Say something in an Indian language?

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Fryie
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Fryie » Mon May 11, 2009 7:19 pm UTC

mastered wrote:
Fryie wrote:நான் கொஞ்சம் தமிழ் படித்தாலும், என்னால் நன்றாக பேச முடியாது.
(Was that correct?)

It makes sense, although படித்தாலும், என்னால் would probably be said படிக்க தெரியும், ஆனா. It's kind of like the difference in between "Although I can read some Tamil, I still can't speak well" and "I can read some Tamil, but I can't speak very well".

Oh - we learned that படி can mean both "to read" and "to learn/study". So, what I wanted to say was more like "Although I am learning some Tamil, I can't speak well".

ரொம்ப நன்றி

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mastered
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby mastered » Tue May 12, 2009 1:37 am UTC

Fryie wrote:
mastered wrote:
Fryie wrote:நான் கொஞ்சம் தமிழ் படித்தாலும், என்னால் நன்றாக பேச முடியாது.
(Was that correct?)

It makes sense, although படித்தாலும், என்னால் would probably be said படிக்க தெரியும், ஆனா. It's kind of like the difference in between "Although I can read some Tamil, I still can't speak well" and "I can read some Tamil, but I can't speak very well".

Oh - we learned that படி can mean both "to read" and "to learn/study". So, what I wanted to say was more like "Although I am learning some Tamil, I can't speak well".

ரொம்ப நன்றி


Ah, yes, I know. It can be both a blessing and a curse. ;) My paternal grandmother lives with us, and that connotation has stayed, so when I'm just reading something random for interest and she or my father asks "What are you doing?" I can say "படிக்கிண்றேன்" and let them think I'm studying. :twisted:
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dalahäst
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby dalahäst » Tue May 12, 2009 11:52 pm UTC

That's way awesome.

Another benefit of knowing languages like Tamil– at least in the US– is that almost nobody will understand it, and you can say whatever you want without any fear of repercussions and such.

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steewi
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby steewi » Wed May 13, 2009 1:37 am UTC

dalahäst wrote:That's way awesome.

Another benefit of knowing languages like Tamil– at least in the US– is that almost nobody will understand it, and you can say whatever you want without any fear of repercussions and such.

But you never know when you'll happen upon someone who understands you. When I lived in (small town) China, people would assume I don't understand even standard Chinese and talk about me. I could understand them. I've never caught the Chinese students here gossiping about me in Chinese, but I bet they wouldn't suspect that I could understand them (being white and all).

Sure, Tamil isn't a widely known language, so you'd probably get away with it. There have been some cracker situations when it goes wrong, though.

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dalahäst
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby dalahäst » Wed May 13, 2009 2:55 am UTC

steewi wrote:
dalahäst wrote:That's way awesome.

Another benefit of knowing languages like Tamil– at least in the US– is that almost nobody will understand it, and you can say whatever you want without any fear of repercussions and such.

But you never know when you'll happen upon someone who understands you. When I lived in (small town) China, people would assume I don't understand even standard Chinese and talk about me. I could understand them. I've never caught the Chinese students here gossiping about me in Chinese, but I bet they wouldn't suspect that I could understand them (being white and all).

Sure, Tamil isn't a widely known language, so you'd probably get away with it. There have been some cracker situations when it goes wrong, though.


Here in California, there's only about a 50% chance that it will work with Spanish. Lots of people here speak it. Asian languages are spoken here to a certain extent, but most of the speakers are very obviously Asian (which is when you can use Spanish :) ) I'd say that there are almost certainly under 1000 Tamil speakers in California, though, which definitely makes it useful for that.

And when these fail, if it's a written message you want to communicate, there are lots of ways to scramble things, including writing the message in one of numerous kinds of futhork, or using a confusing orthography like Irish or Welsh (e.g., Hawaiian = Hamheighainn or some such thing).

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Crack Kid » Wed May 13, 2009 3:18 am UTC

Yaarudadaru illi kannada gotha? (Anyone speak kannada here ? It's probably wrong, though)

I'd be pretty shocked if anyone did, I've yet to run into someone in the US who isn't related to me and who can (I also understand a few phrases (ie, Ianka unthe tulu barpandu) in Tulu. I'd literally have a heart attack if someone here speaks that). I understand Kannada pretty decently (My mom speaks only Kannada to me), but speaking beyond one word phrases is out of my reach. I'm spending the next month in num amamam ooru (my grandma's village), where English is pretty scarce, so hopefully I'll improve.

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Nath
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Nath » Wed May 13, 2009 4:23 am UTC

dalahäst wrote:Here in California, there's only about a 50% chance that it will work with Spanish. Lots of people here speak it. Asian languages are spoken here to a certain extent, but most of the speakers are very obviously Asian (which is when you can use Spanish :) ) I'd say that there are almost certainly under 1000 Tamil speakers in California, though, which definitely makes it useful for that.

What? No. Silicon Valley and all that. Probably more Telugu speakers than Tamil speakers, but plenty of both. In any case, many South Indians can get the gist of a Tamil conversation, even if they can't speak Tamil.

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Fryie » Fri May 15, 2009 12:59 am UTC

steewi wrote:Sure, Tamil isn't a widely known language, so you'd probably get away with it. There have been some cracker situations when it goes wrong, though.

Actually with the civil war in Sri Lanka and everything there's quite a lot of Tamil people all around Europe. At least in Switzerland, it's a language you might hear sometimes.

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steewi
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby steewi » Fri May 15, 2009 3:39 am UTC

Fryie wrote:
steewi wrote:Sure, Tamil isn't a widely known language, so you'd probably get away with it. There have been some cracker situations when it goes wrong, though.

Actually with the civil war in Sri Lanka and everything there's quite a lot of Tamil people all around Europe. At least in Switzerland, it's a language you might hear sometimes.

Thus my warning. Sometimes it catches you by surprise.

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godonlyknows620
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby godonlyknows620 » Sat May 16, 2009 10:59 pm UTC

Crack Kid wrote:Yaarudadaru illi kannada gotha? (Anyone speak kannada here ? It's probably wrong, though)

I'd be pretty shocked if anyone did, I've yet to run into someone in the US who isn't related to me and who can (I also understand a few phrases (ie, Ianka unthe tulu barpandu) in Tulu. I'd literally have a heart attack if someone here speaks that). I understand Kannada pretty decently (My mom speaks only Kannada to me), but speaking beyond one word phrases is out of my reach. I'm spending the next month in num amamam ooru (my grandma's village), where English is pretty scarce, so hopefully I'll improve.


=OOOO

You missed my post!

Houdu, nannige kannada mattadake barathe.

:D

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alitheiapsis
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby alitheiapsis » Sun May 17, 2009 4:29 am UTC

The Hindi slang for black people is "kale log" (or something), and so many people have used the term in New York that many black people understand it. When I visited my aunt there, she warned us that you had to use a portmanteau if you ever wanted to talk about them.
[Disclaimer: Neither I nor my aunt are racist. However, some Indians are racist, and their using the term in a derogatory manner ruined it for the rest of us.]

In other news,
any Gujjus in the house?

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Kizyr
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Kizyr » Tue May 19, 2009 2:34 pm UTC

alitheiapsis wrote:The Hindi slang for black people is "kale log" (or something), and so many people have used the term in New York that many black people understand it. When I visited my aunt there, she warned us that you had to use a portmanteau if you ever wanted to talk about them.
[Disclaimer: Neither I nor my aunt are racist. However, some Indians are racist, and their using the term in a derogatory manner ruined it for the rest of us.]

Oh this is definitely true... Kale/Kalu has been used so often that blacks who are around a lot of Indians will definitely understand it. Gora is picked up by whites to some extent, too. Given how some South Asians figure it's fine to tell racist jokes as long as it's in another language, I don't mind that they're/we're finally getting some flak for that.
[Same disclaimer applies to me.] KF
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davec51
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby davec51 » Sat May 23, 2009 4:43 pm UTC

I'll contribute "Sat sri akhal," in Punjabi. It's just the Sikh hello.

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Tue May 26, 2009 5:05 am UTC

tendays wrote:
Also I just noticed, when seeing it quoted in your post, that I wrote मतलब with an unusual spelling :)



मतलब is not, strictly speaking, a "pure" Hindi word, it's Urdu-derived. The classical word to be used in this context would be अर्थ.

Marathi is my mother tongue, Hindi my second language, and English my third. I hope this nitpicking over small details won't be found irksome by the forum - it's rarely, if ever, that I get to do so on the internet.

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Tue May 26, 2009 5:13 am UTC

dalahäst wrote:That's way awesome.

Another benefit of knowing languages like Tamil– at least in the US– is that almost nobody will understand it, and you can say whatever you want without any fear of repercussions and such.


I know what you mean.

I grew up in a Hindi-speaking state, so I and my family essentially had Marathi as a private language when we were outside. Most of the times, we knew that there was very little chance anyone could understand us. Now that I've come to Maharashtra - where Marathi is the spoken language - for my college education, I miss having the ability to have a private conversation in the middle of a crowd.

aneeshm
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Tue May 26, 2009 5:33 am UTC

alitheiapsis wrote:
The Hindi slang for black people is "kale log" (or something), and so many people have used the term in New York that many black people understand it. When I visited my aunt there, she warned us that you had to use a portmanteau if you ever wanted to talk about them.



The derogatory slang would probably be "kalu".

Just use the word कृष्णवर्णी. Anyone who knows Hindi well will immediately understand what you mean, plus it isn't remotely offensive (because it's probably never been used before). कृष्ण means dark, and वर्ण means colour. वर्णी means possessed of some colour. FOOवर्णी thus means would mean FOO-coloured. The reason it should be non-offensive is because कृष्ण carries positive connotations (कृष्ण is already the name of an avatar, plus the (stunningly beautiful) wife of the Pandavas from the Mahabharat was often called कृष्णा (the feminine form of कृष्ण)), and the compound form is generally used with a different colour (pure white - in this context, meaning fairness) to indicate the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati (श्वेतवर्णी).

I'm a bit confused about the gender, though - I'm not entirely sure whether the वर्णी form generalises all that well. I'll get back if I resolve it. Till then, कृष्णवर्णी should do fine.

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godonlyknows620
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby godonlyknows620 » Tue May 26, 2009 8:17 pm UTC

कृष्णवर्णी sounds so pretty! But I've never heard it before. Very poetic.
But sadly most of the south asians I know will stick to the old term whether they're racist or not.

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Nath
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Nath » Tue May 26, 2009 9:38 pm UTC

godonlyknows620 wrote:कृष्णवर्णी sounds so pretty! But I've never heard it before. Very poetic.
But sadly most of the south asians I know will stick to the old term whether they're racist or not.

I don't think 'काले लोग' has racist connotations; it literally just means 'black people'. Granted, 'कृष्णवर्णी' sound better, but it's a little ambiguous: you might be referring to, say, the Yadav caste.

Also, yes, I think कृष्णवर्णी is feminine singular or plural.

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby alitheiapsis » Wed May 27, 2009 5:22 am UTC

aneeshm wrote:The derogatory slang would probably be "kalu".


I'm actually only barely fluent in Hindi, but in Gujarati the racist term is "काल्या". My aunt's recommendation was "काभय" (oh I hope that's right; I'm using Gmail for these and I'm worried I'm making really stupid errors)--mixing काल्या and the term for brother. Ironic, I thought. Oh, and for women you would just replace the bhai with ben (that may be just the Gujarati term for "sister").

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Wed May 27, 2009 6:18 pm UTC

Nath wrote:
godonlyknows620 wrote:
कृष्णवर्णी sounds so pretty! But I've never heard it before. Very poetic.
But sadly most of the south asians I know will stick to the old term whether they're racist or not.



I don't think 'काले लोग' has racist connotations; it literally just means 'black people'. Granted, 'कृष्णवर्णी' sound better, but it's a little ambiguous: you might be referring to, say, the Yadav caste.



Rather unlikely, though. Yadavs are generally referred to as, well..... Yadavs.

I think you may be referring to कृष्णवंशी.

Nath wrote:
Also, yes, I think कृष्णवर्णी is feminine singular or plural.



My Hindi isn't all that it used to be, but the masculine would be कृष्णवर्णा, if I'm not much mistaken.

ADDEMDUM: Another possibility occurs to me: कृष्णवार्णेय

Any independent confirmation on this would be appreciated.

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Nath
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby Nath » Wed May 27, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

aneeshm wrote:
Nath wrote:I don't think 'काले लोग' has racist connotations; it literally just means 'black people'. Granted, 'कृष्णवर्णी' sound better, but it's a little ambiguous: you might be referring to, say, the Yadav caste.


Rather unlikely, though. Yadavs are generally referred to as, well..... Yadavs.

I think you may be referring to कृष्णवंशी.

Doesn't वर्ण mean caste as well as colour?

aneeshm wrote:My Hindi isn't all that it used to be, but the masculine would be कृष्णवर्णा, if I'm not much mistaken.

ADDEMDUM: Another possibility occurs to me: कृष्णवार्णेय
Any independent confirmation on this would be appreciated.

I'm guessing कृष्णवर्णा.

aneeshm
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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Wed May 27, 2009 6:52 pm UTC

Another two possibilities:

क्रौष्णेय?
क्रौष्ण?

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Re: Say something in an Indian language?

Postby aneeshm » Wed May 27, 2009 7:06 pm UTC

Nath wrote:
Doesn't वर्ण mean caste as well as colour?



The formal meaning is "colour".

Strictly speaking, the word for caste is जाति, and there is no true English equivalent for वर्ण. The word वर्ण denotes only the higher-level grouping, as into one of the four "Arya" castes, and those outside the fold, the untouchables (literally the अन्त्यज, but others outside the fold include the चांडाळ, व्रात्य, म्लेच्छ, and so on). Caste's functional definition today would coincide with that of जाति, not वर्ण.

From the context, however, the correct meaning should be obvious.

Nath wrote:
I'm guessing कृष्णवर्णा.



Same here. Though I've tried to come up with a more terse form, for easier use in regular conversation (the last post).


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