Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Have trouble dealing with the auto driver? Well, here’s a website that teaches you a Kannada word a day to make life easier (and no, it’s not an expletive)

Life’s about to get easier for Bangalore’s non-Kannada speaking population with a website that teaches subscribers a new Kannada word every day for free.
The website, www.padakali. com, which literally means ‘learn a word’ is the brainchild of two Bangalore-based techies Vishwanag S Hiremath (27) and Ujjwal Grover (24). While Hiremath is a Kannadiga, Grover came to the city from Madhya Pradesh in 2007. He grappled with the language problem and soon realised that he was not alone — about 62 per cent of the city’s population has the same problem.
That’s when the learn-aword idea was born. It first started off in their office. “We have this ritual where one person comes up with a Kannada word of the day. Since it got a good response, we thought of replicating the idea online, to reach out to more people,” Hiremath told Bangalore Mirror.
They signed up with popular micro-blogging site Twitter a month ago and buoyed by the response, started a personalised website soon after. The website, though extremely young at 20 days, has already registered 3,000 hits.
All that a learner has to do is subscribe to the website and get the word and its English meaning in their inbox. If you wish to learn more words, phrases and sentences, you can log on to the site.
“The primary intention is to teach people basic words that will help them in their dayto-day interactions with auto and bus drivers or communicate in the marketplace. So, our initial words were ‘Barteera?’ (Will you come?) and “oota’ (food),” pointed out Grover, who has first-hand experience.
Unlike other learning modules, Hiremath and Grover teach just one word a day since they feel that too many words on a single day could lead to confusion. “We do not want to overburden viewers by sending out five words or phrases. When you have only one word to learn, it is always in your mind and you learn it properly,” said Hiremath.


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