Thursday, December 01, 2011

Don't say ram chagol! and Learning Hindi

Well...I'm into my 3rd week of Hindi classes, and besides saying small sentences like, "Mein khush hoon" (I am happy) or "Mein ladki hoon" (I am a girl) and the sounds, and a few words, I'm not so far into it yet. However, I can write the letters in their horribly round shapes (I much prefer Bengali script as it's more straight) and read it pretty well.

Well, let me tell you about my teacher. Her name is Latika, her native tongue is Hindi, and her husband's is Bengali. I know, you are probably thinking, Why do we give a crap about what her husband's native language is?, there is a point I promise! This is her first time teaching at Ramakrishna Mission, and she's not entirely sure how to go about it, not that I correct her. At the beginning of each class we are supposed to say a prayer, and in my Bengali class we were made to stand while we repeated it...well, she doesn't make us stand, maybe she doesn't know better? Also, I swear she has ADD (attention deficit disorder) because she can't stay on the same subject for more than like 20 minutes. If she did, we would already be done with the sounds, and writing, and you know...the boring stuff.

In one of my last classes we were going over some small vocabulary words. The word bakri (goat) came up and she asked me what it was in Bengali. I told her it was chagol, and after a slight pause continued on to say, "But, my husband always says ram chagol." Now, ram chagol means a billy goat, but it can be used as an insult, meaning a very stupid person. My teacher upon hearing this was shocked and said, "No! Don't say that! That's not a good thing to say!"

Then the next class we were going over the hindi words for banyan tree and riverside / bank (which for the life of me I can't remember at the moment, and I'm too lazy to get out my workbook...) and she couldn't tell us the exact English translation for them, so I texted one of my friends and asked him. He responded and I then told the teacher...hehe, the power of technology.

Oh, yes, and the workbook makes me feel like I'm in Kindergarten again...seriously, but anyways...I am enjoying shocking my teacher like this, and am half contemplating continuing with the courses just to entertain myself. :-) Because, honestly, if I didn't entertain myself somehow in this class, I would just fall asleep...not good! 

1 comment:

  1. I had been taking Hindi classes here in the US but Oct 25 was my last class as the teacher had to go to India. Well, she just called me 2 days ago and said she is back and will start classes again on sunday. I'm debating what to do because I'm in a class with all children, so I definitely feel like I'm in Kindergarten. Do you think I would do better in private lessons? Sounds like you have learned more than i have in your 3 weeks than I did in 3 months. It's moving too slow for me but I cant find anyone else!! We havent even completed the entire alphabet because the little kids in my class just dont care so they arent trying to learn. What type of workbook are you using? Is it something I can find online?