When we lived in Bangalore in Pottery Town in the late 70s, our houses were quite close together. Almost every evening, after school and after a snack, my neighbour Anita and I chatted for an hour or so. Her parents were stricter than mine were, and she could not come out of the house to speak with me, but spoke to me through the window of their dining room. I would sit perched on the wall separating our houses. In order to keep our conversations private we spoke in P Language.

It takes a while to get the hang of it and I suspect that small children take to it much faster than can adults. You’ve got to break up every syllable into two and insert a ‘p’ consonant sound in the middle.

The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath

in P language would be:

The-pe quapa-lipi-tipy op-of meper-cipy ip-is nop-pot stra-pained
Ip-it drop-op-pe-peth ap-as the-pe ge-pen-tiple rep-pain frop-om heape-vepen
Up-up-pup-on the-pe pla-pace bipin-nip-eath

It is that easy. 🙂

Well, it looks difficult and sounds even more impossible. But really, it is easy to speak it, once your brain learns to recognise the syllables in your sentences. It is a bit harder to understand P language than to speak it because one has to learn to listen and get the brain to decrypt it–to remove the ‘p’ and unite the broken syllable–but even this is soon accomplished. In the 70s many school children in Bangalore were experts at this. I am sure some of them may google ‘P Language’ and get to this blog and feel good that this language has been given due honour.

Looking back at the chirpy conversations that ranged from subjects silly to most profound that Anita and I had, the only thing I am sorry about is that we annoyed our moms with hours of what must have sounded like nonsense.

[It is interesting that this post gets so many hits from Google Search. I will try to record a ‘P-Language Basics’ lesson and upload it as an mp3 here. Please be patient. ]