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Losing Paachi

More often than not I come across English-starting with being the preferred language at college, to the textbooks I read, friends I converse with, movies, television serials, newspaper dailies and so on… The result is definitely noticeable- being able to read any graduate level English article compared to three years back when each word required me to go back to dictionary to break the impasse.

Meanwhile, I knew my knowledge in other languages was taking a serious beating. Among others that included Kannada too. After all even that is a language, isn’t it? Each minute spent to understand the minute detail concern about an English word made me poor by some amount in another languages.

Last month, I failed to communicate the word I wanted at that instant.The gravity of the situation impacted me just like a lightning.I knew it as algae in English. But what is it called in Kannada?

Paachi-the elusive word that missed me that moment.

I was able to write or explain about it in English that moment . But was that I wanted? Definitely not. What bothered me was that this was just an event.What if I generalized this? The serious loss of something that can not be directly measured;no one asks about.

Assuming that I lose one word in my mother tongue in one day, how many will I lose in one year? Ok, it is 365 words . Extend that to 10 years. We have 3650 words. When a person average vocabulary consists less than 10000 words this figure is definitely shocking.What if there are 100 people like me who lose like this, then what is the net loss to that language? Does that loss matters only to the person who lose it or does its include the language concerned?

Losing the ability to express the feeling that came to my mind in my own mother tongue is the greatest loss I have experienced. It’s inconsolable disaster which will bring back memories of the dreadful feeling forever.

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