A lesson or two in language love

A lesson or two in language love

It was in 1996 that this Danish man was bitten by the Kannada bug, on a visit to Bangalore. And his Kannada has got better and better after that.  

Hendrick Herdeman’s passion for the language has become so strong that it took him only a week to learn the Kannada alphabets. 

Herdeman who made Bangalore his home, post 1996, moved to Mysore 14 months ago. Reason: The Kannada in the metropolis is not pure and the lingo in the State’s cultural capital is still unadulterated. 

The 48-year-old has become a crusader for puritanical use of the language, in that he censures Kannada writers if they advertently or inadvertently use too many English during the storytelling session ‘Kathe Kelona Banni,’ organised in Mysore every Saturday and which he attends without fail. 

Herdeman does translation work, a passion with him, for his livelihood. He is so determined to master Kannada that he has bought dictionaries to learn the meanings of words and their etymology. He has already read works of several writers in Kannada, including ‘Mookajjiya Kanasugalu’ by Shivaram Karanth, ‘Kallu Karaguva Samaya’ by P Lankesh, and most of Kuvempu’s plays.


But Poornachandra Tejaswi is Herdeman’s favourite and has taken a liking for the character of Mandanna in Tejaswi’s play ‘Carvalho’. He has also read ‘Jugari Cross’ and ‘Chidambara Rahasya,’ authored by Tejaswi.

The Danish man is impressed by the fact that Tejaswi’s language is down to earth, unlike his father Kuvempu, whose works have a significant influence of Sanskrit.


The increasing Anglicisation of Kannada worries Herdeman, a danger to which even pure-bred Kannadigas have no clue about. At home, however, he is forced to speak in English as he is married to Angelina, a Marathi woman. 

At the ongoing Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in Madikeri, mediapersons could just not stop going gaga about his love for Kannada. He had hogged the limelight at last year’s literary conference in Bijapur as well.

Liked the story?

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0

  • 0