Kannada – Language/fanaticism?


The other day a friend had called and I was talking in hindi. My FIL who happened to be there commented that I have to start talking to him in Kannada so that he will learn since he’s planning to settle here. For that moment i felt, in that case – I wouldn’t be able to make him understand what I am saying if I start off in Kannada! Later I thought…

Having grown up in Bangalore I have heard a lot of languages other than Kannada. Up
until I joined MCA – all my friends mainly spoke Kannada and it was the main language of communication. MCA – the crowd was mostly telugu-so my vocabulary improved. Once i joined work, there was a mixture of languages – hindi,telugu,tamil and malayalam. Hordes of people coming from all over India – and speaking their mother tongue. I had no problem with that. But their general complaint was that I talk in kannada with all my Friends who know the language! I was surprised – when they could continue to talk in their mother tongue ignoring those around them who do not understand the language they didn’t want me to talk in Kannada with my Friends. Why the bias? But I have noticed that most of us kannadigas even when we are together, or if someone else is with us who doesn’t understand the language we tend to talk in english since that’s the official language and we want to stick to ‘office ethics’ and also the other person doesn’t feel left out. But the minute 2 people talking in telugu/tamil/malayalam/hindi meet they start off in their own tongue not minding the place they are in or who they are with! Another general thing I hear is that they don’t feel the need to learn to talk in kannada – the shopkeepers/vegetable vendors/ auto drivers all talk to them in hindi/tamil/telugu – whatever language they talk!But it really irks me to think that ppl from everywhere else want to come to Bangalore and say they don’t see the need to learn the language or they DONT WANT to learn the language! “Why should we learn?” – they ask when we are getting everything without making the attempt.Their attitude irks me no end!

Yes, for me, language is just a means of communication – way to express my thoughts. I am no language fanatic and I do use hindi/telugu/kannada frequently in my conversations if I feel I can make my point clearer! Bangalore is being termed as a cosmopolitan city/friendly city for what?people like being here as they dont feel that they are outsiders. Has anyone gone to any place in TN? I bet if you are not a tamilian you will feel totally outcast! They speak only and only tamil!I am not against it-I only meant then you would be forced to learn the language! But hey! Blore doesnt make anyone feel that – thanks to all the kannadigas who welcome with open arms, make you feel comfortable and settled down by speaking your language – the reason why everyone feels Bangalore is “home”. So why cant all the people out there who live in Bangalore make an attempt to learn the local language?

I for one – have started speaking in kannada with anyone who speaks to me in their
mother tongue!- I am trying to do my bit to save my language. Jai Karnataka Maate!! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Kannada – Language/fanaticism?

  1. not sure I agree with u on that Rush… or more like I do agree but its all in the perception. while u felt that ppl in tamilnadu speak only tamil.. i felt that ppl out at b’lore were speaking only kannada… But I have had the same exp with friends and colleagues here who refuse to learn tamil after living here for almost 3 years and I have felt the same irritation with them.So I guess its the same everywhere, as long as u r the native in the place.I do wonder though if we would take pains to learn a new language if we had to settle in a new place… hmmm!!!!

  2. My 2 cents worth — and i beg to differ… first of all, no one shud communicate in any other language other than English at the workplace (atleast in IT and S/W), irrespective of the city and state…And secondly, think of Mumbai… there is no mention of Marathi in Mumbai… no one cares abt this fact and this is how it shud be… As long as one is in India, no one should be forced to speak in a particular language (native or not)… Its high time that the regional differences are forgotten…

  3. Okay, here’s the thing. This is my third stint in Bangalore. I come from a family where we speak 4 different languages, but none of them is Kannada. For the past 3 years, I have been hunting high and low to find a place that will teach me spoken Kannada but I have failed. If you know of any such place, please do tell me. My current level of Kannada is pretty functional but I want to learn more. Especially to read and write as well. Three cheers for our diversity.

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