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Book Cover Monday: Learn Telugu

14 March, 2011

Who knew Telugu was a language!  And not just any minor language; Telugu has the 13th largest population of native speakers in the world—74 million!  Golly. Maybe we should all take a moment to familiarize ourself with the ‘Italian of India’ *.

Learn Telugia

One may consider the educational phrases in this introductory language guide to be a bit obscure.  A tourist might find questions such as ‘where is the bathroom’ and protestation of ‘too expensive!’ to be a tad more relevant.

Some phrases play like dialogue from a Beckettian police interrogation:

‘What is the relationship between you and him?’

‘I know nothing about him!’

‘There is no other richman equal to him’

‘I did not say anything to him!’

‘Sir, please come with us.’

Or a haiku:

My good days have passed

Birds are flying in the sky

I like white flowers

If these sentences are any indication of life for a Telugu speaker, the Author reckons she’d rather stick with English (and Scots and Latin, the two languages in which she wryly professes to be fluent on her CV.   Perhaps this joke is not always appreciated by prospective employers).

Sidenote: The Author was delighted to discover that, once One has mastered Telugu, One can go on to learn Malayam!

*As it is refered to, according to Wikipedia.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 9 April, 2011 2:58 pm

    Your post is probably tongue in cheek, but I wanted to point out that these books were published in India shortly after its independence from British rule with the intent of integrating the nation by making it easily and economically possible for an Indian to learn another Indian language. The book was never intended for tourists. Therefore, the phrases in it are conversational, the type one would try to have with one’s neighbours perhaps, who speaks this language. Also, the book is a very old publication, at least 40 years old (although still republished and sold); of course language learning has changed quite a bit since. These book series did a great service to the country, especially the adults.

  2. 12 April, 2011 8:15 am

    I’m really delighted to learn more about the National Integration Language series–I really know nothing about it before. This book just seemed curious and humorous to me, but now that you’ve given it context, it’s far more interesting. Many, many thanks for your comment.

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