A Mangalorean's Blog

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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