Thursday 15 October 2009

So good they named it twice!

Yes, we all know the song "New York, New York". Then last year I visited Puka Puka, a beautiful small coral atoll in the Northen Cook Islands, absolutely stunning. There is Pago Pago in American Samoa. Then there's those little three wheeled taxis used in various parts of the world but in Central America called a "tuk tuk"  - a much beter name than "autorickshaw"  of south east asia; the ubiquitous Chelsea tractor as it is known in London, or the 4x4, or "quatre-quatre" or just the "kat-kat" in the Sahara. There's probably more. But they definitely have a musical air to them that makes them very appealing.

Hindi has them too, in abundance! It has a great habit of doubling up words and it sounds fantastic when you hear these double barrels rolling off the tongue - try it with the typical Indian head wobble thrown in for good measure. How about "thola thola" which is about my limit of Hindi at the moment, ie a little. "Dhirie dhirie" which means slowly, a great expression, much needed when trying to learn a language and most helpful in getting native speakers to slow down. Near doubles are "sadi-suda" for married, "bhir-bhar" for a crowd, "thik-thak" for fine and "garbar-sharbar" for confusion. There's definitely something memorable about them.And I am clearly getting more into the rhythm of the language. I tried my ear at listening to Hindi radio yesterday. Although I couldn't understand anything about what was being talked about – normal speed is far too quick and the language too complex as yet , but I did hear words I recognised! Progress!

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