Vantage point

Thursday, July 15, 2004

How to Learn Kannada in One Second

If some of my colleagues are to be believed, you can learn Kannada even faster than you learn Bengali. To speak bengali, all you do is use words from English or Hindi, but speak them with a heavily pronounced lisp. The bengali I have spoken thus has been understood by all my Bong friends. However, then do not seem responsive when I ask them why they keep talking about their goldsmith's bungalow (sonar bangla?). Anyhoo, the point of focus here is Kannada.

So yes, a few colleagues of mine hypothesize that Kannada is the same as Hindi or English....all you need to do is add an "aaa" sound after every word, and a "vaa" sound within the words.

So "My name is Gaurav" in kannada becomes "Myaa nameaa isaa Gauravaa".

I haven't quite bought into this hypothesis, because of a tiny incident that happened some days back.

A group of us IBM-ers were standing outside the office, with the intention of going to Forum in Kormangla. The few rickshaw-wallahs there did not seem to grasp what we were saying.

IBM-ers - "Forum?"

Rickie - "kannnadaaaaa gobbledegookaaaaaaaaa"

IBM-ers - "Forum Kormangla?"

Rickie - "someaa moreaa kannadaaaaa gobbledegookaaaaaaa"

And so it went for a few minutes. That's when an esteemed colleague of ours came out of the office and joined the group. He took stock of the situation, and waved everyone aside saying "Let me handle this. I can get through to them."

Then, moving his hands like Murali bowling two doosras at the same time, he said

"Fvaaaaaaarrraaammmmaaaaaaaaa Kvaaaaaaaarrrraaamaaaaanggglaaaa......"pausing to decide that he should tell them it is a mall, he went on "Mvaaaaaaaaaaallaaaaaaaaa".

Our laughing was drowned out by the much louder guffawing of all the rickshawwallahs.

We eventually managed to coax a rickie into taking us there by the way.