A Mangalorean's Blog

Friday, July 08, 2005

Konkani-English Dictionary

Thanks to Mohan Prabhu and Ancy we now have a Konkani-English Dictionary - a pdf file available online!

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Konkani Script: More details

More details from Ancy -

Konkani sounds are not the same as the alphabets available in Kannada script or Devnagiri script. But because both these scripts are phonetic scripts most of the sounds can be easily represented.

Roman script is a linear script. There are both advantages and disadvantages in both phonetic and linear scripts.

Consider the basic alphabets in Konkani:

short ^ - ^rdo (ardo/ordo) --> half (sound a in ago)
long ^ - ^rth (arth/orth) --> meaning (sound ea in earth)
(Note that the letter ^ could be also printed as inverted V)

short a - azo --> grandfather (sound a in father)
long a - an --> father (sound a in harm)

short i - kiddi -->worms
long i - mitt --> salt

short u - uzo --> fire
long u - utt --> get up

short e - peto -- Dog
long e - mez --> count or pet --> trunk

rounded e - mez --> table

short o - gobor --> ash
long o - tor --> belfry or modd --> cloud

rounded o - tor --> row mango (ambyache~ tor)

Given above are the basic vowels.
There are equal number of nasal vowels.
According to the new method the nasel sound is represented with the letter ~
Thus placing ~ after above vowels these sounds can be represented.
Also note that these nasel vowels are the speicality of Konkani language and they are only available in Konkani.

Some examples of nasel vowels are:

^~dkar(darkness), a~dllo(blind), a~g (body), i~gllo (charcoal), u~dd (liver) etc

There are lots of diphthong in konkani:

^+i - p^yxe --> money (Note: here x is pronounced as sh in sheet)
short a+i - vaydo --> time limit
long a+i - vaytt --> bad
o+i - poylo --> first one
^+u - p^vli --> Arecnut leaf
a+u - savlli --> shadow

Diphthongs with nasel
^+~+u - s^~vsar --> world
o+~+u - bo~vddi --> roaming

There are lots of other diphthongs both with nasel and without nasel sound.

This is what Fr. Pratap Naik, Director of TSKK was saying in all "Teach Konkani" programmes in Mumbai:

Kannada script is fine for the people of Karntaka. But it can not be accpted as the script for the people residing outside Karnataka.

Thus the choice of script for Konkani are only two
1. Devnagiri script
2. Roman script

Devnagiri would have been the best option for our people to adopt. But some how our peope have not accepted it. Even after trying to impliment it for so many years nothing has changed. People in Mumbai continued in Kannada script and their children could not read Konkani at all.

Even Fr. Pratap had brought out number of Konkani learners to learn Devnagiri script. Thus he has now started to promote Roman script after eliminating errors in the current Roman script. Unless we do something constructively now the new generation will not have the habit of reading and writing in Konkani.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005


KONKNNI ULËY KONKNNI XIKËY - is the program currently being conducted by the Maharashtra Konkani Association. Translated it means "Speak Konkani, Teach Konkani".

Konkani people are dispersed throughout the world. In the past generations they have migrated and occupied most of the coastal belt of western India - from Ratnagiri to Kerala; some moved as far away as Kenya. In recent generations, they've moved even further - from Delhi to Dublin and from Australia to California.

Its very difficult for a scriptless language to survive. There has been a lot of discussion/controversy over the script used for Konkani. The reson for this is the use of various different scripts for the language - based on the regions where its spoken. Its written in Roman and Nagari scripts in Goa, Kannada script in Karnataka, Malayalam script in Kerala.

Most of the languages in India has about five to seven basic vowels excluding long vowels and diphthongs. But Konkani language has 16 basic vowels excluding equal number of long vowels and lots of diphthongs. Different types of nasal vowels are the speciality and greatness of Konkani language. Hence it is very diffecult to represent Konkani language as it is pronounced using any existing scripts in India.

The above program is trying to promote the use of Roman script - with a few modifications - for the Konkani language. Thomas Stephen Konkani Kendr, in Goa, has formulated a new Orthography for writing Konkani in Roman script by modifying the existing Roman script orthography used by Goan Catholics. This script is so simple that Konkani can be written by representing exact sounds using the normal computer keyboard keys. This script is the result of their research in of number of years.

"Kannada script can not be accepted as a universal script for Konkani as it is not popular outside Karnataka. Devnagiri script has the potential to unite all Konkani people at least at the national level. But it is sad that our people have not accepted it for Konkani even after trying for so many years. Now for the survival of Konkani the only option we have is Roman script that could be also used at the International level. People should come forward to make extensive use of this script for Konkani so that the language may be promoted to our next generation." said Rev. Dr. Pratap Naik S.J., director of Thomas Stephen Konkani Kendr Goa.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

Common Locale Data Repository

The Common Locale Data Repository project was createis to provide a general XML format for the exchange of locale information for use in application and system development, and to gather, store, and make available a common set of locale data generated in that format.

Its a project by the Unicode consortia.

I added a comment to a bug there regarding the Konkani language [see reply 7].

A few Additions regarding Konkani -

Currently Only India is listed as the region where Konkani
is spoken. Konkani is spoken in Kenya too.

Currently the script for Konkani is listed as Devanagari.
Its written in three different scripts (in India) - based
on the region - Devanagari, Kannada & Latin. Not sure of
the script used in Kenya.

<language type="kok" scripts="Deva Knda Latn" territories="IN KE">

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

Mentioned in List

Today I realized that this blog was mentioned in the Mangalorean Catholics group - it went in as a Special Notice from Salu Soz on Sep 9th, 2004.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Who is Salu Soz?

Salu Soz, the moderator and founder of the MangaloreanCatholics group on yahoo groups, today revealed his full name. He is Ancy Salvadore D'Souza a Software Engineer and prolific Konkani writer from Mumbai.

The group is growing at an healthy rate, today it is 1125 strong!

Great work Salu Soz!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

More Mangalorean Sites

Here are some more Mangalorean sites -

1. Konkani Foundation based in Bombay.
2. Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC).