updates to happen to the database. Avoid saying “Updation”.
18. When you talk with someone for the first time, refer to them as
they refer to you – in America, the first conversation usually starts by
using the first name. Therefore you can use the first name of a client.
Do not say “Sir”. Do not call women “Madam”.
19. It is usual convention in initial emails (particularly technical) to
expand abbreviations, this way:
We are planning to use the Java API For Registry (JAXR).
After mentioning the expanded form once, subsequently you can use the
20. Make sure you always have a subject in your emails and that the
subject is relevant. Do not use a subject line such as HI .
21. Avoid using “Back” instead of “Back” Use “ago”. Back is the worst
word for American.(for Days use “Ago”, For hours use “before”)
22. Avoid using “but” instead of “But” Use “However”.
23. Avoid using “Yesterday” hereafter use “Last day”.
24. Avoid using “Tomorrow” hereafter use “Next day”.