Secret language of Bangalore kids in the 1970s

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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. ]

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33 responses »

  1. I was happy to see this blog. I learned the ‘code’ growing up as a teenager in the 80s and it came very naturally to me. I guess it is another one of those skills that you never forget because after decades of non-use, it came right to me without any problem. Thanks for posting this. Hope we get more contributions.

  2. Thanks, just searched “p Language’ and found this. Thanks for givin the language some honour. I Just learnt about it in the 2000s but i cant speak although i can understand most of it. I would love if some one makes a software for this!

  3. Thanks! My son(8yrs) old wants to learn this P language. Most of the kids in his class and school bus speak in that language and he feels lost. As usual, in an attempt to rescue my son I googled. I’m thrilled to have found this post. It’ll be great if someone gives suggestions for learning this language

  4. Hey i was searching for p language nd kinda of stumbled upon it. My cousin used to speak it.i have a doubt though u insert the P after and sumtimes bfore thw vowels.How exactly does it work. it would be really nice if u could explain .Thank you

  5. hey, I request u to plz lemme know, how do u actually speak n understand it.. a li’l more in detail… thnx for evn dis much help though…. I hav an aptitude for langs n wen I master this lang, I’l surely let u know 🙂

  6. Hi Ppl.. I would love it if someone would pls lemme know, how do u actually speak n understand the P-language.. I wanna learn it completely. Please help.. Any information on this is appreciated and I will be thankful.. Mail me on vijay20091@gmail.com. Thanks well in advance.
    Regards,
    Vijay Makhija.

  7. 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.

  8. YPe yes it was a little…. secret we had @ home and school and its easy once you get the hang of it. pap pep pip pop pup.. and make sure you split every vowel right in the middle and add a p when you prounce a word its easier than done. Hopow apar youpu would mean how r u hope ive got this right…all the best gang will keep an epye on this page :>

  9. My friends and I speak the P-language people in our university do not believe us but who cares when its only between us. My grandma used to speak the g-language its similar to the P but we Arabs don’t have p in our alphabets.

    thpank ypou

  10. Ipin thepe goopoogple trapanslapator, yopou mupust apadd apa nepew lapanguapage. PP LAPANGUAPAGE. Wripite ipin epenglipish and trapanslapate ipin PP lapanguapage. (oponlypy fopor pepeopple whopo knopow pp lapanguapage)

    Thapanx

    Ripishapabh.

  11. I have been speaking ‘P’ forever, and the whole point of it was so we can speak secretly, why are you telling people how to speak it ??? What happened to keeping secrets, if everyone understands p then whats the point of it anymore.
    Nice story though…I speak 3 languages and I love speaking p in all of them, its just so much fun…

  12. Realy useful, as I was searching for it after a train travel where in I heard about P-language from 2 of the co-passengers(children). Thanks for publishing it in blog. looking forward to download your mp3 version.

  13. Supudepen nopostapalgipiapa !! Tried teaching my niece now. Googled and landed on your site. Thank you. Used to be prevalent in Anglo Indian Schools in the 70s.

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