Trying to Learn Kannada

I’ve been searching for a good, affordable way to learn Kannada at home.  I thought this would be so simple.  Kannada is afterall, the 27th most spoken language in the world and one of India’s major languages.  A lot more people speak Kannada than speak, let’s say, Swedish or Greek.  These are according to Wikipedia. 

One site that had a nice preview is the India Community Center at  Unfortunately, the site seems defunct as nobody has replied to my e-mail about the Kannada course and it doesn’t look like the site was updated recently.

A site that looks much more promising is Kannada Online at  This site is done by Mysore University in Karnataka.  One of my favorite parts of the site is how they carefully and slowly show you how to form Kannada letters by using a little chalkboard icon.  This course seems intensive and very well thought out.  The biggest stumbling block is that the course costs $50 and must be mailed by check to Mysore, no credit cards accepted.  Satya isn’t sure of the security of this method.  We are thinking of sending money to one of his cousins in India and then asking him to send the money on to Mysore. 

My motivation for learning Kannada is to prepare for our trip to India next spring.  Some of Satya’s older relatives do not speak English.  I’d like to be able to communicate with them.  Also, I’d like to be able to read common street signs and decipher the alphabet.  Thankfully, Satya says that Kannada is much more phonetic than English.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. dbals
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 22:22:33

    Good luck.
    In my opinion, Indian languages are easier to learn(atleast the spoken form) compared to say, English.

    Unlike English, which has lots of different ways(words) to express, Indian languages typically use the same (sentence) word repeatedly, atleast in conversations. So one can grasp the meaning of a sentence by just learning those high-frequency words.

    For example, in hindi, words like deewana, mushkil, shukriya, dil are highly used. Not one hindi song is without these words.

    That’s how I understand when I everyday sit for lunch with my 10 collegues who speak five different Indian languages when talking to someone from their region.


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