Mark Twain once called it “the land of dreams and romance…of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps…[the] grandmother of legend…” It’s India. Today on Home School Heartbeat, homeschool graduate Ingrid Heidelberger tells host Mike Smith about her experiences with the country—and its languages!
Ingrid, welcome back to the program today! I know that you recently added two more languages to the many that you already speak: the Telugu and Tamil dialects of the Indian language. What got you interested in learning them?
Well, on several occasions I’ve gone to southern India to work in some children’s homes, in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where the official languages are Tamil and Telugu. So as I spent time with the children at the homes, I figured it would be best if I made an effort to learn their languages so that we wouldn’t have to rely on broken English all the time. So I started with simple commands, like sit, stand, come, go, do your work. And I also learned many words for food items and members of the family because these words were used the most frequently. I definitely learned the most from the young children, because they spoke fairly slowly and their grammar was extremely simple. Also, I learned a lot about the syntax of Tamil and Telugu by just paying close attention to the errors the Indians made when they spoke English. It was a really exciting time to learn. I’m still a total beginner in both Tamil and Telugu, but I plan to keep learning and practicing.
Well yeah, what a tremendous experience you had, Ingrid, and thank you so much for joining us to tell us about it this week. Until next time, I’m Mike Smith.