I have stayed in the beautiful city during my school days. It was disappointing to leave this great and lively and greenery place in 2012, due to my father’s transfer back to Delhi. Despite the fact that I was born in Delhi, I loved Bangalore more than any other city, compared to Singapore or Hong Kong.
During my nine-year stay, I witnessed many things and thought to share this to all my readers! I actually took Sanskrit as my third language option in my school, ahead of Kannada, the local language the people speak in the city and elsewhere in the state of Karnataka. People understand English as well, but it is their weak Hindi speaking skills, that puts you on the edge, if you don’t know good and proper English or Kannada.
As seen above, I never made an effort to speak in Kannada, in spite of staying in Bangalore for so long. Well, it is not a problem, unless if any wrongdoing happens with you anytime. As a Bengali, I am fluent in both Hindi, English and Sanskrit, but know a little Kannada. As we all know, Bangalore is known as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’ or ‘IT City of India’, as a number of corporate organisations and well known MNCs are located there.
With more than half the population of this IT city being from the rest of India, you might actually survive here without knowing a single word of Kannada. But for a more immersive experience of ‘Namma Bengaluru’ (My Bangalore), try using a few words of Kanglish (an amalgam of Kannada and English). This will win you friends and help you appreciate something of the rich local culture. Here are the top eight Kanglish phrases that you can adopt for starters!
1. Anna, please…
‘Anna’ is a magical word. It means brother in Kannada. Use it when you address shopkeepers and auto rickshaw drivers. They will love the implicit respect, you are giving them and are guaranteed to reach out to you with special helpfulness as a result.
2. Swalpa adjust maadi…
Easily Bangalore’s favourite phrase, this means, ‘could you please adjust a little.’ When somebody gets difficult to deal with, this Kanglish phrase comes in handy. Be it finding a seat in a crowded Volvo bus, Metro train or bargaining at a local kirana store, use this stock phrase and watch its quite magical effects!
3. Other magic words – Beku, beda, gothilla, yelli and howdu…
Beku means you ‘want it’, and beda means ‘you don’t’. Gothilla means you ‘don’t know’, yelli means ‘where’, and howdu means ‘yes.’ So when a passer-by rattles away in Kannada, you could always say ‘Kannada gothilla’ or if you are searching for an address, you could ask ‘e address yelli.’ These five words will help you get past most situations.
4. Life super, guru!
When your Kannadiga friends ask you how you are doing, surprise them by replying with, “Life super, guru!” Basically – and unsurprisingly – this means you are doing great. Coincidentally, it is also the tagline of a popular FM station in the city for the last one decade or so.
5. Okay, Maga!
‘Maga’ is the equivalent of bro (informal – brother) in English, ‘da’ in Malayalam, ‘ra’ in Telugu, ‘Macha’ in tamil, ‘dada’ in Bengali, ‘bhau’ in Marathi or ‘bhai’ in Hindi. Generally used when addressing a male buddy or peer, this is a very informal term, most often heard in casual settings or circumstances. So, use this to look cool!
6. Eshtu Saar?
Not Sir, but ‘Saar’ especially to add the colloquial touch. Eshtu means ‘how much’. So, whether you want to know how much the auto guy will charge you or how much the bus fare is or how much will you purchase for a metro token, you will get your answer with just these two words, “Eshtu Saar?”
7. Nashta aitha? Oota aitha?
Yes, nashta is what you understand by nashta in Hindi – breakfast – now a part of Kannada lingo. And oota refers to lunch or dinner, a meal. So when you either say ‘nashta aitha’ or ‘oota aitha’, you are asking if the other person has had breakfast or lunch or dinner. You could also simply ask, “Lunch aitha?” And if you are one who has to answer the question, there is just a one word answer: “Aithu (done) or aagilla/ille illa. (not yet).”
8. Sakkath easy!
Sakkath is a word that means awesome, cool or super. It is most often used as an adjective. For instance, when your buddy asks if the examination was breeze, you could say, “Yeah, sakkath easy.” And if your Kannadiga friend asks about your last weekend road trip, you could just say, “Sakkath agithu!” So go ahead, stop using the overly-used word, ‘awesome’ and replace it with something better and unique, ‘Sakkath.’
So while you are in Namma Bengaluru during your vacations, just ‘Sakkath Majja Maadi’ or ‘Mast Majja Madu’ (Enjoy your life!) That is all for now guys! Next time ‘sigona’ (See you next time) with a new post next month. For now, enjoy reading this article, and dive yourself into Namma Bengaluru mode for a few minutes! 🙂