My son is taking Telugu lessons in Chinmaya Mission. He goes to class every Sunday. I did not get a chance to sit with him and see what he is being taught and make him practice at home. Since there is no official home work I am taking it easy I guess. Today I had some time and he was in super nice kid mood. He blamed me for not teaching him Telugu at home. Obviously I got offended :) and I took out his book.
I saw some Telugu words and English meanings and when he is eating dinner started asking him translations. Here is our conversation:
Me: I will say a word. If I say a Telugu word you must tell me what it means in English and if I say a English word you must give me the Telugu word for it. Got it?
Son: Wow! I love this game. My teacher always plays this game with us :)
(Wow! I am smart :D)
Son: I don't know.
Me: Okay. It is called Angadi (My son wrote this word in the book)
Seriously? Who calls a store Angadi these days? My grand parents never used this word I guess and I am taking their standard because my grand father was a Telugu Pundit. He used to say Dukanam I guess. They really need to update the syllabus. They might have taken the words from pedda balasiksha. They need to teach words used in the current real world so that kids can communicate when they visit India. Hmm. I decided to escalate this issue to the concerned person to get the syllabus changed :-D
Son: Ask me more mom.
Me: Okay okay.Pen.
Son: I don't know
Me: it is called Kalamu.
Son: Then what do you call a pencil amma?
Me: Umm. I don't know it is just called pencil.
Son: How come? When pen is called Kalamu pencil must have some word too. Kids in Hyderabad don't use pencil to write or do light saber fight? (he is too much into star wars these days)
Me: Of course they do.
Son: Then how come they don't know how to say the word which means pencil?
Me: For some words they use English words.
Son: Amma, it would be so funny if in Hyderabad people use English words instead of all Telugu words when they speak right?
I laughed and said: then it would be English not Telugu.
Son: Ya... you are right. Then why do people in Hyderabad need to learn Telugu at all?
Me: Hmm...... Okay we are getting distracted.
(He has been to Hyderabad and my grandparents village. So he thinks Hyderabad is the only place in India where they speak Telugu :)
Son: Oh I know - They should call it - Pencilu with a "u" at the end. In Telugu every word ends with "u". Even Telug(u). Haha.. I discovered something amma. Did you realize that Telugu ends with a U :)))) (giggles)
Me: Great discovery son. Let's move on.
Arrow - Banamu.
He is writing these words in Telugu. I remembered last year when he first learnt to write the letter - na in the word banamu. He said this is how you DRAW the letter ana - you draw the number 6 and another reverse 6 next to it. Then on top of 6 you need to make a letter C and a reverse C on top of the other 6 and remember to join the 2 C's on top. The C's must look like clouds :)
He is enjoying learning Telugu sooooo much. He says Telugu letters are artsy :) Anyways coming back to word translations:
Me: Okay now what is eggplant in Telugu?
Me: Do you mean Chikkudi Kaya?
Son: What is Chikkudi kaya?
Me: It is a vegetable - it looks like a pea pod, the one we have in our backyard.
Son: Uh uh! You said a bad word.
Me: What did I say?
Son: You said pee...
Me: No, the word I said is PEA as in Green Peas. Not Pee Pee.
Son: Giggles....Ohhhhh now I get it. (he is just messing with me. He knew what pea pods were)
Since it was the week of Diwali they taught him the word Fire crackers.
Me: What is a Fire Cracker in Telugu?
The way in which he sounded it out was so cute :)
Me: Lol. No think again. Okay let me help you. You used chittakaya once already. How can two different words in English have the same Telugu word?
(I thought I was smart to give this hint :)
Son: Why not? In English HERE and HEAR sound the same. But they mean different things. So when I say chittakaya for both eggplant and fire cracker it sounds the same but when you write it it is different :)
Me: Okay, firstly there is no word chittakaya. So think of something else.
Son: I know. I just made it up in my head. I like the sound of this word. So I am going to use it for everything.
Me: That's not going to work. If you want to learn Telugu, you need to take this seriously.
Son: Okay! Okay!
Me: Fire cracker is called Tapakaya.
Son: See chittakaya is close :)
Me: Okay, let's move on.
What is Curry?
Me: What? You are giving me a English word. Give me Telugu word for Curry.
He says Annam :)
Me: Okay Curry is not Annam. What are you eating now?
Son: Kura Annam.
Me: Yeah, that means?
Son: I don't know. Hmm.
Me: Okay Curry = Kura.
Son: Ohhhhhhhhh now I get it.
Me: Bag is Sanchi
Son: Amma, burglars take big "sanchis" with them when they go to rob a house :)
The lesson ends with this. That was enough Telugu for a day :)