Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The learning curve

So today I was wondering how far my friend Pizzadude has progressed in his Spanish lessons, when a voice boomed over my head, "Kisi aur par ungli uthaane se pehle apne girebaan mein jhaank kar dekhna chahiye!" No, it wasn't Viv -- I highly doubt he even knows what 'girebaan' means. In fact, he's probably reading this and wondering what it means. Dude, it means... *straight face* ..."fallen arrows" okay?

So I have been trying to learn Tamil for some time now, and have been rather unsuccessful at that. It doesn't help that the in-laws speak fluent Hindi and English, but I must admit that having them around has helped the cause more than Viv's contribution.

So I decided not to be too hard on myself (it IS a tough language, okay!), and encourage myself by listing my progress report so far:

1. Last year, I could only say the number '9' in Tamil. (Ahem, that's because the train stations announce the emergency number 999 in all four of Singapore's national languages - English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.) This year, I can count 1 to 10 in Tamil. Thanks to the idea of counting in Tamil while doing crunches.

2. Last year, I could not differentiate between "kannadi" ("glass"), "munnadi" ("in front"), "pinaadi" ("behind") and "takkali" ("tomato"). Also "periya" ("big") and "nariya" ("a lot"). This year I can.

3. Last year, I did not know that "carrot" in Tamil is "carrot". This year I do. Woohoo! (Nooooo, this is NOT cheating!).

4. Last year, the first thing I'd say to Viv after he came home from cricket was, "Eeeeee! Po, kuli." ("Eeeeee! Go, bathe."). This year, I say, "Pongo kulingo." ("Please go and have a bath."). Respect!

5. Last year, Viv used to say that I don't know anything. This year, I can say "Onnaka onnum teriyaadu!" ("You don't know anything!") back to him. Nothing like a non-Tamilian yelling in Tamil I say.

6. Last year, I could not say "vattakozhambu" and "oorulaikazhangu". This year, I can.

7. Last year I did not know too many adjectives so I used "madiri" ("like") a lot, e.g. "koranga madiri" ("like a monkey"). This year, I can say "somberi" ("lazybum")! (I love that word. Easy to remember. Like strawberry.)

8. Last year, I only knew one question word "yaar" ("who"). This year, I know 'em all - yaar, yengay, yaen, yeppidi, yevlavu, yeppo and yetana.

9. Last year, I knew "mani" meant "time" because someone told me a joke about a Tamil economist for whom "time was mani". This year, I can ask "Yetana mani?" ("What time?")

10. Last year, every time someone from his family asked me, "Tamil teriyum?" ("You know Tamil?") I could get away with saying "Konjum konjum" ("A little"). That would amuse them so much they wouldn't ask anything further. This year, I can proudly proclaim, "Rombha nalla Tamil teriyum!" ("I know very good Tamil!"). Although even this seems to have the same effect on them. I don't know why. Teriyaadu.



38 comments:

Jass said...

Gold!
Now to read the post...

Sanchit said...

I read the post.. Now I claim the Gold... :P

Jass said...

@Sanchit
Kya bakwaas! Who says you have to read the post to claim gold ? Yarru ?Yaaru ?

@Sayesha:
Ini mel tamil post yedhurpakalama ? :P

Sayesha said...

#Jass,
:D

#Sanchit,
Wah re honest insaan. :)

#Jass,
:O :O :O

Daarji, tussi Tamil vich comment karde ho? Sada sara thunder steal kar ditta! :|

Revathi said...

Post rhombha nalla irunduchu bole to mast post tha!!
Sayesha a tamil a post ezhudhirukka nu paatha odane rhombha sandhoshama irunduchu!! :)

Bhai lagta hai aap bhi apun ke maafik hai. Apun bhi 8 saal pehle aisa ij tamil bolta tha.
Abhi apun ekdum first class tamil bolta hai aur hindi to apun ka already first class tha!! :)
Nice post!! :)

P.S: carrot tamil mein bhi carrot hi hai?? Sacchi?? whoaa!! :)

Revathi said...

Silver Bronze sab mera!! :)

Revathi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanchit said...

ae sab ki honda paya hai...

Jass said...

Haha! Dint mean to steal twada thunder! :D But yeah i can speak a bit of tamil... Been all me life in the south of india! :)

P.S: Daarji ??! Daarji is something you use for dad or grand dad yaar! Mujhpe yeh zulm kyun ? :P
Did you think it was short for sardarji? :P

Reflections said...

Had me in splits:-D!!!!

esp "Eeeeee! Po, kuli." ("Eeeeee! Go, bathe."). This year, I say, "Pongo kulingo." ("Please go and have a bath."). Respect!"

:-D

amitbhatnagar said...

I was in Hyd for a year and very often, when somebody tried to converse with me in Telugu, I used to answer "Telugu radu" ("I don't know Telugu") Used to have the same amusing effect on them as u have mentioned.

Just yesterday, i got a taste of this amusement myself. Met a Latvian girl, who was fluent in English and was learning Spanish. (her mother tongue was Russian) When I asked her whether she knew any Hindi yet, she answered "thoda thoda" and all of us burst into laughter. That sounded really cute. :)

amitbhatnagar said...

@Jass:
Even i thought that Daar ji is short for Sardar ji. :D

Divs said...

LOL..
*respect*

aap toh mast seekh rahe hai!!

maybe next year we will see a post written in tamil! What say?

I promise to read if I haven't forgotten tamil by then! :)

santasizing...Fantasizing said...

wooohoo!!!Hail Bhai...Hail!!!
:)my gawd...mere liye to tusi god ho...one year se have been attempting to learn kannada...but the only thing i know till date is 'kannada gothilla'and 'énjoy madi'!!!

Good job!

sr said...

hi Sayesha .. first time commenting here .. very cute post

I'm a mallu married to a North indian, it has been 8 years and he is still struggling with malayalam ! he is still 'kurechu kurechu ariyum'' which translates to ' konjum konjum' in Tamil :-)

sd said...

So I once asked a young lady "Kannathil Muthamittal". Her reply was "Kannathil Araivittal". My tamil lessons stopped that day!

Sayesha said...

#Revathi,
Hehehehe... Thanks! But I need a little help with the "paatha odane". :P

//carrot tamil mein bhi carrot hi hai?? Sacchi?? whoaa!! :)

Yes! :D

#Sanchit,
Hahahaha! :D

#Jass,
//Been all me life in the south of india! :)

No wonder!!! *snatches her thunder back* :D

//P.S: Daarji ??! Daarji is something you use for dad or grand dad yaar! Mujhpe yeh zulm kyun ? :P
Did you think it was short for sardarji? :P

Yeahahahaha! I know! In Jab We Met, they call Dara Singh daarji! :D :D :D Thunder chor grandpa! :D :D :D

#Reflections,
:D

#Amit,
Hehehehe... yeah man, I always get that when I say "Konjum konjum". :D

#Divs,
//maybe next year we will see a post written in tamil! What say?

Whoa! No way! :D :D :D

#Santa Fanta,
Hahahahaha! Enjoy madi?? Woh toh sab bolte hain -- I picked it from some friends here who're from B'lore. And oh, that ad with 'Adjust madi'? Hahahahahha! :D

#sr,
Hahahahahaha! KK really is the most versatile and useful phrase to know in all languages! :D

#sd,
Translation chahiye! :D

Aniruddha said...

Wow...you know more words/sentences than me...I am trying to learn Tamil and most of it is because of Tamil movies which I love to watch...

And now I can use this small dictionary of yours to amaze some of my friends... :D

Sum said...

Ha ha ha ha.....

This one's tooooo good a post! Rumba nalla iruku.... :P
(Well, I'm not a tamilian, either :) )

Priya said...

Viv is tam?? I've been reading ur blog for ages but never wuite figured that out!

Tamil nalla kathukko :) *Learn tamil well*

else with respect - Tamil nalla kathukkonga

:D I can be ur tam guru with a nominal fee of course.

..p..

Sri said...

Hi Sayesha

Wonderful post..must say ur a quick learner!:)

Although i am a Tamilian, i was completely brought up at Hyderabad..so my Tamil has a bit of Telugu in it...my hubby who is a hardcore Chennai guy finds it amusing...

Your "Pongo kulingo" had me in splits!!hubby and me call each other "Vaada Poda" only!!;)

How do we know said...

next thing u know.. Sayesha is reading Tamil Classic literature and stumping Viv with words that he also does not know!

Jass said...

Abey oye!! Singapore ka local bhai hoyenga tu, par apun ko thunder chor grandpa bolne ke pehle do baar soch lena mangta tha!!

*Angry Face*

Apun tere ko warning de raha hai! Singapore aake tera aur viv ka story finish kar dega apun. Saath me bechara pizzadude jaan kho baithega. [Buy 2 get 1 free]

Manchus said...

Adutha varusham, 'Yenna, ore natthama irrukku. Neenga poi kulingo. Naan venniru pottu vaikaren."

Great progress!! I want to show this post to my hubby. He doesn't know Tamil much after 8 years of marriage .

Oh yes he does know the necessary bad words!!!

Okay he knows Dosai(not Dosa), Idli,Utthappam(not uttapam),Vettakozhambu, Aviyal.

Inder said...

impressive!!!
tamil is my primary language and i often find myself searching for words. same with english. my hindi is so bad that i never reveal that i know a bit of hindi.
my mom speaks the bestest tamil. her tamil is poetic. particularly when she scolds me.

santasizing...Fantasizing said...

kya bhai...uda di wapis...
ab this is what i have managed in one year,,,shayad budhape tak i may be able to speak one full sentence:D
by the way...my mom speask telugu with such finesse that she surprises the hell out of me..(that is when my dad is also a north indian...!!!)
aur bole to she can read n write telugu too...hmmmph!!!
but tusi lage raho...All the very wala best!

VIDYA said...

Hey Sayesha,
Let's see if you can crack this.

Enna ,romba naala post pannave illa...suddenly rendu post eppidi?

Hint :It's in tamil :)
Ask Viv to translate!

Neha said...

haha!! i could so very identify with the post! :D im trying to learn bengali, and now atleast i have stopped adding 'cchhi' 'cchho''cchhe' to every hindi verb to convert it to bengali :D

shub said...

found this post super-cute! >:D<

Sayesha said...

#Aniruddha,
Hehehe... tell me how it goes. :)

#Sum,
Nandri! :)

#Priya,
Hey! Long time no see! Welcome back!

//:D I can be ur tam guru with a nominal fee of course.

Po! Kuli! :P

#Sri,
Thanks! :)

#How do we know,
//stumping Viv with words that he also does not know!

Hahahaha! I think I already do that! :P

#Jass,
Hahahahaha! Okay okay peace! Asi tusi lassi pisi okay? :D :D :D

//Saath me bechara pizzadude jaan kho baithega. [Buy 2 get 1 free]

ROFL! That had me in splits, Jass! I immediately sms'ed Pizzadude when I read that! :D :D :D

#Manchus,
//Adutha varusham, 'Yenna, ore natthama irrukku. Neenga poi kulingo. Naan venniru pottu vaikaren."

Arre teri! Thoda time lagega. :P

//Okay he knows Dosai(not Dosa), Idli,Utthappam(not uttapam),Vettakozhambu, Aviyal.

Looks like he knows the keywords! :D

#Inder,
Hahahaha! :D :D :D

#Santa Fanta,
Hehehehehe! Sorry sorry! :P

#VIDYA,
Enna = What?
Romba = A lot
Naala = ? Is it the same as nalla?
Post = Post
Pannave = ?
Illa = No?

//suddenly rendu post eppidi?

How come suddenly two posts? YEAH I CRACKED IT! :D :D :D

#Neha,
//atleast i have stopped adding 'cchhi' 'cchho''cchhe' to every hindi verb to convert it to bengal

Hahahahahahaha! :D

#Shub,
Nandri! Po kuli! :D :D :D

Footloose said...

Gosh dudette this just reminded me why I follow your blog so regularly. You are hilarious! :D
I'd post a courtesy line in Tamil since I'm a Tamilian (ahem) but you know more than I do! Keep smiling and making us all smile:)

Daroga said...

i only know one dialogue in Tamil, of course of Rajni anna
"summa aadir dille"
i had said it in a skit last diwali. not to mention that it had brought the entire auditorium down !!!

Go Tamil !!

Dewdrop said...

You have just been awarded the "Honest Scrap" award.
To claim your badge and pass it on, go to http://steamingcupsofcoffee.blogspot.com

Again, Congratulations on a wonderful blog!

Urv said...

Shabash Bhai! Thode saalon mein aap mujhe Tamil movie ke dialogues samjhane lagoge :)

@santa fanta
Hah! I have a vast vocab then..

Kannada Gothilla
Kannada illa
Kannada *vigorous shaking of the head*

Vandu
Erdu
Muru
Nalakku

I have also started mix-matching words like salpa, bega, beda, kodi, lefto, righto :P

Sid said...

I had a good time reading this one. Kinda reminded me of the Bingo ads that used to air sometime back -
UKA-RUN-GO (sit-down btw but I guess you already know that!)

Good luck with learning more tamil

Arun said...

"5. Last year, Viv used to say that I don't know anything. This year, I can say "Onnaka onnum teriyaadu!" ("You don't know anything!") back to him. Nothing like a non-Tamilian yelling in Tamil I say."

HA HA HA!

--AJ

Dreamer said...

Too good.. must say you are genuinely putting in a lot of effort. I have many tamil/telugu/kannada/malyalam people around me but i always skip this learning part by saying 'all this is like german french to me' :)

Viky said...

What do you do when you meet a Tamilian whom you do not recollect?

Teri yaad, teriyaad!! teri yaad, haye rabba!!!