Konkani set for big renaissance


The New Indian Express


By Sangamesh Menasinakai

02nd November 2010 02:38 AM

BANGALORE: "Techies are very fashionable and they have very little affection towards their mother tongue. They do not even respect their motherland. As they are kids of globalisation, they only adopt English as their lifestyle."

If this is your opinion about techies, then you have to change it. The ‘think globally, act locally’ policy is driving them to do good to their mother tongue as well as their motherland.

Roshan Ramesh Pai, a Bangalorean working as an IT consultant in London and his team, are the best example for this positive trend. Inspired by the revival of the Welsh language, he has taken up the project to make an online dictionary of his language. His website savemylanguage.org has been functional for the last five years.

According to his website, Konkani is a language spoken by mainly the Gowda Saraswatha Brahmins (GSBs) of Dakshina Kannada district. But there are some other communities also which speak Konkani in Karwar and Goa. Roshan clarifies, "Konkani, as spoken in Mangalore by the GSBs, represents the dialect that is spoken by the majority of Konkani speakers in Karnataka. The Konkani spoken by a majority of Konkanis in say Bangalore, for example, is of that dialect."

However Roshan, says that his team has a plan of including as many subdialects as possible in future. He requests other Konkani-speaking communities to come forward to be volunteers.

Though he has 65 members in his team across the world, all are of GSB community. But many visitors to the site are speakers of various other Konkani dialects too.

All words contributed by enthusiasts cannot get direct access to the dictionary due to stringent review process.

Dr Sudheer Manohar Tadkodkar, head of the department of Marathi, Goa University, is voluntarily involved in the project as mentor and guiding on technical matters. The team of 60 volunteers includes bank professionals, housewives and students. Some are helping through Facebook, others review words and some others add new words.

The dictionary, which has been updated with 6,500 words at the moment, also includes proverbs, metaphors, idioms, euphemisms and even research papers on the language. The team has not demanded any direct help from Karnataka Konkani Academy. But members of the Academy are aware of this project. It is committed to publish the dictionary in print form once it reaches an estimated 10,000 words.


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