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Archive for March, 2015

Mar
31
2015

Kids: Love your language just a little more with a chance to win this trendy hand-painted akshar t-shirt from our partner Rang Rage. Rang Rage will be producing a T-shirt for us in each of Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, and Tamil – so there will be 4 separate winners.

All you have to do is support our Love Your Language Alphabet Blocks Pre-Order Campaign. (Those who have already pre-ordered the alphabet blocks will be automatically entered in the language of purchase).

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
30
2015

You may be scratching your head at the visual for this post, but if your child’s teacher uses Class Dojo to “manage” classroom behavior, you’ll see the connection (teachers assign students avatars through Class Dojo, and then create and track goals and rewards).  My daughter comes home from school one afternoon and informs us, “I got to change my a-va-taar today,” (pronouncing the first “a” as in “apple”). You mean uh-vuh-taar – like Vishnu’s 10 uh-vuh-taars?  “No, it’s a-va-taar. It’s not the same word.”   I tried to explain that it is the same word, and the symbolism behind the Indian origin – but I’m not sure she got it.  There we go, I thought, misappropriating a good Indian word, and mangling it to the point of non-recognition by a 6-year-old.

Hence the genesis for this post. Here’s the list – please feel free to add:

1. Avatar (as described above) – it’s very easy to pronounce it correctly – everyone should try.

2. Namaste – I still have yet to hear a non-Indian pronounce this correctly.  Yoga instructors included.

3. Pakistan – George W. Bush did a number on this one.  Thanks for this (and everything else), W.

4. Diwali – This gets tortured on many different levels. Maybe it’s our fault for letting this word get shortened from the original.  It’s too big of a price for my taste.

5. Gandhi – Will blame the British for this one.

6. Hindu – is it really necessary to accentuate the “oooooo” at the end?  This elongation does nothing to accentuate the exoticism.  And the “d” is slightly soft. It’s not our fault that English doesn’t have 4 different sounds for the “d.”

7. Hyderabad (or any city ending in “bad”) – It’s not “bad” as in “bad breath.”  Which we don’t have by the way, because we use tongue cleaners.

8. Nehru – The “h” is there for a reason, which I understand can seem confusing, but there is still no reason to change the short “e” sound.  It’s non-sequitor.

9. Tabla – Maybe it would help everyone if we spelled it “tubluh.”

10. Akbar – The first syllable does NOT rhyme with “yak.”

11. Shiva – I don’t see a long “ee” sound in here, do you?

12. Dhal – No, we are not heathens who consume children’s toys as our staple protein, voodoo or not.  We’ve evolved since Indiana Jones.

Would I correct a stranger?  Maybe in a subtle way, depending on the audience.  But I’ll certainly correct my kids.  These words are borrowed from India (and Pakistan) – and they should be proud of that.

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
26
2015

Celebrate Sri Rama Navami (Saturday, March 28th) with this simple rock painting exercise. Have your kids write Rama on rocks, reminding them of the Rama Sethu – a great way to practice script. If paint is too tricky (especially with really curly letters), give them markers instead.  You can have them paint a whole series of rocks in different colour patterns and model your own backyard bridge!

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
25
2015

Fancy Hindi lettering – check out this gorgeous Devangari typography by designer Sneha Patel. The stylized font is inspired by old Indian art and architectural elements. Can you see the influences?

images via here

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
23
2015

In celebration of World Poetry Day (Saturday, March 21), here is a wonderful poem for kids – Motibil – by none other than Rabindranath Tagore. The video of the poem Motibil is in Bengali, and you can let your kids listen to this beautiful language – and later read them the translation here.

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
20
2015

Sure Holi was exciting (I am still recovering, as is our washing machine…), but there’s something about a traditional Telugu (and Kannada) panduga (celebration).  My family never celebrated Holi while I was growing up, but Ugadi was a big deal – so for me, it feels extra special.

Good thing my husband is a Kannadiga, and we are lucky to live near his family: we can look forward to a day of warm celebrations with loved ones.  Maybe I can even convince my daughter to let me do a poola-jeda (flower braid).  We will see…

Also on the agenda is a fun science experiment about the Tongue Map and the mechanics of how humans taste. Little did I know that the Tongue Map is reportedly a myth (see here), but we’re going to do the experiment anyway, and strengthen our Telugu vocabulary with this visual:

(The little emoticons represent the different feelings associated with each flavour/taste. Ugadi is a celebration of our New Year – which will be a mix of all of these flavours and emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, anger, and surprise.)

If you are Telugu and want to use this visual, download here.

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
18
2015

Would you like to publish with us?  We have a concept we are looking to execute. If you are proficient in Gujarati and have a knack for fun, please email talent[at]gnaana.com.

If your manuscript is chosen, you’ll be working closely with our translators and editors to produce a one-of-a-kind resource for Gujarati kids (and of course standard author royalties will be paid).

We look forward to hearing from you!

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
16
2015
Love Your Language
Author: Gnaana

Thank you to our supporters of our Alphabet Blocks Pre-Order Campaign. We’re off to a good start, but we still have a long way to go.

We’re sending out these beautiful I Love printable to our supporters – a great visual for your kids space.

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
12
2015

Many, many thanks to our loyal customers and followers who have been patiently waiting for the answer to the question: will your alphabet blocks be back in stock?

It’s been a long journey: discussions with suppliers and evaluating our growth and distribution prospects – and the short answer is: maybe.

We’re launching a pre-order campaign for our beloved alphabet blocks – and we’ll produce them if we reach our threshold.  Our new sets have been revised, edited, and include 36 blocks.

Please help us bring back these beautiful blocks – a classic educational toy that should be made available in Indian languages.

For the full story and to pre-order your set (or to otherwise contribute), click here

Languages are beautiful….Love Your Language

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Mar
11
2015

Looking for a good Indian-inspired chapter book for older boys?  So am I.  My third grader is just finishing Tales from the Odyssey (riveted, highly recommended), and I’ve been lamenting the void in our home library of Indian-inspired chapter books directed towards elementary-aged kids. How I’d love if there was a Ramayana or Mahabharata with proper grammar and vocabulary at an 800 Lexile level.

So we’re trying The Magic Moonlight Flower and Other Enchanting Stories. Written by the inimitable filmmaker Satyajit Ray, the stories promise of curses, cruel kings and dangerous serpents – just right for my son.

Will report back later with an after-he-read-it-review.

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