blogitto ergo sum

July 18, 2010

I Study Hindi & Bharat #2

Filed under: Uncategorized — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 23:12
Tags: , , , ,

Once again I am starting a journey to yet another culture, language, people, customs.

One would assume that working closely with as many Indians as I have for the past 4.5 years, I’d know a thing or two about India, Hindus, Hindi… and yet, only today I learned that this big country is called, as a matter of fact, Bharat.  Feeling ignorant #1.

Jawaharlal Nehru

My deep dive into Bharat starts with: “India is a land of contrasts, of some very rich and many very poor people, of modernism and medievalism . . . India is not a poor country.  She is abundantly supplied with everything that makes a country rich, yet her people are very poor.”

Jawaharlal Nehru, 1944 and still so true.

The alphabet.  It’s not only the number of consonants and vowels.  How many rules can one language have for one letter?  Apparently a lot.  If it’s silent and in the middle of a word you write only half letter; the shape the “half” will take is determined by the neighboring letters.  For Hindi-sake, when you write English script I can’t read your greeting cards or the notes you leave on my desk, and that’s for a language I’ve been studying and using for how many years?! …   I can’t get this language, help me!

You can always trust your friends to challenge you.  This one challenged my “I can’t get this language”, “this is the hardest language I ever learned [tried]”, “I’ll never get reading this language into my head”. . .   The advantage of learning with and from your friends is that they know you, and more importantly, know how and when to push you.  So by the end of today’s lesson, against my [very vocal] doubts and protests, I managed to not only pronounce some words, but also read them, though with the help of the cheat sheet and some elimination process.  Thing is, I can do it.  @ The end of the lesson, part of my thanks for the lesson and encouragement was feeling ignorant #2.

Diving into Hindi study, I assumed that the space & # of books and study aids in the language section [@ the bookstore] would reflect [to some extend] the popularity of the language among the local demographics; reflect the # of speakers.  Oh, how ignorant I am #3.  It comes at no surprise that Spanish is #1, but French, Italian and German being ahead of Hindi?  How so?  I don’t really feel ignorant, I’m puzzled.  What language are the kids supposed to speak to their grandparents, aunties, uncles, nephews and nieces?

You tell me.  Or better yet, please point me to the book store which caters to the Hindi-ignorant needs.

BTW, I’m not ignoring Chinese; got it covered. You need not worry.

Clipart resources:

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