Cache Memory

unretentive, oblivious

Growing up with seven languages

I found this great collaborative blog that is for and by students, teachers, and others who share a fascination with language. Any language…I did not bat an eyelid and posted:

I was born in the bustling city of Bombay (now Mumbai; ah! language and politics.) in a middle class Indian family. Due to my father’s transferable job we moved from one place to another quite often. I learnt seven languages in the process and I must say it was quite a learning.

Bhojpuri in Bihar, Punjabi in Delhi, Oriya in Orissa, bit of Bengali, Hindi, English and Marathi, which is my mother tongue. All of this happened when I was seven till I was eighteen. And I loved every bit of it.

Of course, it wasn’t very easy to pick up the nuances of each language (I mean the regional ones. English was mandatory at school and Hindi is the most popular language, that again is political ). From making new friends to even learning expletives, every two years i had to start from the scratch. At some schools, I even had to learn regional language grammar. No marks to guess if I passed .

Every new region threw newer surprises and made me acquire a wider perspective of things. Respecting cultures, understanding social problems and the psyche of the people in a particular region. Today at my workplace, I come across people from all over the country and it makes me and them feel good when I know something about their culture or language. It really helps in networking and making new friends.

People used to ask me where am I from and I was unable to answer this question to their satisfaction. Now, I say I am from everywhere.

Thanks Dad.

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10 responses to “Growing up with seven languages

  1. Cynthia June 18, 2010 at 12:17 am

    u must have had one heck of a time learing. i tried learning french from my cousin n all i cud manage was d bad words.. 😉 i wud love to read some of ur experiances in detail too.. if der r any interesting ones that is.. keep scribbling.. 🙂

    • Rohan June 18, 2010 at 12:38 am

      Thanks Cynthia…You have always been the first one to have commented on my posts…feels good to have a handful of dedicated readers…thanks again…

      Yes you are right…at times it was difficult when you never knew if people are making fun of you for not knowing their language…. 🙂 I will surely post on my ther such experiences…

  2. Arjit June 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    7? Like, really? That is some serious stuff, mate.

  3. Meira June 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

    7 languages. Impressive.
    I have a similar background. A tam, born n brought up in Delhi and UP, studied in Andhra and Rajasthan, currently in Gurgaon, oh…and married to a guy who’s a gult, who was born in jamshedpur, brought up in ranchi, who’s studied in calcutta and stayed in orissa, kerela and columbo before settling in haryana 😀

  4. maverickshree July 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hey I think I can relate to the situations you were in..My dad used to get transferred across Maharashtra..adjusting with new school,new frenz was a tough task..I must say I was in better position than you..at least I need not learn diff grammers every 2 years 😛 But I think its a good opportunity you have got in small age 🙂

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