'Local language is important'

'Local language is important'

Learning kannada

'Local language is important'

Passionate: Many expats in the City have been making an effort to learn Kannada.

While on one hand, with fewer people speaking Kannada in the heart of the City, the love for the State language seems to be narrowing down; there also exists a section of expats in the City, who are learning Kannada with great passion.

They say that once they decided to make Bangalore their home, it was but natural for them to learn Kannada.

In a time and age when many youngsters are enamoured by foreign languages and don’t mind paying any amount to take up crash courses in the City, these foreigners opt for classes in spoken Kannada instead. Speaking to Metrolife, many of them say that what really pushed them to learn the language was the fact that they found a home in the City.

Margaret Nakra, who moved to Bangalore from Germany almost 20 years ago, says that she got a better insight into the culture of the City when she picked up the language. “I got married to a North Indian and knew Hindi very fluently. It was when we decided to make Bangalore our permanent home, I felt that it was important to know the local language. I went along with a friend for a crash course in Kannada and slowly, picked it up and began to use it in the markets and even in my estate in Coorg,” she adds.

BV Raghavan, who takes Kannada classes in Hosmat and occasionally at Alliance Francaise, says that he is overjoyed when he sees people keen on learning the language, especially if they are foreigners.

“They are like an inspiration to others,” he says. “Their reasons for learning the language are very interesting. While some people want to know about the culture out here, there are others who come here on project work for a year or two and still make an attempt to learn the language so that they can use it for as long as they stay out here.”

Anna, who had come to City from United Kingdom for sometime, says that learning the language helped her get around the City.

She even found it strange that many people, who have been living here for years, didn’t know the language.

Agrees Luba, from Russia, “I decided to learn Kannada after I got married to a South Indian and decided to settle in Bangalore. It is only natural to know the language of the State your are living in. But I saw so many Indians, who have been living here for years, coming for the classes. I never got the courage to ask any of them about it though.”

Reading and writing is not something all of them can do but they say that speaking few simple sentences has helped them get around in the City. Though she has gone back to her country now, Anna still remembers many of the sentences. “It was challenging at first. I have forgotten how to read and write but I can still manage few simple sentences,” she adds.

While Luba says that she gets to practise the language, thanks to her supportive family out here.“I have a passion for languages. Hence, I found it very easy to pick up Kannada,” she explains.

No doubt listening to foreigners speak in Kannada is not a common sight. But it’s a move that has been welcomed by many.