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Bengalureans learn the language amid the lockdown, saying goodbye to "Kannad gothilla" | Bengaluru News - Times of India

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    One of the biggest grouses that Kannadigas had about migrant settlers in Karnataka, especially in urban settings like Bengaluru, was their steadfast refusal to learn Kannada and truly be part of their adoptive state. Interestingly, enough, there’s been a massive shift in that dynamic in recent times, with an increasing number of people showing interest in learning Kannada on platforms like Kannada Gothide and Kannada Gottilla, apart from other dedicated on WhatsApp groups during the lockdown period.
    '10 minutes a day is all it takes to learn Kannada’
    Deepak N started the group Kannada Gothide group last number with 70 members, which has now grown close to 1,000 strong.

    “During the lockdown, people began spending a lot more on screen time, and perhaps realised that all they needed is 10-15 minutes a day to learn the basics of the language. The benefit of learning on our group is that they can drop a message whenever they are free. We have no fixed timings to learn the language and members don’t have to log in to the website to find specific words that they want to learn ,” he says.
    ‘Not just basic spoken Kannada, people want to read and write as well’

    Anup Maiya, one of the admins of the six-year-old WhatsApp group Kannada Gottila, says, “When we began, members only wanted to learn basic spoken Kannada to get by, but in the last two months many said they want to read and write it as well. The objective of our group has been to get Bengaluru’s migrant population to know the language and respect the local culture. Admins in the group are teachers and we follow a set format -we send audio files and notes and members can revert in case of doubts.”

    ‘Iconic songs can teach people simple words’
    Pranjal Ranka initiated the page Chumma Talks on Instagram to make learning Kannada fun. “Everyone appreciated a good song, irrespective of the language, so, I decided to work with music. I edited and released iconic Kannada songs like Naane Veene Neene Tanthi to teach simple words like Naane, Neene and Avanee. Since the lockdown, there has been a lot more engagement to my posts. I also post videos with pictures to make people understand the meaning of simple everyday words like Mancha (cot), Kurchi (chair) and Gudugu (thunder).”
    ‘Learning Kannada lets you connect with people’
    Deepak V Lambe, who is originally from Maharashatra and made Bengaluru his home a few years ago, has begun learning Kannada now. He says, “It is imperative to learn the language of the place you choose to make home. Speaking in Kannada helps to connect with people. It is amazing how people warm up to you when you talk to them in Kannada, however broken it might be. They appreciate the effort.”


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