Friday, May 17, 2013

The one with the languages*

Yesterday, I interrupted SM's writing and distracted her, with the result that the two of us spent a while poring over a world map and identifying the places we would visit, "if we had the time and the money" :) I think the theme has remained in my mind, and since I'm anyway a big fan of learning languages and cultures, I thought why not write a post about them.

(Well, I just felt like writing something, and then realized that the thing I actually wanted to write was just a couple of lines long, which does not 'qualify for a post', and so I just thought that if I'm anyway going to ramble on about something, then why not this? Ok, Ok, back to what I was going to write...)

I heard a Spanish song (some Ricky Martin song, if I remember right - I even had the cassette for the longest time, and played the songs over and over again, singing in a language that tried to be Spanish, but was more of jibberish), and I told myself that I would one day learn Spanish, at least enough to understand the song I'd heard...

French, I just started learning thanks to my mother, and it just continued somehow... (The only problem is that nowadays, I sometimes need someone to identify what language I'm speaking in)

Telugu, I speak, thanks to all the summers I spent as a kid here in Hyderabad, and to my mother and aunts for reminding us (my brother and me) of the language during the rest of the year. (I'd written rest of the other! I need to 'Focus', as SM says.)  (Well, to be honest, I think I speak Telugu, but I've been told it's just passable and understandable owing to the intelligence of the people I talk to... I think I'd prefer to have an alternate hypothesis...)

I speak Hindi (a little bit of the Hyderabadi version of it), too. I know for a fact that JP (or JJP, as we recently discovered his name to be) does not believe me capable of this feat. Why, even SM actually stared at me because I said, "hawa dalna" at the cycle shop. I'm not exactly a fan of poetry and shayaris and I'm lost with Urdu, but I know enough Hindi to get around. And well, I can still recall a few lines from poems I read in school.

I've wanted to learn Russian for a very long time. I like the script, especially as I feel it has letters like B and R written backwards :D And I'd like to be able to pronounce names ending in -ov and -ich and -off :)

Macedonian was a language that AK introduced me to (it being his mother-tongue), and it has a Cyrillic script. And after listening to some songs (and repeatedly trying to sing them), I'm enjoying the sounds of words with 'zd's' and 'mn's' and 'sm's' and 'sre's' :)

I'm now getting interested in Greek, but it's still in early stages. (Maybe it's the effect of the math and physics I've been studying, but I sometimes end up imagining people talking in alphas, betas and gammas :) I got to listen to a couple of Greek songs and thankfully, that has given me a somewhat clearer idea of what Greek sounds like)

I now want to learn some basic Finnish, just because I listened to a song whose name had A's with little circles above them. (three such a's, actually). (Maybe I'll one day learn what they are called, those accents.)

Among the Indian languages, I've been fascinated by Malayalam and Bengali. And well, I'm yet to learn either despite having friends who speak them...

Arabic and Japanese are two other languages I'd like to learn, just so I can write from right to left, or vertically :)

I guess I've rambled on for quite a bit already, so I'm signing off now, remembering the advice of some close friends and family, asking me to learn Tamil (my mother-tongue) first...

See you later...

(* - SM has been mentioning F-R-I-E-N-D-S to me quite a few times, and she even quoted something from an episode, hence the title... Also since my mind is kinda asleep and way too lazy to think of some other title)