Monday, July 06, 2009

Lost in translation

I had a really crazy time today. In office, the cabs usually gather at a point and we get in there. Today, I was a few minutes late than my usual time and a part of me was actually worried if my cab had left earlier.I was given the registration number of the allotted one. I had never been in the particular cab before and i wasn't able to spot it anywhere. I walk to and fro and I decide to go ask the person in charge if it had already left and if it was possible for him to put me into a different one. I go towards him and a friend who stays in the same place as me, waves asking me to get in to the cab he was in. I notice the registration number and it is in kannada! I am a non kannada speaking person in a kannada speaking land. I often say people should learn the local language rather than expect the locals to know hindi/english. But then, having a registration number only in the local language is like heights!
I agree that you are extremely attached to your mother tongue (So am I to mine btw) and you want to propagate it. Good. I appreciate your persistence. But wouldnt it be better to have registration plates in english and in kannada? It would help people to learn faster that way ( I mean if you want to spread the language, they can associate numbers they see in english and kannada together right?)Now I know how someone in a completely tamil speaking place feels. We have boards in english and tamil in most places and the highways also have directions in english.
Sometimes i feel, we have too much of a language barrier within a small country. I am proud of my country having people speaking the many different tongues. Still, sometimes i wish we could all gather at just one common platform. A lot of children i know in the local medium schools,(tamil, kannada) suffer a lot if they try to converse with someone who doesnt know the language. Isnt it our duty to make the world a better place to live in? How are things going to be better if we cant communicate with each other? I really wonder. If everything is lost in translation, how are we going to ever talk!


viki said...

lol.. they ve registration numbers in kannada even for cabs..?? poor u.. but u shud thank god; it hasnt struck them to change even the town bus route numbers to kannada... :P ..
It s such a pity tht they do talk abt rules like these in the assembly...
Few yrs back when TN govt introduced this rule of replacing TN wen THA NA i found it laughable.. but here atleast they have retained the english plates as well thank god.. :)

Harini Padmanabhan said...

@viki: :) thank god for english.