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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Speak Konkani, Teach Konkani programme at 10 locations in Mumbai

Maharashtra Konkan Association Mumbai has organised a KONKNNI ULËY KONKNNI XIKËY (Speak Konkani, Teach Konkani) programme at 10 various locations of a metropolitan city of Mumbai in order encourage people to communicate in Konkani and also to teach them to read and write in Konkani using Roman script. Rev. Dr. Pratap Naik director of Thomas Stephen's Konkani Kendr, Goa along with his team will be the main resource person for this entire programme.

This programme will be held between 25-June-2005 to 3-July-2005 at 10 different locations of Mumbai. The inauguration of the programme will be held on 25-June-2005 at Nirmala Mata Convent Hall, Near Manikpur St. Michaels church, Vasai West on 25 June 2005 at 6.30 pm. Total number of 1000 Konkani people of different geographical area are expected to be get trained during this entire programme.

Most of the languages in India have 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 is the specialty and greatness of Konkani language. Hence it is very difficult to represent Konkani language as it is pronounced, using any of the existing script in India.

But Thomas Stephen Konkani Kendr Goa has formulated a new Orthography for writing Konkani in Roman script by modifying the existing Roman script orthography used by Goan Christians. 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 of number of years after consulting the prominent writers and linguists in Goa, Mangalore and Mumbai. Now as the script has taken its final shape it will be taught to the people in different regions of the entire Konkani world. Mumbai is the first city where this script will be taught for the first time.

Since Konkani doesn't have its own script, no script was mentioned while including it in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. Though Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Akademy has recognised Kannada script for teaching Konkani in schools, it may be only useful to the Konkani's of Karnataka region. Similarly though Konkani is taught using Devnagiri script in Goa it may be used only till national level. But Roman script for Konkani has a very bright future as it could be effectively implemented at the global level. Since vast number of Konkani people living outside Goa or Karnataka do not have the habit of reading magazines/newspapers/books in Devnagiri or Kannada script but they only use the periodicals of Roman script this script is very much suitable for all Konkani people living in India and abroad.

We will be also launching a website very soon to teach this new script to the global world. Konkani periodicals in Kannada script have already obliged to publish a regular column to teach this new method of writing Konkani in Roman script. For Goans it is very easy to adopt this script as they already have the habit of reading Konkani in Roman script. Hence this is a very constructive methodology to promote Konkani to the new generation even outside Goa and Karnataka.

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