Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One language for many

One language for many people...

In a country with at least 15 major languages, and hundreds of different dialects, you would think that learning to speak the language would be impossible, well, we're in luck because the Indian government decided in 1965 that Hindi would be the official language. So that makes it ALOT easier to learn a few words, not to mention alot easier for the 1.2 billion people living there to understand each other.  Here are a few...

hello = namaste or namaskar        thank you = dhanayavaad 
  I love you = mein tumse pyar karta hun    bye = alvida

If you'd like to learn the numbers 1-10 AND teach alot about different countries at the same time there is a great series of books from the library (or online) called Count Your Way books.  Not sure if they are all by the same author but the India title is by Jim Haskins.  I was tempted to just paraphrase the whole book but that would make ne look much smarter than I really am :)  Check them out at .  I will however steal their pronunciations-

1- ache or ek     2- dough     3- teen      4- charr       5- paunch
6- chay     7- sot     8- art     9- now   10- duss 

Animals and nature are a big part of the culture in India.  Many of their gods take animal forms or have animal features.  The walls of palaces are carved with ornate flowers, animals, and birds.  Animals also have a major role in many of the stories told to children.  I got a kick out of reading this list of animal names - if you're a fan of the movie Jungle Book you might recognize a few!

bear = bhaloo    tiger = sher    elephant = haathi  (see? Jungle Book)
cow = gai      cat = billi      dog= kutta     monkey= bandar 

Ok, that's all the Hindi lessons I'm gonna give you.  I realize it wasn't the most fun blog post but life isn't all fun and games.  Speaking of games, I'm off to play a game of parcheesi (according to the box it's the "game of India"!!) 

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