Resources for learning business Kannada Language
Kannada is a Dravidian language that is spoken as a first language by 38 million people and as a second language by another 9 million people in southern India, in the state of Karnataka and neighboring states such as Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra, in South India. One of the 22 official languages and 14 regional languages of India, Kannada has literature that dates from the ninth century! It also shares a lot of words in similarities and grammatical structure(colloquial speech) with other Dravidian languages like Telugu and Tamil. The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script, which evolved from the 5th-century Kadamba script. The earliest existing example of written Kannada, the Halmidi Inscription, dates back around 2,500 years.
Kannada language diglossic in nature: which means it is written and spoken in different manners. While the written Kannada is generally the same all over the spoken Kannada differs, region and community wise. Thus creating almost 20 variants of the language called dialects. Depending on where exactly you are in Karnataka, you might overhear a different variant of this language. There are significant southern, northern, and coastal differences, not to mention social and class-based ones. Kannada has accepted several loan words from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and English.
How Difficult Is Kannada?
The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has created a list to show the approximate time you need to learn a specific language as an English speaker and is considered as a ballpark for many, to figure out how difficult a language really is for English speakers. While the FSI’s website doesn’t explicitly mention Kannada, many people consider it to be in line with their Category IV languages, meaning it would sit alongside Pashto, Urdu, and Nepali. For category IV languages
FSI recommends intensively studying 25 hours a week, whereby you will reach professional working proficiency after 44 weeks, 1100 hours or roughly 10 months.
While, “professional working proficiency” in itself is a pretty vague description its been compared to both the B2 and C1 CEFR levels. Ten months to get to B2/C1 is very encouraging but most of us won’t be able to study for 25 hours a week (plus homework!). So, realistically speaking, how difficult is Kannada and how long will it take you to learn it?
Well, it truly depends on an individual, their commitment, how much time they can spare in each day and the week besides several other factors.
Two important factors amongst so many that will aid a speedy learning of Kannada are:
If you are surrounded by Kannada speakers so you get to use Kannada every day, and
If you already know one of the Dravidian languages that have a lot in common with Kannada
On the other hand, speakers of non Dravidian languages or European languages or people who don’t have any connect with Kannada outside the classroom we need to step up their learning with a lot more practise, notes, extra exercises, drills, speaking and practice opportunities.
However, let none of these things stop you from learning Kannada. If you still haven't made up your mind I recommend you to go ahead in any case!
Set realistic learning goals for yourself
Instead of obsessing over fluency, give yourself smaller goals: aim to have a 5-, 20-, or 45-minute conversation; read a short story, newspaper article, or a book; keep a diary; listen to a podcast; or sing along to a song.
When you break it down into achievable goals, learning Kannada doesn’t seem quite so challenging.
Identify Your Goal/ Compelling Need
Identify why you want to learn the Kannada language? Your primary aim could be as simple as, to be able to communicate with your maid, overcharging auto drivers, grocery shop attendants or with someone sitting next to me on the bus or with my building’s watchman’s kids, or as important as learning Kannada to speak to your clients, suppliers, office colleagues or seniors! If your aim is to learn and speak Kannada for work, emails, client’s, then I would suggest you to practice your reading and writing, and make a list of the business-specific phrases you’ll need to know, besides a lot of basic travel, hotel, and directions-based vocabulary that can help you with your business.
Create a learning plan well suited to your conditions and needs
You know what you want to study, decide how and when you’re going to start it. Go at a manageable rhythm. You don’t want to dread your study sessions. And if you’re struggling to fit them in, try to study for less time but more frequently. Schedule the learning plan in such a manner that it does not affect your busy working schedule. It will be more effective than a long, intense session of cramming once a week. If you get busy, re-evaluate your schedule. And if you fall off the wagon and skip a week? Relax, it happens. Just start over again. A quick refresher of the most recent material will help you get back to track sooner.
Select the resource well suited to your learning technique
Every resource is well suited for every learner. While some may be well equipped to learn through visual presentations, verbal lectures while others might learn from multiple explanations, practice and worksheet writing. If you are preoccupied for long hours during the day, then the commute time or the time you take to walk your dog or to wash your car, could be the spare time at hand, to listen to Kannada podcasts, audiobooks or any other online audio resource found!
Other than the above you can also write a Journal, Follow Kannada-language vloggers, influencers, and hashtags, Find Kannada-language Facebook groups or forums related to your hobbies/ business/work, Write book/movie reviews, a blog, or short stories in Kannada, Attend comedy shows or poetry readings (you’ll find virtual ones online), Write a letter to the editor of a Kannada-language newspaper or site, change the settings on your search engine so that it shows you Kannada-language results first, create flash cards, label things around the house in Kannada. No matter what methods you choose, try to do a bit of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. And look for a certain degree of balance between grammar, vocabulary, and culture.
Review your progress
It can be a little demotivating to see your progress on a day-to-day basis, as you may feel, your listening ability could have been affected on a day, versys another where you struggle to remember “basic” vocabulary that you learnt months ago.The best way to reassess yourself is to rewatch a TV show, or relisten to a podcast and then it says if you enable to understand them well enough or not.
Keep the fun element alive during your Kannada learning
Book reading, Flashcards, Making Vocabulary Lists, Memorizing Grammar Phrases and Words certainly are a great way to start learning a language to build its Foundation, however at the same time after a while,this routine becomes very monotonous and boring. To add an interest factor to this especially on days when you are tired or slightly I recommend you watching a movie because the trailer looks amazing. Don’t worry about whether you have subtitles on, pause to look up what a word means, every once in a while. It’s for fun!. I personally watched Rangi Taranga and absolutely loved it.
Read comics in Kannada, scroll through forums dedicated to your hobbies, make shopping list fun with Kannada words, buy Kannada fridge magnets and use them to create witty (or silly) messages.
Business Kannada learners must make a little more effort to learn conversation Kannada.
Business learners must focus on the following:
- Learn a few salutations, greetings and expressions : Namaskara, Hegiddeera, Chennagideera etc.
- It is always better to use the plural form to address a singular person when we speak politely.
- Learn words for queries – Who, Why, When, Where, Which, How, etc. (Yaaru, Yaake, Yaavaga, Elli, Enu, Hege etc)
- List the important verbs required in everyday conversation.
- Learn the pronouns. (he, she, it / avanu, avaLu, adu)
- Gender, time, numbers, cardinals, colors, names of vegetables, fruits, pulses, etc
- Tenses – Use the verbs in present, past and future tenses·
- Learn Conjunctions which eventually help to make complex sentences.(and, but, or / mattu, aadare, athava etc.)
- Make simple sentences indicating – Request, Advise, Order, Interrogation, Negation, Assertive, etc
Easy learning: A few tips
- Watching Kannada movies (preferably with subtitles), can be of great help. This is an important and entertaining way to improve your language skills.
- Do not hesitate. Speak the language at every possible opportunity.
- Never mind if you are using less Kannada and more English words. Kanglish is anyway popular in Bangalore. However constantly try to improve your Kannada vocabulary.
- Watch Kannada news. This is not only helpful in learning the language, but will help you to know your city better.
- If you are a user of public transport, carefully listen to co-passengers’ conversations.
- Enjoy the local tang of the language by listening to Kannada FM stations.
- Do not completely rely on ‘Learn Kannada in 30 days’ type of books. Many Bangaloreans will fail to comprehend your textbook language and you are sure to face some embarrassment, if you go strictly by books.
Resources for learning Kannada
There are several resources for studying Kannada including but not limited to courses, classes, apps, podcasts, movies, textbooks, fiction books Learning a new language is certainly not easy, all the more when there is not much practical need for it. To graduate from Kannada barala to Salpa baruttide you need to make an effort in the right direction.
If you seriously want to learn Kannada I would recommend you to study Kannada face to face from a teacher and at the same time utilize the many available resources online to aid your learning.
The Tamil Sangam in Bangalore that started much before the formation of Karnataka state, is offering Kannada classes for the past four decades and has so far conducted Kannada classes for more than 60,000 candidates.
Kannada Prasara Parishath has conducted Kannada classes near Hosmat Hospital since last 31 years. They also conduct higher Kannada classes which includes reading and writing.
Kannada Learning School in Koramangala is gaining conducts conversational Kannada Classes and are also using social networking sites effectively to teach Kannada.
If you cannot attend classes regularly, you can choose an online coaching or correspondence course. Central Institute for Indian Languages conducts a Distance Education Course in Kannada. Also, the internet is full of online resources to learn Kannada
Kannada Learning Websites
Learn Spoken Kannada – Good for beginners. Every word has a speaker button to help us know how the word is pronounced.
Kannada lessons – Good for a beginner. All the lessons contain audio.
Learn Kannada focuses on improving fluency in Kannada language
Kannada Podcasts – A large number of Podcasts (audios) which one can download too in mp3 format. The host has a clear voice which is easy to follow.
Language exchange programs can help you talk with the native Kannada speaker and improve your Kannada by means of feedback and correction
Kannada Baruthe is another great online resource to learn Kannada
Spoken Kannada – Preliminary Lessons in Spoken Kannada
Kannada Phrasebook A long list of useful phrases, sentences and vocabulary.
I want to learn Kannada is a good blog option to check out
Fun with Kannada Grammar This site is good for understanding the subtle points of Grammar
Mathadi is another great online resource to learn Kannada
Explore and learn Kannada in an easier way – This site provides live examples with photos which make it easy to relate a word in reality.
Learn Kannada with Mohan BN is another great online resource which is a person blog by Mohan BN
Learn one kannada word a day – This site posts a Kannada word everyday along with its meaning and 2-3 popular usage.
Kannada Writing / Reading – Learning script
Even though most people avoid learning the script, it does not take much time and is very helpful later on. I learnt the script in 5 days and kept reinforcing the skill of reading when passing by signboards, shops and restaurant names, etc. The skill of writing came in handy when learning new words with correct pronunciation. If I wrote a new word in English/Hindi for memorizing, I would always pronounce it wrongly later. So I used to write Kannada words in Kannada itself. This initially took some effort but was fun later on.
Learn to write Kannada consonants
Learn how consonants join vowel
Picture dictionary of Kannada Vowels
Picture dictionary of Kannada Consonants
Learn Kannada Through Books
Conversational Kannada, A microwave approach (With CD) by N D Krishnamurthy – Best among all the books I came across. It teaches the language very systematically.
Kannada Through English by M.G. Nagaraja Rao
Kannada Made Easy
Kannada-Kannada-English Dictionary by Prof. G. Venkatasubbaiah
Facebook groups and pages
You tube play-lists in Kannada
Nursery Rhymes in Kannada with Written Lyrics
Classic Nursery Rhymes in Kannada
Nursery Rhymes in Kannada with Lyrics
Talking Books in Kannada with Kannada Subtitles
Learn about Human Body Parts in Kannada
Learn About Animals in Kannada
Akbar and Birbal Tales in Kannada
The Whispering Palms: A Kannada Children’ story with subtitles
There is nothing better than trying to speak in a language that helps you learn the language better. If you follow the above-mentioned steps, it is fairly possible to speak at least broken Kannada and make meaningful conversations in a month’s time.