Thursday, May 24, 2007

just a verse...

Slept out in the open
Beneath the purple sky
Thought about the stars; wondered where am I?
Thought across the light-years
Traveled as the light of my Star
Through the finite infinity
I reached my Self, where my thought sprang from
But the light of my Star had ceased to Be.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Scripting Learning

Another short quick post.
Someone visited here from Canada recently. The discussion over supper meandered over a multitude of topics. One topic that sticks in mind is that of language scripts, and pronunciations.

There are numerous language scripts on the sub-continent; some similar, some different. The few I know of are from the North Indian languages. Scripts in South India bear little similarity whatsoever. The one exception is Urdu, which uses the Arabic script. One point on which the languages I know of are similar is the grouping of consonants, soft-consonants, and vowels. The letters are grouped in the manner of pronunciation.

The Devanagari Script is organized in groups based upon where the sound originates in the body as -
Velar - Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha
Palatal - Cha, Cha, Ja, Jha
Retroflex - Ta, Tha, Da, Dha [as in Tut]
Dental - Ta, Tha, Da, Dha
Labial - Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha

The pronunciation of the dentals are a softer version of the retroflex. But that's past the point. We learn to speak even before we learn our alphabets. Here, on the subcontinent, english is the medium of instruction in a significant fraction of the nursery/preparatory schools. But without meaning to sound an anglophobe [can't claim to be that, as anybody reading this will realize (+: ] why not start the mother tongue earlier? As the baby/child gains control of his ability to make sounds, teach another set of the sounds. By the time school starts, the child will have a significant advantage. The success of this suggestion also depends upon how well a child responds to learning something new, though. But children tend to be fascinated by whatever appears new. I wonder if this may work ...