Big Gora

Big Gora

Saturday, July 27, 2013

On being an amateur

I am an amateur. "Amateur" derives from the Latin word amare, to love, its past participle amatum, and the noun amator, one who loves. I love India, and her culture and languages; I work to learn Hindi out of love, not for money, success, or status. It's a great thing to be an amateur. There are no bad consequences for, say, taking a long time to learn, or forgetting words you want to remember. You shrug happily and try again, because you love it.
I found that I took a lot of pleasure, early on, in simply practicing drawing the letters. I found a bunch of short words and just practiced. Clearly, Arthur the Cat was a big inspiration too.
One of the great things about learning Hindi is amateur status. If you learn Spanish, or French, people will in pretty short order expect you to have a certain proficiency. But any Hindi you learn as an अंग्रेजी [Angrezi/Brit or American] is a bonus! Just saying "फ़िर मिलेंगे!" [phir milenge/see you later] is an accomplishment you can be proud of!

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