Research Outline

Understanding "Walkabout" in France and India


Support the naming of a TV series by understanding the meaning of the word "walkabout" in France and India, with India being the priority.

Early Findings

  • India claims to be the world's second largest speaking country, second to the US. This is equivalent to 125m people and that number is supposed to quadruple over the next 10 years. However, that's only 10% of their population.
  • Hinglish is a uniquely Indian variant on English, mainly due to poor teaching standards and the unique position of first-generation English speakers. It relies heavily on the continuous tense and removes many articles like "the" or "a" - making comprehension difficult for when clarity or subtlety is necessary.
  • English is heavily class- and region-specific for India. According to the Lok Foundation, 3% of rural Indians speak English vs. 12% of urban Indians. 41% of well-off Indians could speak English but less than 2% of the poor could. An upper-caste person was three times more likely to be able to speak English than others. Also, more than 15% of Christians spoke English while only 6% of Hindus and 4% of Muslims did.
  • This is reflected in the regions where English is spoken. Rather than being linked to geography, where English might be used as a "bridge" language, it was linked to a region's prosperity or dominant religion. Accordingly, more English is spoken in places like Delhi, Haryana, Goa, and Meghalaya.
  • For families that predominantly speak English at home (making the children native English speakers), a different picture emerges. They are well within the top 1% of Indians economically. They are located in the top urban cities of India (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, with some in smaller towns or Goa. According to Quartz, there may be about 400,000 families in India that fall under this classification.
  • The dominant search engine in India is Google, with a 98.5% market share. The next competitor is Bing with 0.87% market share.
  • When using Google India, the first page results are split between official dictionary definitions and features on a 1971 movie called "Walkabout". There are also suggested movie categories as further searches at the bottom of the page. These are "Aboriginal Australian movies", "Boy movies", and "Adventure movies".
  • Based on the above results, the majority of the findings for Google India are neutral. However, a results under the "People also ask" box clarifies that the term walkabout is derogatory.
  • Again using Google India, when searching for translations of "walkabout" into Hindi, several translations pop up but they mean "a walking tour." Note however that only 43% of Indians speak Hindi, and that definition includes several other mother tongues. Therefore, the translation and meanings may differ across languages and dialects.