The long way to......

essays about my daily life. It will be something about India since it makes me happy and bothers me a lot.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rome is far away

Hindi is like an Achilles’ heel. (Well…there are many other things but one of them.) I do not want to be talked about my Hindi especially at the office mainly because of the embarrassment. I know well that my Hindi is far away from what is supposed to be and I have no idea how long it will take, what is worse, there is neither incentive nor motivation for me now. It is different from enjoying Hindi films. Although there are some Hindi-speaking diplomats in our ministry, it is the reality that we do not use Hindi for official purpose much (almost zero). But it is also true that those who can speak Hindi well are successful at the same time. In other sense, we are also in a dilemma between Hindi and English as for some Indians. (Well, now days, everyone will go for English.) I felt helpless especially after I could not do well when my boss took me as translator in his meeting with Mylayam.

I took aHindi exam yesterday. We, young diplomats, have to take linguistic exam once a year to be checked out how we have achieved so far. I got so scared this exam. How can I understand an editorial without consulting a dictionary! I am even more scared to be revealed how bad my Hindi is officially. The result was…OK. However, what my senior told me was something different from what I thought.

He said that I am in a borderline between “I want to learn Hindi” and “I hate Hindi”. In my head, the base for mastering Hindi has been made up but I am not ready for building something on it. He also said that my reading comprehension is fine; I can understand easy articles ( of course, I need to work on to get more vocabulary) and my listening comprehension is also fine. However, I cannot reproduce what have been said or told by using my words in Hindi. (For example, I can understand Hindi film and discuss about it in Japanese and English but not in Hindi) In addition, I am not used to talking in Hindi. Therefore, he recommended me to read a small article from paper everyday and listen Aakashwani for 10-15min everyday to brush up. It may sounds normal to you. But what was surprising to me was he told me that my current level is OK and not depressing as I had expected. Rather what is more important is keep on going. I was ashamed myself not being able to master Hindi like my seniors therefore I almost gave up my Hindi. It was encouraging to hear from him that I do not need to be so hasty to master Hindi. It is more important not to give up and to be patient. (Yeah…it took more than 15 years to speak English and it is still far away from perfect.)

Rome cannot built in a day, huh?_


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