Language Woes

8 years back when I moved to Bangalore it was merely out of necessity than anything else. I had never stayed away from my parents or my home even for a night, so when this job meant I had to move out to a different state, I had no option but to take it on. For the naïve me back then, this city was nothing but hardships. Partly I am to blame for it. I made no attempts to befriend the change and then, there were so many issues I was forced to deal with on my own. Our memory plays a huge role in how we perceive a place. Based on my first few years at Bangalore, it was not a very good feeling.

Every time I went home to Chennai, someone would ask me playfully if I have learnt Kannada. What followed would be a long stare and how I don’t plan on learning Kannada, for I wanted to flee Bangalore. Life however had different plans. Before getting married, I tried my best to move back to Chennai and was literally heart-broken that it didn’t happen. One of my friends then told me how I would begin seeing Bangalore in a different light when I have someone I love next to me. I brushed off that comment as silly but how true it turned out to be! With S moving in with me, I started exploring the city more falling in love with it one bit at a time.

I soaked in the new traditions I learnt for every festival. I learnt new recipes of delicious local food, both cooking and savoring. Still I made no attempts to learn Kannada. There is absolutely no disrespect for the language or culture but it has been more of a convenient practicality. We live in a locality where Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi are well spoken, so we can easily get by talking either one of these. This was my easy way out for not learning a new language despite staying here for almost a decade. Last year I decided enough was enough and joined a 2-day Kannada class at work. For the next week or so, I practiced many words from the class hand-out but duly forgot all about it very soon.

One thing that stops me from actually conversing in Kannada is that I am super conscious. I know for a fact that my pronunciation is not correct, it shows that I am trying too hard and then I can’t seem to find the smallest of words at the time of need. I can infact read Kannada, what with the script being so similar to Telugu and can understand 80% of it but when it comes to talking, I am falling behind.

Wonder how my parents learnt Tamil in their first few years of moving to Chennai from Andhra! I so want to speak Kannada but somehow these classes are not working out for me. I don’t get to talk much to anyone in Kannada both at work and outside. What should I do?!

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23 thoughts on “Language Woes

  1. You should start speaking Kannada. Best way to start with house help. That’s how I started speaking Telugu. That is, it will be easy if you talk to anyone who knows only Kannada. For example, if you try to speak to your colleague in Kannada, you will try few words and obviously jump to English. So speaking to someone who can converse only in Kannada will help.

  2. I know the situation…am in the same situation. I went to classes to learn Kannada but don’t find people to practise..the only scape goats are the cab drivers…I come across😀😀

  3. Hats off for trying. I haven’t learnt gujju in 7 plus yrs of marriage. Also never learnt any other language in the places my dad was posted. Tamil, hindi and English were enough to survive. So impressed that you want to try atleast

  4. My husband is from Bangalore and I hear you when you say you don’t know how to practice Kannada because I have the same issue. There is hardly anyone that you can speak in Kannada with, because people in general understand English, Hindi and Tamil. And of course, fluency of any language improves when you speak more of it, so it’s a catch 22 situation 🙂

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