A Gujarati friend once remarked, “I have never heard a more melodious language than the Konkani language.’ Konkani is a simple yet rich language. Konkani Basics captures the language in all its lyrical beauty and simplicity, and is a befitting ode to the language. To those who have not had the fortune of savoring the sublime splendour of this language until now, Konkani Basics is an invitation to do so. This book is Vidya Gunavanthe’s earnest attempt to teach Konkani to non-Konkani speaking people. The author has translated her love for the language into a book. The author has translated her love for the languages into a book. The Konkani language discussed in this book is the one generally spoken by the Chitrapur Saraswats, who migrated from the Saraswati valley in Kashmir, southward (initially to Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra) in batches as early as the ninght, tenth, and eleventh century. Enjoy learning this melodious language.
Vidya Gunavanthe was born in Mumbai. She has done her Masters in Psychology and has extensive experience in Journalism, freelancing for leading Indian publications, such as Sunday Mid-Day, Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age, Bombay Times, Westside Plus, Let’s Travel, Femina, Women’s Era, etc. A story written by her has been made into a 90-minute featurette of India. A gifted writer, Vidya has authored three novels Tender Years, of Dreams and Destiny, Twice Upon a Time. Konkani Basics is Vidya Gunavanthe’s fourth book and her first non-fiction piece.
What is unique about Konkani?
There is no Konkani script. So, people take to the script or lipi that is common to the region of India that they live or grow up in. Konkani-speaking people or Saraswats settled in Karnataka use the Kannad script, those in Kerala use the Malayalm script while those in Maharashtra and elsewhere use Devnagiri or some use simply, the Roman script as in Goa and some use even the Arabic.
Konkani is one of the official languages of India. It is a very progressive language in that it adopts a lot of words from other languages and internalizes them. For instance, while the words for ‘switching on’ in Konkani would be ‘chaloo kari’, more often, we say, ‘on kari’.
The Konkani language taught in this book is predominantly that spoken by the Chitrapur Saraswats in South Kanara, Karnataka.
We will begin with a list of commonly-used words listed in English alphabetical order, before proceeding to commonly-used phrases, questions, and then going from simple to complex sentences. The vocabulary list includes mostly, words that we use in day-to-day life, and may be referred to when you need to know any specific word.
Some lessons may have simple and advanced sections. Initially, you may go through the simple sections of each lesson, and when you become well conversant with Konkani, you may read up the advanced sections to enhance your Konkani language skills.
It would also be helpful if you could sit with al Konkani-speaking person while you read this book the first time.
Use the accompanying audio CD in the inside back cover jacket of the book to help you in the pronunciation of words.
The audio CD is categorized into lessons and sections within lessons. You may access the relevant lesson and double-click on the Playlist to access all the sections in the lesson in order. Alternatively, if you want to access only a particular section in a lesson, double-click on the relevant section within the lesson.
The audio is for the tutorial portion of a lesson. You
can play the audio even while you’re not reading the
book to familiarize yourself with the intonations of the language.
I lay no claim to being an expert in Konkani but have tried my best to make the language as easy and simple to learn as possible.
Enjoy learning our language! And feel free to communicate with me on.
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