Kannada is a Southern Dravidian language spoken mainly in the state of Karnataka in the southwest of India. Kannada is the official and administrative language of Karnataka and was officially designated a classical language of India in 2011. It is also known as Banglori, Canarese, Havyaka, or Kanarese. Kannada is the second oldest of the four major Dravidian languages with a literary tradition. The oldest Kannada inscription was discovered in the small community of Halmidi and dates to about 450 CE. Kannada first appeared in writing as words in Tamil inscriptions dating from the 3rd-1st centuries BC. The earliest known texts in Old Kannada were written in the Brahmi script and are dated at 450 AD. Poetry in Kannada started to appear in 700 AD, and literary works from 850 AD.
Learning Kannada is a rewarding, fascinating, and occasionally frustrating experience. Yet sometimes the most challenging thing can be finding good learning resources and – especially if you’re not in Karnataka – practice opportunities. Never fear: we’re here to give you recommendations on the best courses, apps, classes, textbooks, and more for learning this poetic language, as well as several study tips. We’ll also explore how difficult Kannada is and the best way to learn the Kannada script.
Things to keep in mind
- Make a study plan for yourself – Now you know what you want to study, decide how and when you’re going to do it. But be realistic! If you’re a busy person, you’re unlikely to have two hours a day, seven days a week to study. 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. It will be more effective than a long, intense session of cramming once a week.
- Start with the basics – As is the case with most languages, it is useful, to begin with, greetings and pleasantries that are the most likely to come up in brief interactions with Kannada speakers. Introducing yourself to strangers is a critical skill to acquire. People will be more willing to help you once you have explained who you are. When entering a new area with a different culture and language, it is wise to learn the basic pleasantries and phrases of gratitude so that you can show good manners to your hosts.
- Learn to read & write the alphabet – Kannada’s alphabet is derived from Kadamba and Cālukya scripts that, over centuries, morphed into Kannada and Telugu scripts. These scripts were formalized and translated into English script forms in the 19th century. The Kannada language is alphasyllabary, which means all the consonants have an inherent vowel sound in them. Just like English, Canarese moves from left to right horizontally. When consonants appear together without a vowel in between, the second consonant is written as a special conjunct symbol, usually below the first.
- Learn Kannada pronunciation – The pronunciation of certain Kannada words can be difficult for English speakers, as there are some sounds in Canarese for which English has no equivalent. Nevertheless, the pronunciation guide below should be useful in grasping the basics of pronouncing Kannada words.
- Track your progress – It can be hard to see your progress on a day-to-day basis, and this can make learning a language demotivating. Some days, you’ll feel like your listening ability has deteriorated. Other days, you’ll struggle to remember the “basic” vocabulary that you learned and drilled five months ago, only to never use it again. So, tracking your progress is a great way to learn efficiently.
Learning a new language can seem difficult at first but it will definitely be fun at the next moment. If you wish to enroll in Kannada classes, MultiBashi Lessons Learning Solutions are an excellent solution. Do check it out.