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Kannada Website to Launch Online Pronunciation Guide

Published: 29th September 2014 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2014 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

vasanth

BANGALORE: Two-year-old website Kannada Baruthe (iknowkannada.com), which helps non-Kannada speakers pick up the spoken tongue with pronounciation, is soon to launch a portal to enable native speakers learn how to read and write the language.

 Rudra Prasad N, a IT-sector employee and founder of the website, spoke at a panel on Kannadada Nava Roopantara: Rebooting Kannada for the Future, along with Vasanth Shetty and Sandeep K N on the concluding morning of BLF.

 During the discussion, he said that globalisation has led to migration, an in-flow of people into Bangalore who don’t know Kannada. And rather than lay responsibility at the government’s door or play the blame game, the migrants should be enabled, he added.

 To the point that the value of a language and its usage increase with the economic opportunities it opens up, Prasad responded with, “Germany, China, Japan -- all these are nations where their own languages are prominent — all have GDPs significantly higher than India’s.” Hence, a shift of focus in the website he runs, he explained, to also including tools to teach people to read and write in Kannada. Even among Kannada speakers, he observed, there’s a fear of the language when people are required to fill forms in government offices, and the latest development was partly inspired by personal experience, he shared at a more informal chat later.

 “I find it difficult too, and there must be many people in Bangalore like me who were educated in an English medium school. Sometimes in CBSE schools, Kannada might not even be an optional  language,” he said. And there are other pressures too, he added, admitting that languages like German and French are ones of global transaction.

 “We’re collaborating with a professor in Chitradurga, who has been researching on how Kannada can be taught effectively for the past 20 years,” he said. And this would, according to Prasad, involve reducing the gap between the textbook language and spoken tongue, and also between dialects.

 But would this not restrict cultural diversity? He replied, “The problem is that when it comes to dialects, people become emotional. We should be practical and pragmatic. Karnataka cannot become like Germany or Tamil Nadu. 

 “If the language taught at schools and spoken at homes across the state had been the same, one aadu bhaashe or spoken tongue, today Kannada would have been much stronger.” And that’s similar to what Chetan Bhagat and Robin Sharma have done with English, he concludes.



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