No Leh, Jose

Kannada seems to place a lot of emphasis on respect.  There are many ways to show respect and many ways to take it away.

Recently, Satya was communicating via Instant Messenger with one of his younger cousins.  This cousin is 7 or 8 years younger and has a reputation for being mischievous (one time he destroyed a project Satya had taken all day to create).  This younger cousin wrote “leh” (pronounced roughly “lay”) which immediately annoyed Satya. 

“Leh” or “le” translates roughly to “buddy” or “guy”.  It can be used when speaking to close friends or to people below you-not to elders.  Satya also says that in Bangalore, in Southern Karnataka, men sometimes use it to refer to their wives and wives can use it with their husbands, if they are nontraditional.  (I’m not too sure about this as he’s from Northern Karnataka and hasn’t been back in nearly 8 years). 

As I learn more I will be writing more posts about Kannada. 

If I get anything wrong, please write a comment below! 

What are other subtle ways to give respect and take it away in Kannada?

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ashwini
    Aug 08, 2008 @ 18:37:51

    Stumbled upon your blog and just loving it.
    You can add ri to the person’s name to give respect,especially to elders.

    Reply

  2. minnesotameetskarnataka
    Aug 09, 2008 @ 23:11:38

    Ashwini, thanks for the kind words and the tip about “ri”. Hope to hear from you again.

    Reply

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