Friday, July 18, 2008


A friend sent me this photograph with the comment that it was super.

For those who do not read Kannada, here are the transliteration and translation:

kAvEri nIru kuDiyuva munna kannaDa kali
karnATakada anna tinnuva modalu kannaDigara saMskriti kali

Before you drink Kaveri water, learn Kannada.
Before you eat "Kannada rice" (food from Karnataka) learn the culture of Karnataka.

The unfortunate part is that one can easily, and rightly I believe, find errors in the Kannada in the slogan itself.

It should have read:

kAvEriya nIrannu kuDiyuva munna kannaDavannu kali
karnATakada annava tinnuva modalu kannaDigara saMskritiyannu kali

Exercising poetic freedom, some parts could perhaps be dropped. Such parts are in italics above.

This opinion of mine is perhaps controversial. I am ready to let it go.

But below the solgan is a couplet which is just plain wrong. It reads:

Enu ninna ciMte
heLE nanna kAMte

what is your worry
do tell me dearie

The first word in the second line should read hELE, the capital E in the word symbolising the long vowel - like hey!

If we have such facility with and respect for our own language, what is the use of asking "outsiders" to learn our language and respect our culture?

There are many "kannaDa" advertisement hoardings written in English script! No one questions that and protests. That, to me, is sad . . .


  1. to know the state of kannada in karnataka all one needs to do is hear the kannada news on E TV or udaya. if you can tolerate that, try the live commentaries on important occassions like the dasara, paryaaya , mahamastaabhisheka etc etc. after that, you are immune to everything else.

  2. Anonymous1:03 pm

    the spelling blooper notwithstanding, thats a line from a famous kannada song starring Vishnuvardhan, Arati & Ambarish...a hit movie with lilting music...a long time ago...

    -- chama meshtru