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Archive for July, 2017

The Meaning of the Monsoon Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

In North India, monsoon season lasts roughly from July to August and is colloquially known as “saawan” (सावन, masc. noun, which is also the name of the 5th month of the Indian calendar). In the semi-desert state of Rajasthan, where I used to live, this season is understandably greeted with anticipation and joy. Mangoes are…

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Hindi: India’s National Language? Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

हिंदी: इंडिया की राष्ट्रभाषा? You can be sure that if a particular topic (विषय/vishay, masc. noun) has aroused enough controversy (विवाद/vivaad, masc. noun) to be the subject of numerous books and articles, it is by no means a foregone conclusion. The question of Hindi as India’s national language is just such a topic. Those who…

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Navigating Gender in Hindi (Part 2) Posted by on Jul 25, 2017

In part 1 of this blog series on gender in Hindi, I discussed gender as it relates to each word’s source language, with the language of focus being Sanskrit. In this post, I’ll talk about a few more source languages and how they dictate gender: Persian, Arabic and English! Persian and Arabic Nouns Persian and…

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Mushrooming Neighborhoods Posted by on Jul 20, 2017

Building under construction

I’m currently traveling in India and my work brings me to a relatively newer sprawl of the Bengaluru city (shahar). This area , (yeh jagah) which has mushroomed (panapaa hai) as a response to the IT industry, is peppered with paying guest accommodations. Every morning (har subah) a veritable ocean of young professionals in the IT…

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Navigating Gender in Hindi (Part 1) Posted by on Jul 17, 2017

Many languages have a system of gender, which is basically just an organizational tool for separating words into masculine, feminine and sometimes, neuter, categories. In essence, it is an attempt to further “anthropomorphize” language, which is already such an intimate human creation. If you have studied a Romance language before, for example, you’ll know that…

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