Since arriving in India, I have been completely lost in translation. Sitting in a room of people, all of them laughing, except me, sitting there in silence, having no idea what the joke was. I have been picking up a couple of words of Hindi and Marathi here and there but I feel the time has come when I actively try to learn my husbands mother tongue. So out comes my dictionary and my book of Marathi tales (for my study breaks).
Marathi is the official language of the state of Maharashtra, this state is surrounded by the Arabian Sea to the west, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chattisgarh to the east and the states Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to the south. Marathi has many regional dialects, especially close to the borders where there are linguistic influences from Gujarati, Hindi to the north and Telugu and Kannada to the south. It is one of the twenty-three official languages of India and with 73 million speakers it is one of the top twenty most widely spoken languages in the world.
Marathi evolved from the philosophical language of Hinduism, the language of the Vedas, Sanskrit (just like Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi etc.). The first traces of the the language date back to the 11th century. During the reign of Muslim Mughals (from the 13th century), Maharashtra was home to the Hindu insurgents who passionately fought against the Islamic invaders. Under King Shivaji, during the period of 1646 to 1680, the Marathi people founded a stable and powerful stronghold and defended their Hindu heritage against the Muslims and later against the British. This is why, even today, the Arabic and Persian influences are less apparent in Marathi compared with other north Indian languages. This is the reason, some call Marathi the living granddaughter of Sanskrit.
So here it goes, the studying begins here. I have to try and get my head around the subject-object-verb structure and learn the gender of nouns. I have to try to understand the different forms for the plural and how to modify adjectives before the nouns according to the gender but it seems that this not the case for all adjectives, especially those which end in an consonant.
Oh gosh, I think it is already time to read one of those Marathi tales.