Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LANGUAGES

  INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LANGUAGES
Star of Mysore March 11 2008

Mind your language! It may befacing great peril. ‘Pick her up tenderly, lift her with care!’ — as an English poet has warned, of course is another context. The language spoken by a person is his ‘mother-tongue.’ It may be fragile — like the mother who has become pretty old.

A language is the mother of all those who speak it. The first word is spoken by the mother to her just-born child. The ‘word’ (that is, the language) is impregnated all over the mind of the baby. It becomes an indelible part of its psyche and continues to influence the baby as it grows. A person’s thoughts are coloured by the language he speaks. The subtlest of ideas can be expressed best if they are couched in his language. If he loses his language he loses himself and is lost in the wilderness.

Vigour and vitality

Anything that is learned is learnt best when it comes in his own language. Hence, it is that our experts say that the medium of instruction of the child should be his mother-tongue. It helps the child to acquire knowledge with facility, to express oneself with clarity and to think with vigour and vitality.

No one knows for certain how the first words came into existence. One of the theories (bow-wow theory) of language says that all speech was originally the imitation of the noises of nature or of sounds made by man’s activities. Another theory is that words were mouth-gestures, imitating with the tongue, teeth and lips, the movement of the arms, hands and fingers used to describe something. For example in words spike, spine, spindle, spire, spin, the sound spi appear to express a thin pointed shape. The vowels in words broad, wide, larger, high are all long vowels, sounded with the mouth wide open.

When pronouncing the word forward lips are pushed forward. In pronouncing the word back lips are stretched back against the teeth. Protrude is said with the lips pushed out. It is really surprising to think how the shape of a word often resembles the thing or idea which it expresses.

The languages of the world have developed from such simple beginnings and today a fully developed language can express practically everything — concrete things and abstract ideas. Literature expresses all thoughts and actions of man and society. Language is perhaps the greatest invention of mankind. It is a living organism, ever evolving and growing. Had it not been for the language, the record of the long history of the deeds and thoughts of man would never have been known.

Newer dimensions

Language is the vibrant mirror reflecting all that has happened in the past, so that the present generation can proceed from what has been achieved in the past. It is marvelous to think how a language can acquire newer dimensions, as knowledge itself is growing exponentially. Each nation or each group having its own culture has its own language. If you kill the language, the past of the nation or group which speaks it, is erased for ever.

It is a pity that in the long history of mankind many languages were born and quite a considerable number of them are extinct. It is said that there were some fifteen thousand languages in the world and in the efflux of time many have had a natural death. The United Nations Organisation warns that more than half of the world’s 6700 spoken languages existing today face extinction and on an average one language a year disappears somewhere in the world. The UNO considers this as very serious, and urgent measures must be taken to avert this disaster. The year 2008 is named International Year of Languages.

According to the experts’ estimate currently 96 per cent of the languages are spoken only by 4 % of world’s population. Globalisation is placing many languages under the grave threat. To create awareness among the people of the world about this serious situation an International Mother Language Day is being observed every year. Kochiro Matsura, Director General of UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organi-sation has stressed the importance of all languages in everyday life. He says that ‘far from being a field reserved for analysis by specialists, languages lie at the heart of all social, economic and cultural life.’ Accordingly, he has stressed UNESCO’s slogan for the year, which says that Languages Matter!

It is reported that the agency held a series of events at its Paris Headquarters to mark the day and to launch the Inter-national Year of Languages.

International Mother Language Day has been observed since 2000. It is reported this year UNESCO has put emphasis on instruments and stan-dards that encourage multilinguism. But it is a pity that many among us are not aware of the seriousness of the situation.

Sometime ago, I read a report in the newspapers about the death of a language that was spoken by the people of a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. The name of the island is Aore. The people had their own language. They belonged to a tribe called Wanawater. It was a colourful language, very much alive and vibrant.

But as time passed, the language began to wither away, the people of the island slowly taking to the most powerful language — English. The people ceased to speak their language and began to send their children to schools where the language was not being taught. Thus the successive generations slowly lost their language. There was a single person belonging to the old generation, who continued to speak the language. His name (translated into English) was Red Thunder Cloud, a colourful personality indeed! But he passed away at the age of seventy-four. With his death the language became extinct.

Ghost language

The bulldozer civilisation had taken another toll. As at least one language dies every year, who would care to notice its death and avert further disaster? The language may be tape-recorded. But is the ghost language, not alive, and growing from within ! With its death a rich heritage and culture and the peoples’ dreams and achievements, their struggles and failures had a ‘natural’ death.

In Australia, it is said that there are about 200 spoken languages. Only one language in ten is spoken by more than ten people. The children of only one in ten languages learn their language in the school.

How many of our children seriously learn Kannada in schools? If is a foreign language takes precedence over our language, ours also will soon become a ghost language — thanks to English and Globalisation!

— HSK

 

http://www.starofmysore.com/main.asp?type=specialnews&item=3024

Advertisements

March 11, 2008 Posted by | KANNADA | 1 Comment

Designer look for Kannada script

Designer look for Kannada script

Special Correspondent


When everything around us has changed, why not the language script?




INGENUITY: The new look Kannada letter ’Na’ designed by K. Manohar Acharya. MANGALORE: Kannada poets have showered praises on Kannada script. Some describe it as a lovely creeper and some a garland of pearls. But the way Englishmen have attempted at giving a designer look to their script is sadly missing in Kannada, according to the Bangalore-based designer, K. Manohar Acharya.

He is here to organise “Chandada Kannada” (beautiful Kannada), an exhibition, at Prasad Art Gallery in Ballalbagh from March 14 to 18. It is the result of his 25-year efforts to raise the visual appeal of Kannada script. He claims that this was the first designer script exhibition of Kannada language.

“If English has such a great influence on the most ancient civilisation of Indus valley, there ought to be a reason for it. “What is that? We must do some R and D,” Mr. Prasad said, inviting large corporate houses and the Government to take the lead.

Is it so important? “We are in a competitive world. Can you send an untrained person to Olympics?” he questioned. He said lack of research on script was to be blamed for the failure that the language was suffering from in its own land.

He suggested that one should take a look at things around him or her. “Has not the way we dress changed? The place we live, the way we look, have all changed. Our cars, our utensils, furniture have changed,” he said and added that this should naturally be extended to Kannada scripts.

“In the emerging global village, English has continuously evolved and its script too has gone global. Designers have played the architects’ role. Stretch the letters “A” and “B” that appear on a visiting card or a marriage invitation as much as you can and observe it. Keep watching the impact of the action once, twice and thrice. You will know what a designer can do to letters,” he said.

Mr. Prasad, who hails from Dakshina Kannada region and works in Bangalore, hopes his five-day exhibition will sow the seeds of change towards improving the visual appeal of Kannada script. If anyone is fed up of the kind of invitation cards, unchanged for centuries, the blame cannot rest on Mr. Prasad for that.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/11/stories/2008031157950300.htm

March 11, 2008 Posted by | KANNADA | Leave a comment

UK lends a helping hand to Odanadi

UK lends a helping hand to Odanadi

Laiqh A. Khan

Odanadi floated in the UK

Odanadi has rescued more than 400 girls

An exhibition in the House of Commons is planned


MYSORE: Odanadi, a voluntary organisation working for the rescue and rehabilitation of exploited women and children, appears to have found a soul mate in a group of volunteers in the United Kingdom (UK).

The interest shown by the group of committed volunteers from the UK has given a much-needed boost to Odanadi, which in Kannada means “soul mate”, for the helpless victims of human trafficking.

Odanadi Seva Samsthe, situated in Hootagalli on the outskirts of Mysore, has been providing shelter to more than 90 rescued women and children.

It attempts to erase the scars of a troubled past through the process of reintegration and empowerment. So far, Odanadi has rescued more than 400 girls, mostly minors.

Exhibition of committed volunteers from the UK has not only floated Odanadi UK, and begun working on a website www.odanadi-uk.org , but it has also lined up a series of programmes to raise the profile of Odanadi.

One among them is an exhibition of photographs in the House of Commons later this year.

The exhibition will feature the photographs taken at Odanadi during December 2007 and January 2008. “The women and children were able to use digital cameras to document their lives at Odanadi,” said Sarah Harris, a representative of the committee of Odanadi UK.

Ms. Harris, who is a freelance journalist visiting Mysore, told The Hindu that a member of the UK Parliament, Virendra Sharma, who hails from India, had evinced keen interest in the project.

When the representatives of Odanadi UK met Mr. Sharma recently, he said that “supporting Odanadi UK means that I can do something positive for those affected by human trafficking in my homeland. I very much look forward to developing my relationship with Odanadi UK and hopefully I can visit Odanadi in the near future”.

Meetings The volunteers have begun holding periodic meetings to enlist supporters for the cause and help Odanadi to recruit specialist teachers and therapists to provide continued support to the women and children.

Odanadi Director Stanley said the gesture of Odanadi UK would go a long way in helping the organisation secure specialist counselling and therapy for its victims. “Counselling is an important aspect of rehabilitation at our centre. But, finding full-time counsellers with social commitment is not easy to come by,” he said.

Another Director of Odanadi, Parashuram, said the organisation has been attracting volunteers from all parts of the world.

http://www.hindu.com/2008/03/11/stories/2008031150530200.htm

March 11, 2008 Posted by | EKAVI MYSORE | 1 Comment