Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#8 The languages

The language problem in India is something that will not be found anywhere else in the world.
English is spoken by the educated class, i.e the younger generation in general.
The older generation might speak a little English, but mostly the mother tongue.
The mother tongue might be different from the State language.
In my case, I was fluent in English. My parents were fluent in Telugu, my mother tongue.
Our maid servant was fluent only in Tamil. Most of the locals spoke only Kannada.
And some people who had settled down in city from North India spoke only Hindi.

My father once, while speaking on the phone, spoke a word that was a combination of two languages: Boloongo (a hybrid word from Boliye in Hindi and Sollongo in Tamil) that I couldn't stop laughing for quite some time after I heard that.
Puts the language problem in India in perspective.

What I love about America is that English is the only language you'll ever need to know...well unless you get real close to the Mexican border perhaps :)

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