It’s always good to know many languages, more so the one if you happen to live in the land of the native speakers. So, I have been taking some initiative to learn Kannada. It seems to be a sweet language and easy to learn, I hope.
When my friends and I were meant to undergo training in B’lore, we had an interest to learn Kannada. It was an urge more out of curiosity than out of necessity, because Bangaloreans seem comfortable with Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi since Bangalore is a cosmopolitan with a multi-lingual population.
I have been asking two of my colleagues to teach me Kannada. I help one of them with Tamil in return. Unlike me, who has no knowledge of Kannada, she already has some understanding of Tamil, so she picks up fast.
I have been making considerable progress (I choose to believe so :)). I have always heard that the best way to learn a language is to speak it; as often as you can and with whomever you can. And that was the theory.
One fine day, two of my friends and I boarded a bus. We had to get down in a bus stop, different from our usual one. Since we didn’t know where exactly to get down, I told the conductor ‘Stop Inform Maadi’ (implying, do inform when the stop arrives).
The conductor must have thought I knew Kannada. He started speaking too many sentences, too fast in Kannada. I didn’t understand one word. I was looking at him with a blank expression on my face. Some people in the bus started staring in our direction.
It was embarrassing enough. To add to it, my friends started laughing, looking at me. And that conductor seemed persistent. He asked me some questions. I just stayed mum. He continued talking in Kannada, as he distributed tickets to others also. He went on saying something looking at me, even after we got down from the bus, till it left.
My friends kept laughing at me the whole time, and long after we got down. Anyways, I know. I have only me to blame :)......It was later that I understood that he merely wanted to say that the stop is close by, so go and stand near the door now itself. I keep telling myself, it should all be taken in a good spirit :)
So, nothing should deter me from using the language. I cant help thinking that it takes so much effort to learn one extra language.….. Phew!! I really wonder how some people excel in so many languages. I remember reading somewhere that Jackie Chan knew about six languages; it is truly fantastic!