A Man from Denmark sets an example, wins Rajyotsava award!

Came as a tourist, stayed here, now he can read, write and speak Kannada...

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Mysuru: Hendrik Hardeman, a 52-year-old Denmark citizen, who is living in Mysuru from past five years, learnt to read and write Kannada and even translated some Kannada short stories to English and Swedish languages, was conferred with the district Kannada Rajyotsava award.

It was in 1996, Hendrik visited Bengaluru for the first time as a tourist, he was immensely impressed by the city and kept visiting the country every time he had a chance. He found India’s first dedicated puzzle company in 2001, which operated till 2008. In those seven years, he developed a unique love for the Kannada language and began his journey towards mastering the language. Interestingly, he opted to learn the language using only dictionaries.

“I learned Kannada words using dictionaries in just a week but it took me a little longer to learn the grammar. I was difficult to understand the grammar in the beginning; even the basic things like singular and plural words, though I gradually managed to pick them up. After learning the meaning of the words, I started to communicate in Kannada and today I can speak, read and write Kannada very well,” he said.

For a better understanding of the language, he reads the works of various writers like Kuvempu, Poornachandra Tejaswi, Jayanth Kaikini and P Lankesh. He also translated a few short stories, especially those of Jayanth Kaikini, to English and Swedish. He also translates books from English to Swedish or Swedish to any other language.

Hendrick said that he never expected to be the recipient of the award. “I am interested in Kannada and I am trying to promote but I never expected to be rewarded. It feels nice,” he added.

“I have been reading a lot of Kannada literature. Although I don’t get the opportunity to speak the language much, my reading and writing are going well. I am learning something new every day,” he explained.

He opined that it is important for people to learn the local language of the place in which they live and work. He also expressed his desire for Kannadigas to make sure that their language is still around for the future generation and said that they could not depend on other states and countries to do that for them.

Source: Karnataka News


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