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February 25, 2016
Learning Hindi
By: Liisa

We can get by with English, but you can't expect everyone to know it. Not having a common language with a driver or a salesperson can be challenging, humbling, hilarious, or frustrating, or all of it.

Coworkers are great at teaching Hindi phrases, especially when they suggest having tea or lunch. "Chai? Khana do baje? Theek hai. Chalo!" Movies, tv commercials and regular people also use many English words among their Hindi speech.

I've been trying to teach myself some Devanagari alphabet and Hindi words. Anna and Louise are pretty good as well: we all can count to ten. I wish I had more time to study, but at least the food vocabulary is growing pretty effortlessly. You can always experiment and learn what gobi, mutter, brinjal, bhindi, kheer, kofta and bhurji taste like.

Hindi Book I bought a kids' alphabet book. If mindfulness coloring books are trendy, so should this be.

Street

And Hindi is just the beginning. Visiting Kerala changed the default language to Malayalam (letters look like noodles as you can observe above). In Bangalore, it was Kannada all over (more like round pretzel shapes). Our state Maharashtra's Marathi is spoken by 70 million people. The native speakers of Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu and Gujarati are also counted in tens of millions. I have to admire the Indian colleagues who take the effort to study some Finnish!

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