Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hindi Lesson 3: Is Dadiji Sweet, or is she Wicked Sweet? Plus: Pratap Counts Bikes!

From Inside Higher Ed: A recent study by the National Academies has just taken the time and effort (and who knows how many grant dollars) to prove what I blogged here for free -- that most foreign language study at universities is surface-level and ineffectual. The cutest part is that IHE calls this study "the most extensive review ever." Like, totally.

Meanwhile, in Pratap-land, we learn the finer details of categorizing old people:

प्रताप: दादी जी बुर्ही है लेकिन बहुत अच्छी है।

It means "Grandma is old, but she's very good."

Now help me out with this, though, before I condemn Pratap for making a false correlation (as if all old people were "bad," but Dadiji is an exception).

He's calling Dadiji acchi, which seems to be the feminine form of accha, which -- from my limited understanding -- is not only an adjective meaning "good" but also a colloquial, catch-all form of praise. That is, what Pratap is saying is much closer to "Grandma is old, but she's really cool."


Pratap also visits the Kumars' garage and announces that there are "दो-टिन पुराणी सैकिले है." Two or three bikes? Come on, Pratap, you're standing right there. Is it that hard to tell how many bikes there are?

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