Spent the last half hour chatting with Shilpa. We started out talking in Kannada. Five minutes later I noticed a couple of peculiar problems and then we quickly switched to English.
1. There is no standardized way of writing Kannada in the Roman script. I try to follow the baraha model by using caps and h and stuff. However, she didn’t seem to follow that. She tried to write it so that I pronounce it the way I would if it were an English word.
2. Kannada slang is highly localized. Shilpa and I both grew up in Bangalore and went to a CBSE school, so both of us learnt Kannada at home only. And the thing is, even the Kannada I speak at home is some kind of slang. And I have now come to believe that Kannada slang is localized at the household level! Have faced this problem earlier when talking to friends. However, it struck me harder today because she happens to be my distant relative and yet was using a different slang!
These two reasons together met that it was really tough for us to figure out what the other was saying.
No wonder, whenever two Kannadigas meet, they start speaking in English!