In India, “tell me”, or more appropriately, it’s Indian language equivalent is often heard as a typical phone greeting, sometimes before hello or any other greeting is said!
To many foreigners, and especially Westerners, this may seem odd. However, if we look at Indian languages, the translation of this phrase “tell me” can be said in a polite (formal), informal or a rude way depending on the form of the verb.
Because of this, for those who may tend to say “tell me” when answering the phone or as a conversation sparker during a conversation, I often request them to remove this from their vocabulary especially when speaking to native English speaking Western clients.
For more on this topic, listen to the podcast below.