IMPERATIVES (Requests or commands)

12.11  Let me imagine you are a total foreigner to Kannada. You are placed in Bangalore or Mysore or in some other place in Karnataka. You want to learn to speak and read Kannada. What most of the learners do is to make a long list of words and sentences that they consider useful for communication. They get these words and sentences translated into Kannada and get them by heart. This ad hoc learning just serves a purpose, but does not help in learning the language. If you want to master the language, keep your ears open and listen to the real language as it is on the tongues of the people. Do this at least for a month. Preferably, have an interpreter with you. Learn the expressions in real life situations. On hearing a word or sentence in communication, ask the interpreter to translate it for you. Wherever possible, You can also ask others. Simultaneously, you must try to speak and mentally repeat the expressions you hear. You must also try to read name plates and headlines in newspapers. With the help of someone, you may even start reading and writing the words and sentences you hear. A primary school child will probably be the best teacher for a beginner. He will ardently be at it, and, he won’t teach you more than you need!

Translation Method might work if it is between two Indian languages, or between two European languages, but not between English and Kannada. either it is from English (being your mother tongue) to Kannada or from Kannada (being your mother tongue) to English. At best, you can only become a translating machine.

In learning a language, the first step is to hear thousands of sentences and have their meanings in your mind in your tongue, not vice versa. This is the method of fusing together the linguistic thought process in the two languages.

While you are learning Kannada, you will discover that there are thousands of sentences that you cannot translate do word-for-word into English. Surprisingly, most of them are the most common expressions, and, you hear a good number of them every day. You cannot learn their usage unless someone explains to you and use them in life situations.

For example, Poor or bad translation

ಹೋಗಿ ಬಾ. Go and come
ಹೋಗಿ ಬನ್ನಿ. Go and come
ಉಂಡು ಹೋಗು. Eat and go
ಉಂಡು ಹೋಗಿ. Eat and go
ಕುಳಿತುಕೊ. Sit
ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳಿ. Sit
ತಿನ್ನು ತಿನ್ನು. Eat eat
ಬಾ ಬಾ. Come come
ಬೇಗ ಬೇಗ ತಿನ್ನು. Eat quick quick
ಕೊಂಚ ತಾಳು/ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತಾಳು. Wait/ Have a little patience
ಕೊಂಚ ತಾಳಿ/ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ತಾಳಿ. Wait/ Have a little patience
ಇಲ್ಲೇ ನಿಲ್ಲು. Stand only here (Indian English)
ಇಲ್ಲೇ ನಿಲ್ಲಿ. Stand only here (Indian English)

 

12.12 Another example:

The words ಏನು (what) and ಎಷ್ಟು (how/ how ) have different contextual meanings.

  Word-for-word translation What it means
ಏನು? what? How are you?
ಏನು ಹಾಗೆ ನೋಡ್ತಿ? what like that (you) look? How dare you look at me like that?
ಏನು ಇವತ್ತು ಈ ಕಡೆ? what today this side? How come you’ve come this way today?
ಈ ಬಕೆಟಿಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟು? his bucket how much? How much for this bucket? (price)
ಈಗ ಚಿನ್ನಕ್ಕೆ ಹೇಗೆ? now gold how? What’s the price of gold now?

ಅವನಿಗೆ ಎಷ್ಟು ಹೇಳಿ ಏನು ಪ್ರಯೋಜನ? ಅವನು ಒಬ್ಬ ಮೂರ್ಖ.

to him how much telling what use? he is an idiot. What’s the use of telling him so much? He is an idiot.

 

13.12-3: The same in English, but different in Kannada

Teacher to student:

ಒಳಗೆ ನೀರು ಬಾ. ಕುಡಿ
in water come drink
Come in.Drink water

 

Teacher to students:

ಒಳಗೆ ಬನ್ನಿ.
ನೀರು ಕುಡಿಯಿರಿ
in come
water drink

Come in.
Drink water

 

Student to teacher:

ಒಳಗೆ ಬನ್ನಿ.
ನೀರು ಕುಡಿಯಿರಿ
in come
water drink

Come in.
Drink water

Note: There is a change in the form of the Verb for Subject in the Plural which is also the same for showing respect. This change does not follow a rule. The change depends on the nature of the syllabic end of the Verb.

Please Note: In the text of this course, we shall use (S) for One Person, (P) for Plural and (PR) for More Persons or for Respect Plural.

Study the following. They may work as models for many usages. Please note that often it is the spoken language that is used here, for example,

(S) ತಗೋತೀಯಾ? (PR) ತಗೋತೀರಾ? is the informal spoken form which is quite common where Kannada is the tongue of the people. In formal form it is ಕುಡಿಯುತ್ತೀಯಾ? ಕುಡಿಯುತ್ತೀರಾ? ತಗೋತೀಯಾ? ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತೀಯಾ?

ಕುಳಿತುಕೊ (S), and ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳಿ/ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳಿರಿ (PR) are formal. It has a variety of informal (colloquial forms all over Karnataka, for example,

(S) ಕೂರು, ಕೂಡು, ಕೂತ್ಕೊ, ಕೂತ್ಕ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊ, ಕುಂತ್ಕ

(PR) ಕೂರಿ, ಕೂಡಿ, ಕೂತ್ಕೊಳ್ಳಿ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ಳಿ

Also, endearingly to a female, with tonal variation:

To a female: (S) ಕೂರೆ, ಕೂಡೆ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ಳೆ, (P) ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ರೆ

To a male: (S) ಕೂರೊ, ಕೂಡೊ, ಕೂತ್ಕೊಳ್ಳೊ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ಳೊ (P) ಕೂಡ್ರೊ, ಕೂತ್ಕೊಳ್ರೊ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ರೊ

To male/female: (PR) ಕೂರ್ರಿ, ಕೂಡ್ರಿ, ಕುಂತ್ಕೊಳ್ರಿ ಕುಂತ್ಕಳ್ರಿ

 

12.12 -4:

The Verb forms

ಇಲ್ಲಿ

ಕುಳಿತುಕೊ. (S)

Sit here.

ಇಲ್ಲಿ = here

ದಯಮಾಡಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿ

ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳಿ/ (PR) ಕುಳಿತುಕೊಳ್ಳಿರಿ (PR)

Please sit here.

ದಯಮಾಡಿ = please ಅಲ್ಲಿ = there

ಚಪ್ಪಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿ

ಇಡಿ (S) / ಬಿಡಿ (PR)

Leave shoes here.

ಚಪ್ಪಲಿ = shoes

ಚಪ್ಪಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲಿ

ಇಡಿ/ಇಡಿರಿ (PR)

Leave shoes here.

ಚಪ್ಪಲಿ = shoes

ಚಹ

ಕುಡಿ (S) / ಕುಡಿಯಿರಿ (PR)

Drink tea.

ಚಹ = milk
ಕುಡಿ =drink

ಹಾಲು

ಕುಡೀತೀಯಾ? (S)

Do you drink milk?

ಹಾಲು =milk

ಹಾಲು

ಕುಡೀತೀರಾ? (PR)

Do you drink milk?

ಹಾಲು =milk

ಚಹ

ತಗೋತೀಯಾ? (S)

Would you like to have tea?

ಚಹ =tea

ಚಹ

ತಗೋತೀರಾ? (PR)

Would you like to have tea?

ಚಹ =tea