It’s Just Another Language….

A very good friend of mine got engaged recently. He is from a conservative Madhwa Brahmin family from Southern Karnataka. He tells me that his mothers’ only requirement was that the girl be from a Madhwa family. He had a list of his requirements, nothing which you can’t find in most of today’s girls. So, he did find the right match and they are getting married next year.

It has been almost a month since the engagement. They met on a daily basis for around 15 days in India. After he flew back to America, they are in constant touch. He chats with her on Yahoo and talks on phone. My friend was visiting me last weekend and he told me that he and his fiancée have never talked in Kannada, not a word. It’s always been English. 

For one, I was shocked. I thought I knew my friend too well, and I didn’t quite understand why anyone would not want to talk in their mother tongue with their future spouse. He went on to tell me that the girls’ mother is from Raichur, her father’s relatives have connections in Maharashtra etc., and thus their extended families speak different languages including Kannada, Marathi and Hindi. The girls’ father is not alive today. He also told me that they speak 60% Kannada at home and rest English. I didn’t quite understand that as well. Why would a Kannada lady from Raichur talk to her children in English, especially when you still live in Karnataka ?

I am very straight forward. I think I am way too frank sometimes. Point blank, I asked my friend how his mother agreed to make this girl as her daughter-in-law when the girl had absolutely no inclination of speaking in Kannada. I am sure my friends’ mother cannot converse in English very fluently. My friend had no answer to that. He knows me too well. So, he knows the intentions behind my question. He had absolutely no problems with me asking that question. 

Anyway, I guess my friend probably started feeling the pinch of not talking in his mother tongue with his future spouse. He told me that he was talking to her on phone just before he came to my house. He suggested to her that from now on they should start talking in Kannada. Apparently, she responded by saying “You can talk if you want”. I wouldn’t read too much into her response. Maybe she was just joking, or half-joking.

I am very passionate about my culture, language and roots. I don’t quite understand why we want to suddenly stop talking in our mother tongue. If we don’t use our mother tongue, who will ? That’s the primary reason for a language to die. When you look at South India, I don’t see Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam in such a bad shape. Is it just Kannada or is it all Indian languages ? I don’t know, and that’s not the point. Speak your language at home. Love your language.

I know I am judging people here. I have no business to do that. People have their own priorities and choices. I am nobody to question that. But, he is such a close friend and I feel awful. I have the right to feel awful, just like he has the right to treat Kannada with scant respect. My heart is bleeding….

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58 Comments on “It’s Just Another Language….”

  1. Vittal Says:

    True – When we stop using a language, it marks the beginning of its slow death.

    I hate to say – it all probably started when native speakers started using English words in the middle of kannada sentences – often too many! I am not talking about ‘bussu’, ‘kaaru’ here. I am talking about ‘brother-in-law’, ‘neesu’ (niece) etc! Many cases, you find more English words than Kannada.

    There is a notion that English usage makes you look more educated and smart. Look at all those kannada TV anchors – My old ‘Doddamma’ doesn’t even understand half of them. What’s wrong with them? Are they not supposed to be channels of our culture and language?

    Everyone may not agree – But I feel we need to learn a lot from ‘Tulu’ and ‘Konkani’ languages. Both have a very small population to support them. No script or big funding to keep them alive. But they are very much alive due to native speakers. As you pointed out, when we feel passionate about our language and culture, we won’t feel inferior to use it.

    Key is to fight the ‘inferior’ mindset.


  2. Vittal said it – Key is to fight the “inferior” mindset.

    Once I came to Canada, so many people; can’t even count them on my fingers, have told me that you guys (Indians) are so fortunate to know so many languages. They ask me how many languages I know and when I say – read and write 3 (Hindi, Gujarati & English) and understand 5, to a smaller or greater degree, they are so surprised. They feel its so great, when they themselves just know one – English.

    However, when you go back to India, you are kind of expected to speak in English. I love the English language, btw, but it doesn’t mean you have to downgrade your mother tongue, or other languages. Today if you go to a trendy store, 5 star hotel or a hip restaurant, you are kind of expected to speak in English, even to the waiter. I don’t understand that. Why do we need to do that.

    DS, if it makes you feel any better, its not just with Kannada as you are thinking. I am not sure of South India, but its the same in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Some of my friends can’t even read Gujarati after studying Gujarati (albeit in an English medium school) for 10 years and speaking Gujarati at home. That is a sad state of affairs. I feel very passionately about this, just as you. What is even sadder is the fact that they feel proud to say, sometimes, that they can’t read Gujarati. Go to Bombay and all you’ll find is 20 somethings conversing entirely in English with a spattering of Marathi or Hindi or Gujarati.

    Look at any of the global portals for various countries. They are always in the native language. Chinese or German or Japanese or French or Italian, it doesn’t matter. But look at any global portal for India, its English. That is SAD!!!!

  3. Srik Says:

    As some say, Toomuch is too bad, and I guess thats why we’ve been shattered like this. India literally hosts too many languages, too many cultures and too many everything…

    Coming to the state of affairs with Kannada, I too share the same emotions as you DS, As I mentioned earlier in one of my comments either here or on OI’s blog, Development of a country or a place or a home would be based on its culture or basic values, not at the cost of the same. I still strrongly believe in it.

    When we bost of Kannada having won so many literary acolades, shouldn’t we ask how many of those legendary writers we know, at least by their works? We might just say Kannada must be supported and and when it comes to buying a book, buy an English novel, read English news paper at home…etc…

    I dont say we should get back to Kannada and forget about learning English, that would be foolish of me to say so. We should at least give it a priority in our lives so that we benifit ourselves with the works in both the languages. As many languages we know, its better for us right? To read, understand the literature and culture of the other languages as well so that we adopt the best ones in our lives.

    All said and done, DS, I feel really sorry for your friend!!

  4. Srik Says:

    You might also want to read the following experience of mine : http://srikslib.blogspot.com/2006/05/kannada-in-bangalore.html

  5. rk Says:

    annavru helida haage:
    kaliyokke koti bhaashe
    aadokke onde bhaashe
    kannada kannada

    very well written, d-stud. ask your friend and his fiance to KINDLY read this post.
    bahala bejaar aagtha ide kannadada ee sthithi nodi.

  6. Srik Says:

    One such small experience here.


  7. DS.. when you meet your kannada friend in office or some kannada utsava.. or when you meet a doctor in karnataka.. what do you speak in ?
    I would like to comment on this but first let me understand this one! More later may be tommorrow, its the major problem with US bloggers….

    I speak in English with my hubby sometimes, I speak in kannada with my in-laws, I speak no local language at work.. I speak in hindi sometimes with my north indians.. Recently I went to meet my gynechologist who is from davanagere & she spoke in english with me.. What do you expect me to do ? I softly spoke in kannada as much as I could but spoke in both the languages(I didn’t want to disrespect her).. When I was talking to other junior doctors, I spoke in kannada.. to one of the doctors who did a preexamination, I asked her.. Do you understand kannada.. She was from different state & I spoke to her in english…

    With all these, the junior doctors over there, thought I was an housewife… before I could even tell who am I & what do I do for life.. They asked me what do my husband do for life… I just said that..

    Recently, I went to a mobile vendor(Global access).. I was in Indian Attire(saree), holding an tarakaari bag in my hand.. I was talking in too technical terms & he was zapped! He was not ready to beleive I work for my company & I have travelled abroad! He was just a salesboy working for a mobile vendor.. I wanted to scold him like.. en ondu sales boy kelsa maadteeya isTella maataadteeyalla anta.. Ultimately what is that I was going to achive.. I was not interested to prove myself or my identity where this is no need! How does it matter to a doctor or a mobile salesman to know whether I architect my project at my office..

    I have still not concluded, let me come back tommorrow… I am glad that you take my comments so seriously & take out time to comment though many times it sounds challenging.. Thanks for visitng my blog & pls don’t miss to visit today! Pls come & fall in love…


  8. @ Srik:

    For a change, I don’t agree with the statement: “As some say, Too much is too bad, and I guess thats why we’ve been shattered like this. India literally hosts too many languages, too many cultures and too many everything…”

    Too many languages, too many cultures is what makes India what it is. I would not like to live in a country where the east coast is the same as the west or the north same as the south. In India it literally feels like you’re in a whole new country as soon as you cross a state border. I love that. Its a pity though that everyone is trying to talk down others (cultures, languages etc) in trying to prove their own greatness. Sorry for going off topic a little bit, but I had to comment on that. 🙂

  9. decemberstud Says:

    @ Vittal :
    Yes, the ‘inferior’ mindset needs to go. But, I fail to undertand how that gets started at the first place. And, yes, I am one other person who does not agree with your ‘Tulu’ and ‘Konkani’ examples. I fear that these languages are dying faster. I know so many Tuluvas who have conveniently shifted to Kannada. I have read that the German missionaries used Kananda script for Tulu in 19th century and after that Tulu script never took off. Any language is richer due to the script. Talking the language keeps it alive for a while, but writing streches it much longer. That’s my firm belief.

    @ OI :
    Same question which I asked Vittal. What is the root of the ‘inferior’ mindset ? You think Britishers instilled it in us ? Even so, it’s been a long time since the Britishers left and I see more love for English now than ever. And yes, I love English language and have absolutely no problem using it, but NOT at the expense of my mother tongue. You are so right – I fail to understand the ‘requirement’ to speak in English at a trendy store or a hip restaurant. Here’s my own experience. When I was in India a few months ago, I went to this nice place called ‘Garuda Mall’ in Bengalooru. I spoke in kannada with everyone from the bellboy to the salesman to the cashier. Nobody had any problems talking in Kannada with me. Infact, one guy spoke Kannada in a heavy Tami accent. Some of my friends were surprised that I managed with just Kannada in ‘Garuda Mall’ and I failed to udnerstand why.

    It does not make me feel any better (I bet you know that), that Gujarati is in the same state. I just took Kannada as an example in this post, since that is my mother tongue. But, this post is really more generic. But, I am quite surprised that you included Marathi in the list. From what I have heard, outside Mumbai, Maharashtrians are extremely passionate about their language and culture. You probably know better than me about Maharashtra, but that’s just a few thigns I ahve ehard from arbitrary people.

    @ Srik :
    I disagree with your first paragraph. The fact that wwe have so many cultures and languages and yet so coherent is the greatness of our country. You don’t see that very often and hardly any other country is as colorful in terms of variations in culture. That is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact that is our strength. I do agree with everything else you have. And, you are so correct, the development of a country is so based on it’s culture and basic value system. We cannot afford to lose that. As you have rightly pointed out, love your mother tongue first. Then, learn and love more and more languages. That’s always healthy.

    @ RK :
    Thank you very much. But, I don’t know if I really want to ask my friend and his fiancee to read it. Do you think they will even understand the essence of this post ? Maybe they will, but I bet the fiancee will start hating me even before meeting me 😉 I cannot afford to risk my friendship. He is too close a friend.

    @ Veena :
    I speak in Kannada with all my Kannadiga friends at office (obviously not when there are non-Kannadigas with us).
    I speak in Kannada with everyone at Kannada Utsava.
    I speak in Kananda with doctors in Karnataka.

    And, yes I am a US blogger and I don’t see any major problem here. I can take a bet that my love for Kannada is so much more than several people in Karnataka. Why would it matter just because I am in US ?

    And, here’s my take on your other comments:
    I don’t see anything wrong with you speaking in English with your husband ‘sometimes’, the last word being the key.
    Nobody is expected to speak the local language in a multi-national firm where employees come from different parts of the country.
    But, if you speak in Hindi with your North-Indian friends at work, I see that as a problem because I still hate the fact that i was FORCED to choose Hindi over Sanskrit when I went to a CBSE school. You may disagree. But, I honestly believe that forcing a language is as abd as trying to convert peopel from one religion to another and killing a culture.

    Yes, I have gone to your blog and fallen in love 🙂


  10. @ DS:

    I don’t know what/who instilled this inferior mindset in us. This is a question that has kind of boggled me for sometime now. Somehow, for some unknown inexplicable reason, youngsters in India seem to think adapting everything western/american is a step forward. I will once again quote Ellen Glasgow here: “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward”. I don’t know where or how this came about. Accountability, openness, civility and all those things in the west should be adopted, I know, but adapting everything blindly without objectively analyzing is rather foolish, to put it mildly.

    I love English too, but I fail to comprehend the meaning of “not at the expense of my mother tongue..”. That makes it sound like we are given a choice between “english” and “our mother tongues”. I would not want to be in that spot, making such a choice and it also kind of degrades “English” when you say you will be making a choice of “your mother tongue” over “English”. That is not fair to English as well. Sorry for going off topic, this post was about Kannada…or rather our “mother languages”.

    I know it doesn’t make you feel better about the state of Gujarati as well. You took it in the wrong context. What I meant to say was, it is not just the case with “kannada” as you were wondering. I wouldn’t feel good about any language, not just in India, anywhere in the world, being lost in a maddening rush to embrace something new.

    Yes, a few Maharashtrians are quite passionate about their language – but I’ve been to Aurangabad, Pune and Mumbai and I’ve seen nothing different. I am talking more of the young generation though. The local languages are becoming extinct, to a certain extent, which only a spattering of local words thrown in an otherwise completely English communication.

    We’ve even managed to come up with the word for a new language that film stars, especially, speak – Hinglish.


  11. DS , when I said problem with US blogger is that I need to wait for one day to see their reply to my comment!.. Comma separations are so important.. Read my entry again…
    I said I speak in Hindi with my North Indian friends, I never said I speak at office. One statement also said, I never speak any local languages at work, local languages actually included hindi also 😉
    Forcing to take hindi.. Hmmm.. I disagree, asTidre CBSE yaake odbekaagittu ? you could have joined a state syllubus na..?? I agree with your forcing logic completly.. what are we doing by bring the Sarojini Mahishi rule.. I would appreciate the way NASSCOM is working.. Its creating a NationalSkillsRegistry & we are all registered there.. I am in a tech panels in our company interviews, my dad would not like me if I select somebody just because he belongs to kannada naaDu.. when we hate so much about caste reservations.. can we really like this reservations regarding kannada language ??

    One Question to you finally… There is a way you can write in kannada.. you can have a kannada blog… Why the hell are you typing in english.. 😉

    I am very happy to see you talking in kannada at all relevant times! I appreciate it.. Thanks for visiting my blog.. do it often, atleast once in a day!
    RK’s comments are always very short & witty.. I like his way of even arguing…He wins heart so quick!!
    Did you notice on thing in your response which spoke about Risking your friendship.. its controdicting the way you started your post.. RK told me yesterday that I am well suited for the post of lawyer… 😉 it should atleast bring in a smile on your face.. Wasn’t it?
    I liked the way you responded to Srik’s comment, I was thinking in those lines too..

    I have still not concluded, Let me do that the last comment, may be in another few days.. This comment will certainly grow like a hanuman tail…

  12. vin Says:

    this is the sad state of kannada… I have seen this only with kannadigas…
    in a team if there are 4 tamilinans, 4 kanadigas and 4 Telgu guys…. the telgu guys converse in telgu amongst themselves, tamilians converse in tamil.. but Kannadigas converse in English… no clue y is it like this… do kannadigas feel inferior talking in kannada???? they shud feel proud to talk….

  13. Srik Says:

    DS and OI,

    Please dont take me for wrong. I said it might be the cause.

    And yes, Im very much proud of being in a country where if I cross a road, I get to mingle with wide variety of people who are so different from me, but still makes me feel homely!! I bet you wont get so much colour and affection in any part of the world, apart from India.

    And about my point there, having so many languages and cultures, one has descended to be feeling inferior to other culture or language and that in wild sense has given raise to fundamentalism and an erge to prove that ‘my culture(language)’ is superior to others. To quote an example, some of the ‘north’ Indians now residing in Bengalooru believe that they are a fairer sect and are superior to the locals, and thus have started pushing their standards and values on the locals(aka Kannadigas). Which in fact has given rise to the fanatic Kannadiga environment. Sometimes back, there was a great amount of pressure on the Govt. to introduce some sort of reservation in IT companies for locals(!!!). Its all because of one race feeling they are superior and trying to impose ‘their’ culture on others. I donno where it would stop. Name change is one small effort of retaliation by Govt. against these. Hate it or love it, it is the case.

    Im not generalising here. Its the cause. Had India been a single linguial and single cultural country, we wouldnt have had such internal problems is what I meant, I didnt want to make a statement against the social set up of my country of which I take very big pride!! Hope I am clear now. “Ayyo!! Nanna apaartha madkobedi”…pls. 😉


  14. Lets not take examples like Telugu, Tamil etc., Its just another language, as DS told in his post.. sorry to hurt anybody’s sentiments here ;-(

  15. Srik Says:

    Veena agree or not, its the case. Eventhough we need not generalise the thing, here is a very popular joke among the SMSites recently :

    One who speaks in Telugu with a Teluguite and in English with others is a Teluguite,
    One who speaks in Hindi with an Indian and in English with a foreigner is a Hindiite,
    One who speaks in Tamil with a Tamilian, in Tamil with others is a Tamilian and
    One who speaks in Tamil with a Tamilian, in Telugu with a Teluguite, in Malayalam with a Malayalee and in English with a Kannadiga is a Kannadiga.

    How true Allwa?!!!!


  16. It really made me feel proud about all my kannadiga friends, we r so flexible isn’t it ? I am not too sure on the TRUE part of it. I had a tamil housemaid sometime back & I was hardly understanding her langauage, she learnt some kannada before she resigned 😉 Now I have a housemaid, she resigned from a tamilian house & joined our place .. One reason was we were speaking kannada at home! How nice alva?


  17. I think I read the last line fast.. English with kannadiga anthe.. enilla.. we have people like DS who is in US but still speak kannada with kannadigas I mean anivaasi kannadigaas(adivaasi alla okayna ;-))

  18. suparna Says:

    i agree… kannada is in bad state today . As i ve just shifted to bangaore, I see that , here most of the kannadigas talk to people from other states in their mother tongue !!!!!! where as it should be the other way … I feel if one has no respect for his/her mother tongue… he/she has no self respect too .. I see that tamil/telugu speaking people talk in their language ..and kannadiga s are very proud and happy to reply in that language !!! no wonder there is no respect nationwide also for kannada … I m glad you wrote such a good post … as u said , it starts at home …

  19. mouna Says:

    guess, this is the plight of kannada, that is discussed everywhere. having an education dosen’t mean that we forget our mother tongue. a tongue which has rich heritage, for god’s sake, we’ve our roots related to it.

    a postive note, i’ve seen b’lore change, people want to converse in kannada, radio stations host more kannada related programmes. what i’m saying may be something minisicule, but it does happen. at college, we’ve even thought kannada to a few non-kannadigas’ though a few show ignorance.

    it’s lovely to learn new language, an experience, to cherish…. this downslide does not make any sense….

  20. decemberstud Says:

    @ OI :
    That’s a brilliant quote from Glasgow, thanks for sharing. And, I think you read too much into my “not at the expense of my mother tongue” 🙂 What I meant was to encourage people to talk in their mother tonge at home, that’s all. I don’t want peopl to use English as a fashion mechanism resulting in the death of their mother tongue. That’s all. I promise, no ill feelings towards English at all 😉

    And, I totally understood your point on Gujarati. I did not take it out of context. I think I did not frame my response well, my bad, Sorry ! And, as for Pune, tons of people told me that it is loaded with Marathi and that Mumbai is the only city in Maharashtra which ‘lacks’ the Marthi pride. I really don’t know, I will just take your opinion into my database as well since you have actually visited the places.

    Hinglish…LOL…..isn’t that the language which Zee News uses ( or at least used to, long time ago). SAD !!!

    @ Veena :
    Thanks for clarifying the “US Blogger” issue. I didn’t read it that way.
    As for the school I went to, I am not sure I want to defend the reasoning behind going to that school here. But, I will touch upon it anyway. The school I went to was considered one of the best in the city at that time. it was the only CBSE school in the city at that time. There were very few people in each class (like 30ish) and the teacher-student relationship was excellent. Each of us knew all our seniors and juniors. My school was famous for encouraging students in cultural, literary and sports activities. No, we didn’t have any home work, we all passed until 10th standard and it was so much more than a school. And, I don’t see a reason why CBSE schools should force us to learn Hindi. My first language was Kannada for all 12 years inspite of being in a central school. I had a third language for four years of my schooling and I really hoped to learn some Sanskrit there. Anyway, I probably will write another post on this.

    And, thanks for shedding light on the NASSCOM thingy. I would love to hear more about it. Yes, you are so right about choosing the “most eligible person” irrespective of what his caste is or what his mother tongue is.

    LOL Veena….you want me to write in kannada, huh ? I know you are pulling my leg here. You, more than anyone else who visits this blog, know how much I write in Kannada and have seen different magazines and portals where my Kannada writings get published 🙂 I love to write in English as well. So, here it is.

    Oh, and on that note, being slightly anonymous helps. I wouldn’t have written this post if the entire world knew who I was. I definitely wouldn’t want my friend to come and read this post about him. I value the friendship too much. It is NOT contradictory to the post. I have never mentioned in the post that I am ready to lose the firendship. Yep, looking forward to more thoughts from you !!!

    @ vin :
    I am not so sure that this is only a problem among kannadigas. I do agree that other South indian languages are no that badly hit. Good for them. But, if you read OI’s comments, you will see that Gujju’s are not behind either.

    @ Srik :
    Thanks for the clarification. I understand your point better now. i am just curious what makes you think that there is a sect which assumes superiority over the locals. Any examples ? I am not questioning you, just curious. Also, I am very scared to see the Kannada chauvinism growing. On that note, I have to say that you have watched too much of ‘Golmaal Radhakrishna’ 🙂

    @ Suparna :
    Thanks for the comments. As you rightly point out, rescting your mother tongue is the most important thing. Irrespecive of what your mother tongue is – Kannada,Gujarati, Oriya or whatever – start at home. I hope people realize that. It amazes me why or how certain people are immune to the ‘love thy language’ syndrome.

  21. decemberstud Says:

    @ Mouna :

    It is so refreshing to read your comment. Little drops of water make an ocean. So, let it flow. Nice change in Bengalooru, huh ? And, I compeltely agree that it is truly an amazing to experience and cherish a new language.


  22. I was just talking to my cousin, who was born and raised in the US of A and she kind of understands Gujarati but can’t speak in Gujju. I had a long chat with her and she has started learning Gujarati. That pleases me no end…:)

    Thanks for the clarification on ” at the expense….”. I wasn’t sure of what you meant, that’s all. And you said it, this drift towards English is nothing more than a “fashion mechanism….”

  23. decemberstud Says:

    @ OI : Wonderful !!!!! That’s really sweet to hear. Every drop of water counts man and you have done a wonderful job. A few more comments from you, and I guess I will make a saint out of you :). Of course, you will have to stop using all the F-words 😉


  24. DS.. That was too good an explanation rather justification. My mother wanted me to admit to CKC the then famous school & also due to the peer pressure she had at that times. My dad said.. Odo makkaLu ellidru odtaare (I feel this is not right) & made me admit to school like saraswathipuram JSS.. Fortunately odo makkalu came true with my case.. there is always a WHAT-IF there..
    To tell you the truth, I used to just compit in kannada recitation competition during the intial years of my schooling though I belonged to english medium, that was just because the fear (or inferior) that I may be grammatically utter the wrong english sentences. So there comes the language barrier & the effect of it. The love towards mother tongue is okay boss but.. English is also a nice language & when you learn it, ninna janma iro tanaka upayoga aagatte.
    When my sister’s inlaws were booking their VISA appointment in US consulate, the kannada interpreters were not avaialable on the required dates for her atte. He maava somehow managed to talk in the US consulate & they got the VISA!! I remember when they were struggling so hard to make her learn english for just answering those Q’s!..
    When I talk to my nephew, I speak in english.. its not that I love it but I dont want him to be like me.. feeling inferior just because of a language.. Kannada recitation got me prizes every year, I was so keen on going to state atleast once in an year if not for anything but to receive a prize.

    It just happened yesterday.. I attended a 2 hour session on security in SOA architecture which was given by some Hi-Fi US guy.. I was given a nice gift at the end of the talk, its was not just me but for all those who asked some Q’s in the session! It need GUTS to throw a technical Q/business Q when you are sitting in a room housing some 100 members & the person who is giving the talk is some 25 years IT exp guy from one of the top 5’s called IBM.

    I shall talk about NSR offline, I spoke about this with seshadri also, he was pleased to know about this too. I admire your quality of accepting something good, not all debators have this.. I am looking at your new post now.. let me check it…

    HAPPY WORLD’s AIDS DAY DS! Bellur’s blog says something like .. Why take chance, pls pass this message to your lovely lady also 😉

  25. Vijay Says:

    Wow !!! Great post and wonderful comments !!!

    I like Sriks comment: ” One who speaks in Tamil with a Tamilian, in Telugu with a Teluguite, in Malayalam with a Malayalee and in English with a Kannadiga is a Kannadiga”… only thing is I’d change mine to “Kannada with a Kannadiga and English in a Group”….

    Somehow, I think thats what makes Kannadigas successful (we ARE successful). I don’t think its a weakness.


  26. Great Concluding comment Vijay! That says it all 😉 I stand second in the line! 😉

  27. mouna Says:

    change as in, some place have started appreciating the language, anybody who has a true conscious will obviously respect another language. respect in terms if conversing in the same, or even attempting to learn goes a long way… this is what i’ve been noticing in b’lore from the past few years, though i don’t know how many will agree with me on this note.


  28. You know what we are celebrating Kannada rajyotsava at work! I gave my list to the t-shirt thing, It will have something like ITkannadiga written on it. We have a website called ITKANNADIGA.com.. It needs authentication but ;-(

  29. some body Says:

    veena:

    what kind of pit is this “compit”? (you pulled my kannada leg, i now pull your english leg! and you are in more trouble, because vijay has used up his quota of “paapa”s)

    vijay:

    i read something similar to srik’s comment elsewhere too, and second it. yours is where i would like us to be, but currently, i think what srik says is correct.

    d.s.:

    your comment to o.i. was right on the mark. somehow his using those swear words takes the attention away from his argument!

    – s.b.


  30. @ SB:

    Sorry if you’re offended… but I never use the “F words” on someone else’s blog in a comment. When it is my blog though, it a different matter. Its your choice on whether to visit it or not… right?

  31. decemberstud Says:

    @ Veena :
    Thanks. I do appreciate your comments. And, you talking with your nephew is the basic argument I have in this post. That is what I disagree with.

    @ Saaaar : Thank you thank you 🙂 True, what you have said there. I do agree with “Kannada with kannadigas and English in a group” too. That’s what I follow. But, unlike you, I look at “Tamil with tamilians, Telugu with Andhrites” as a major weakness.

    @ Mouna :
    Be a Roman in ROme is the best principle to follow. If what you say is true, that’s indeed a refreshing change in Bengalooru.

    @ SB :
    LOL…don’t piss off OI, he is no saint, yet 😉

    @ OI :
    Oooops, I was late…you are already pissed off…..all in good fun mate 🙂

  32. some body Says:

    d.s.:

    from his comment, i guess i can do it here, but not on his blog. rotfl!

    – s.b.


  33. @ DS

    No I am not pissed off in any way man… there’s no reason as I see it. And I’d rather keep using those words, coz I sure don’t want you to label me a “saint” as you might end up doing if I stop using those words..

    @ SB

    Have fun.. I’ll let you have the last word.

  34. ravi Says:

    Most probably your friend’s fiancée would have been brought up in Bombay or Pune or … er… Bangalore( 😛 )!

    Most of the Madhwas from north Karnataka do end up learning or working in Bombay or Pune.

  35. Sanjay M Says:

    Apart from what everyone else has already voiced here about language and culture, I also find a cause for concern for your friend in question. I agree language and culture is important as an ideal, but there is something more important in day to day life:

    Speaking in the native language is a more natural and richer form of expression. Apart from occasional English conversations, speaking too much in English kind of becomes a hinderance in expressing depths of emotions and tone and esp misses informal jokes or proverbs. Beyond a certain extent, when compared to Kannada or even Hindi, English is sort of artificial and has serious limitations. It is a Western language – Westerners are relatively more intellectual and less emotional than us.

    Just for example, I cannot think of an English word that comes close to “aatmeeya“. Such a beautiful and vital word – the life and breadth of a relationship. But English is so limited in this aspect. “Intimate” comes close, but not really the same.

    In any relationship, communication is the most important aspect, esp to one as close as a spouse. The more natural the communication – the more true it is – the more depth it has. Perhaps its not impossible with English, but Kannada (or if not known, atleast Hindi) definitely has a positive influence and makes bridging the gap between the individuals much easier.

    Change may be difficult in the beginning – after all, English is so much more convenient. But only if they see the value, not just of the language, but its influence on their relationship, they will find the motivation to go through some inconvenience to realise its real advantages.

    In any case, best wishes for your friend for a happy married life! 🙂

  36. Sanjay M Says:

    It is a Western language – Westerners are relatively more intellectual and less emotional than us – that’s why we our communication sometimes feels crippled. Yet we would use the crutches of English than learn to walk ourself 😦

    Btw came here through Srik… nice blog 🙂

  37. decemberstud Says:

    @ SB : So, you wanna ‘use’ my blog….go ahead…LOL

    @ OI : I know, I know…So, did you have a blast yesterday ?

    @ Ravi : Thanks for visiting my blog. You got it right, she is born and raised in Bangalore 🙂 Well, from what I know the trend has changed. Most people from North Karnataka who used to migrate to Mumbai or Pune, now come down to Bengalooru.

    @ Sanjay : First, thank you for stopping by. Drop by more foten. All excellent points. Honestly, I am really really really concerned for my friend and this was my way of expressing my fears. I am sure things will calm down and everything will work out fine. But, as you said, your mother tongue is THE natural language of choice to express. I was talking to one of my friends who is from Dakshina Kannada. Her mother tongue is Tulu, but for all pratical purposes they speak Kannada with their son. She was mentioning to me the other day that when she gets angry with her son, she automatically starts shouting at him in Tulu. She is an excellent writer in Kannada, but look how shifts to her mother tongue when true emotions come out. That is a fact. You say English is ‘convenient’ and I guess that probably is true. But, I just cannot see how. maybe I am the one in need of a lecture 😉 Thank you for a very well thought out comment.

  38. Arun Padaki Says:

    Recently a friend of mine from Mysore married a girl who speaks Hindi. This was an arranged marriage. While this fellow speak attrocious Hindi, the girl is joining her pieces of Kannada. Nothing against them for not speaking Kannada or Hindi, the fact is that they can’t share a joke which both of them understand. I can’t stop myself from laughing when this friend of mine tries to decipher Hindi…Che paapa…Maybe over a period of time, Kannada and Hindi will see some improvement at his place.

    And for Kannada…don’t despair…enu aagolla kannadakke…things will get better. I have a feeling that everyone (Kannadigas and non-K) judge the language by the quality of movies that are made. And this is a very bad benchmark…


  39. DS.. pls feel free to disagree with(I actually missed out ‘sometimes’ this time!!).. We sometime need to agree to disagree. I have a good intention, It hardly matters about you disagreeing with the fact! Jai kannada maate. alla jai december stud pitha?
    I somehow don’t feel like arguing for the heck of it. I would like that harmonial way of doing things with postive thoughts, I admire Vijay for that., Language is another reason ashTe.

    I second Arun Padaki’s thought 100%…

  40. silkboard Says:

    Just as Vijay said. I too like Srik’s comment ”One who speaks in Tamil with a Tamilian, in Telugu with a Teluguite, in Malayalam with a Malayalee and in English with a Kannadiga is a Kannadiga”. Thats worth a quote. And to me too that is a big strength of this place (Bengalooru, and this state).

    Though the other thing Srik said – you are over thinking things a bit here. That blanket statement about migrants from North feeling they are “superior” has to be based on your isolated experiences. Ask around, and you will be surprised to see how much everyone appreciates the warmth and niceties of people of Bangalore.

    Diversity is may not seem like our biggest strength in modern times, but it is definitely something to be proud of.

  41. decemberstud Says:

    @ Arun :
    Thanks for visitng the blog. Yep, ‘communication’ is the key and I fail to understand how language is not a very important part of our lives. On that note, I am quite surprised that there are arranged marriages between Kannada and Hindi speaking families. That’s not strange, but quite rare. LOL…as for Kannada movies being a ‘bad’ benchmark, I would say it is ‘no’ benchmark…..If that were true, the language would be long dead. Well, I know I am exaggerating here.

    @ Veena :
    I LOVE to disagree, so don’t worry 🙂

    @ Silkboard :
    Thank you for dropping by. As I mentioned earlier, I completely disagree with the claims that it is a strength. IMO, it’s a very bad weakness. As for your other comment on “superior” mindset, I really don’t know if that is a norm and thus I was trying to ask Srik to give examples on why he feels the way he does. I tend to agree with your reasoning. And, your last paragraph sums it up very well. That is indeed the case.


  42. yaava kannada cinema nodidri saar recent aagi ?
    Amrithadhaare antha ondu movie ide, aadre nodi.. nimma wife kooDa nodi.. sakkat movie maatra…
    Cyanide, tananam tananam are the other movies that I liked a lot. the first one innu nodilla. Naayi neraLu , haseena ella nodbeku antha aase aadre elli nododu gottilla….

    bad bench mark houdu saar, adenu hubli, ramba, daasa, poojari, maasti the list grows & these movies help our kannada movies to be benchmarked to some extent, I mean in the negative scale! 🙂

  43. decemberstud Says:

    Yeah…isn’t “huDuga huDuga” from that movie ? There are certainly few good ones, but the bulk of them suck !!!

  44. Sanjay M Says:

    I meant ‘convenient’ in a cynical sense 🙂 i.e. its convenient for people who’ve become used to it – who’ve become dependent on it. They need to go through a bit of inconvenience to change their habit.

    Its like a microwave – imagine a person who’s used to eating readymade food from a microwave*. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes convenient to just pop in instant food whenever one is hungry. But only when one becomes sensitive enough to appreciate the value of freshly cooked food, one needs to go through the inconvenience of learning/practicing cooking to get better and richer variety, and stay healthy!

    * esp abroad, but nowadays we get such products in India as well from MTR, TastyBite, etc.

  45. Sanjay M Says:

    microwave is only an analogy – if taken apart by arguing that one can hire a cook / go to a restaurant is irrelevant.

  46. decemberstud Says:

    LOL…good analogy Sanjay. Sure, I get your point.


  47. Sanjay, No doubt you have a great convincing /negotiting skills. I am relly impressed.

    DS……………….. Fill in the blanks :-)!

  48. pram Says:

    Hello All,
    As a madhwa brahmin I woul like to say we are the one of the few kannada communities who are proud of thier mother tongue -kannada. We feel superior about the language unlike others, since we have lot of our saints who have written krithis and devara namas in kannada. I am a sw engr and I have observed that whenver there is a madhwa brahmin in a grp containing ppl who tlk difrnt languages, he does nt hesitate to tlk in kannada with his kannada frnds.
    Now to tlk abt kannadigas in general, I feel we were(are) forced to have a set up where we had(have to) live with other communities who spoke(speak) telugu, tamil..etc.
    This is because we did not have all skilled labour communities. For ex: Ppl who construct houses( They r there more in North karnataka), buisness communities like shettis( Telugu), Chettiars…etc
    So we had to depend on these type of ppl and mingle with these ppl for trade and other things from many yrs..This forced kannadigas to have a mindset where they welcome and live with ppl who are necessary for their day today life..Obviously this develops an inferiority feeling among some kannadigas.
    Solution: Encourage your relatives to do better. If you have any cousins ask them to study for IITs, show them direction so that they succeed. Ask your relatives to open buisnesses, go abroad to earn money…

    Rgds/Pramod

  49. Aram Says:

    I don’t know if like most other things in nature, blogposts too have an expiry date.

    It doesn’t really matter because my compulsion in commenting on this old post is just to express myself irrespective of whether I am heard or ignored.

    It is a delicious irony that this whole discussion on the need for using Kannada was held in English.

    The divine scheme of things is such that everything from a microbe to the mighty stars that shine is doomed, because the old has to cease to exist to make room for the new.

    If the mightiest of the languages namely Latin and Samskrita both of which fathered so many other languages could become extinct and a “bastard” of a language English could dominate the whole world, what fate can lie in store for a poor Kannada.

    We only talk eloquently about our love of Kannada and the dire need for us to nurture it only because it makes us happy doing that.

    Kannada is not my mother tongue and in fact I had to study it twice because I did not clear in the first attempt my Kannada paper in my basic graduation. This in spite of my having been born and brought up in Karnataka and studied in Kannada governement high schools upto tenth. I still think in Kannada as I have always done right from my preschool days, I love to read Kannada books and love to talk in my faultless Kannada. I also feel delighted to meet Kannadigas when I go out of Karnataka and even more delighted when I meet people who share my own mother and “father” tongues.

    However, I don’t see any point or sense in being fanatical about language. After all, it is only a medium of communication. Getting across our message clearly to our target audience is what really matters and medium is unimportant. I feel the Kannadigas including me know this very well though most of us know this and act instinctively. That is what makes us talk to people of other languages in their languages rather than in Kannada in contrast to our Tamil brethren.

    Whether we like it or not, in spite of our immeasurable love for Kannada, it is only a matter of a few centuries or even less than that before globalization gobbles up everything that loses relevance and usage.

    Thank God, and Kannada Bhuvaneshwari, we won’t last that long to see that happen. And our children and theirs won’t grieve at all at what is bound to happen.

  50. Aram Says:

    Kannada Mukhyamantri’s son stated that he could not read Kannada properly, so he did not know what was written in the complaint form filled up by the Police in Kannada.

    Orissa Mukhyamantri, one of the best in the country, does not know to read, write and probably even to speak Oriya

    In Kannada Rajadhani itself, it is joked that if you say Kannada, the response you hear might be Ennada.

    I saw two young boys who had finished BA and PUC in Mysore and Arsikere respectively in Kannada medium and did not know any other language could not write or speak Kannada itself properly.

    They would use Aadara for Haadara and Aasana for Haassana even in writing.

    Hope this is not how our ordinary schools groom tomorrow’s citizens.

  51. decemberstud Says:

    @ Pramod:
    Thanks for visitng the blog. I had missed this comment. Let me respond anyway. Ic ertainly do not agree that caste has anything to do with the love for the language. Just ebcause so many Madhwas wrote in kannada, in no way says that all Madhwas love kannada. I don’t see a caste angle at all. It is totally dependent on the individual.

    @ Aram:
    True, blogspots do have an unwritten expiry date. Lain and Samskrita “fathered” other languages, huh? Somehow I imagined them to be the mothers. I do agree with you that fanatics are sad creatures. But, it is quite sad to see the other extreme as well, as pointed out in my post, about my friend. Anyway, I do hope that all languages including Kannada will thrive and live forever. What is it again…Utopia, huh?

  52. Aram Says:

    The roots of many words in English and other European languages are from Latin, as can be found from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

    Bill Bryson’s Mothertongue is a delightful book tracing how English evolved in the U.S.

    Coming to Samskrit, even the pronouncedly anti-Samskrit Tamilians have Samskrita words in everyday Tamil. The grand old man of TN himself is Karunanidhi, his grandnephews who must have been born after the anti-brahmin agitation started were named Dayanidhi, Kalanidhi.

    Aandayya attempted to write his Kabbigara Kava in pure kannada in 1235 AD, “eschewing unmodified Sanskrit forms. But, even the word Kava is derived from the Samskrita Kaavya?

    I read somewhere that Samskrita was a much better language for computers.

    Another trivia is most active languages have several dialects for speech ( like a lady in sampada.net is ruing the misuse of Mangalore Maarayra style in Kannada movies),and that dialect which is the closest to the written (Graanthika bhaashe) language is supposed to be the most cultured and appropriate one. (The Mangalore Kannada).

    Bill Bryson says even the American English itself has several dialects and people from one area find it difficult to understand those from a different area.

    Probably, it is natural for the Amerigannadigas like you to feel nostalgic and crave for Kannada because of childhood and teenage memories.

    @Pramod:
    I have a madhva friend here who said his great grandparents migrated from North Karnataka and that their mother tongue was not Kannada but Marathi but after their settling down in the old Mysore praantya, they adopted Kannada. I am reminded of the theme in Vrumshavriksha.

  53. decemberstud Says:

    @ Aram:
    I am not sure I crave for Kannada, I just love the language and it is very much a part f me. I was like this even when I was in India.

  54. thomas Says:

    hey i m a mallu.. let me assure you.. it s not kannada that is in bad shape.. it may be that malayalam is spoken extensively in kerala. However hardly any young genereation mallu outside of kerala speaks in malayalam now.. well lats face it.. why carry out a conversation in a lang when the one who speaks and the one who listens are not willing to indulge in it

  55. rituaprna choudhury Says:

    actually i dont the language marathi but i am very much interested to learn.So here i really found an excellent way to learn this language…So please by sending me mails help me to learn this language

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