Monday, September 17, 2007


How many languages I know??
Well, seriously, some 3. Hindi, English and some HTML.

But if I start counting all I have some acquaintance with, I'll come to know that I know a number of languages. The number goes in 2 digits for sure. Lets start counting.
English, C, C++, Hindi, HTML, Urdu, Java, Sanskrit, Tamil, French, Assembly language, Bengali, Gujarati, C# and used to try some Kannada as well.
Well, the story seems interesting to me. And pretty much unbelievable to people. That I come to know when I see their reactions.

I started learning Hindi at home. From a newspaper called Amar Ujala, I learned the first letter of Hindi 'a'. (It sounds nearly the same as the English 'a') Started English too at home, and of course did them properly when joined school at an age of 3. Then came the third language of my life. Urdu. It was an optional in my school and mostly members of Muslim community used to study Urdu. Thus, I was reading 3 languages at an age of 3, while in Kindergarten.

The 4th one took an entry in std II. With Sanskrit, I started 4 languages at a time. I myself do not know how I used to do that. But I know I never felt it very difficult. Then, after 3 yrs, I left the school, to join a high school (with +2), and left Urdu too.

But in 7 yrs, I had got enough not to be forgotten easily and I still can read Urdu somehow, having completely left it 11 yrs ago. Here came a large gap and I lived with a knowledge of 4 languages which seemed like an achievement at school. After completing my +2 in 2003, I left for coaching so that i could get into some good engineering college. In kota. Kota is a place famous for that. Those who have lived there know about the Kota life of course. Nothing new of course, in terms of languages.

And after the one yr coaching, I went to DA-IICT in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. That was a turning point. Gujarati was a language which looked a lot like Hindi. So I started trying. As a result, during my 2 day trip, I didn't get the college, but got something new. A language. And a confidence. That I could learn a script without any books, even in two days.

After those 2 days I landed in Bangalore (now Bengaluru), Karnataka. The language of the place is Kannada. And nearly everything that is owned by the government displays Kannada. I started trying again and got some letters of Kannada soon. No books again! This time I was delighted with my achievement as it was not that easy. Kannada was a tough language for me compared to Gujarati as didn't look like Hindi from any corner. 15 days later I joined VIT, in vellore, Tamilnadu.

The local language, Tamil, was something I tried and tried and tried. But it seemed nothing went right. I could not get even 3 letters in the first one month. But I wasn't lost. I was pretty much determined that I would get this too. In fact, once a friend of mine, Apoorv, who has been living here since birth, and speaks some Tamil too, challenged me saying that he couldn't learn the language in 17 yrs. I asked for a yr's time. And voila! When I gave my job interview, I knew Tamil, at least enough to convince my interviewer that I knew the script. In fact I had learnt a lot of it in just 7-8 months.

And all this happens without any books. Some of my friends ask, how? Here, I'll answer, after a break. :)

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