Mother tongues

By now it feels like about half of the people in this city have congratulated me on how well I speak English, and I have gotten very good at smiling through gritted teeth. So really, I can do nothing better that quote from this mad/awesome/explosive interview with Ashok Banker at the World SF News blog.

I’ve met this particular cultural bogey before and it remains as unfunny as ever! My mother tongue was English, not Hindi, and in fact, there are more English-speaking people in India than in the US [...] I grew up speaking only English, learned Hindi only later in school because it was a compulsory subject (as were either Marathi or French – I took French), and English remains the only language I’m completely fluent in even today.

(I picked French too, after a year of Sanskrit established that I was completely useless at it).

One Comment to “Mother tongues”

  1. Amen. As a Tamilian schooled in Delhi, who studied Sanskrit and French, I am inept at all Indian languages. This has begun to trouble me lately, but not enough to do something about it.

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