Though this is my third south Indian state,I never felt the need of learning the local language as much as I felt its need in my stay in Chennai.
Yes,people…before Chennai I have stayed in Hyderabad and then Bangalore,however in both these cities,I never felt the need to learn Telugu or Kannada respectively as much as I felt its necessity in Chennai.
Nevertheless,I have interest in learning the languages and somehow I manage to catch the meaning of languages,if I listen to it with concentration.And I am thankful of my knowledge of Sanskrit,learnt in school.Though I never scored great in it… :P…And I still remember what our Sanskrit teacher used to say about power of Sanskrit knowledge.
Snap!coming to present times or better to say starting from period of my entry in south India…on my rendezvous with languages Telugu,Kannada and at present Tamil;
I always wanted to learn these languages,however could not learn them to be make fluent use of them.
I remember pestering few of my college friends in Hyderabad to teach me Telugu and in fact they taught me too.First thing I learnt was counting numbers in Telugu…ookati,rendu,mudu,nalgu…. :)then some sentences like…,”what is your name?”..it’s translated as “nee peru enti?”;”bagunara”, “bagunawa”,”matladtadu”,”ivu”,”chappu”,”nidrostundi”,”kuchchu”…and the famous “Entraa!” heard in college days!
Our college had good mix of people from different states and life was easy with Hindi and English and some times the indigenous local Hyderabadi Hindi…”Sahi boltun na!” 😀
However,gradually the initial interest in learning the language,became less and also one of my Telugu friend in college said,she should not teach me any more Telugu,as they will then not be able to speak anything and everything in Telugu when they were in my room with my room-mate 😦 Though they still do not know I somehow managed to understand the gist of their conversation 😉 😛
Some Telugu sentence which I still remember…
Neeku telugu vachchaa/thelusa?
Do you know telugu?
Meeku telugu vachchaa/thelusa?
Do you know telugu? (to elders)
Naaku telugu raadhu/thelidhu.
I don’t know Telugu.
Em chestunnav? (‘Emi chestunaru’ is more formal)
What are you doing?
Nee peru emiti??
What is your name?
Hitech city ki vasthava?? (To ask an autowala)
Will you come to Hitech city?
Inka okka sari cheppu
Tell once more
After Telugu it was time for Kannada…yes though in Bangalore,language is not much of problem,and in my group in Tech Mahindra,most of them being Kannada,they would though not let me feel out-of-place by speaking in Kannada when I am there,but some how I tried listening to their conversation,and gradually learnt quite lot of Kannada…
Some of sentences I learnt in Kannada…
What is your name?…Ninna hesarenu?/ Ninna hesaru yenu?
What…Yenu?
Your..inna
Name…Hesaru
Did you have your lunch?…Oota madhidheya?/ oota aayitha?
How are you?…Hegiddhiya?/ Neenu heghiddhiya?
I am fine…Nanu chenagiddene.
Why are they late for the meeting?…Avaru meetingige yaake thadavadharu?
How did you come?…Neenu hege bandhe?
And the latest experience of being in Chennai,the need of knowing Tamil is felt when I have to negotiate for an auto,when I have to buy something from a local grocery shop,when I have to order for my evening snacks in office,when I have to ask for some help in finding an address,when I have to instruct my maid for something,when I have to….Yes!it is a never-ending list…Though I do not have much of Tamil speaking company here,I started learning Tamil;just for your information my room mates are Mallus and I am sure by the time I leave this place,I would have learnt Malyalam too 🙂 😛
Coming to my a b c d of Tamil…It starts daily in morning with me trying to get an auto…I use names of places without using any other word in English or Hindi or Tamil,Thank God! names of places are the same in all languages…Then I say “evaalavu”,which means “how much”;then if the auto fellow gives some numbers…Thank God!till date all of them used English number system or sign language,and then if I feel it is more,I say “Anna!  jyasti”…means “Brother! it’s more”…then I say,”Anna fifty sollunga!” which means “Brother! say fifty”….Phew!this is how I get an auto and then “Néraa ponga! Idathu/Valathu thirumpunga”,which means “Go straight! then turn left/ right!”…I hope none of auto walas read this ;)…but I feel they are smart enough to make out I am not Tamilian…
Few more sentences I learnt in Tamil…
Good/ Bad/ So-So…Nallathu / Mosam / Appadithaan.
Big/ Small…Periya / Chinna
Today/ Now…Indru / Ippothu
Tomorrow/ Yesterday…Naalai / Nétru
Yes/ No…Amaam / illai
Here you go! (when giving something)…Indhaa.
Do you like it?…unakku idhu pidikkuthaa?
I really like it!…Enakku idhu romba pidikkuthu.
I’m hungry/ thirsty…Enakku pasi / thagam irukku.
In The Morning/ Evening/ At Night…Kalaiyil / Maalaiyil / Rathri (or) iravil
This/ That. Here/There…Idhu / Adhu. Ingu / Angu
So here I am ‘Jack of many…read 5… languages…master of none!’
And friends,as if this was not enough,I still want to learn few foreign languages!
Lets see when I will be able to do it…. 🙂