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A Little Bit of Konkani on Your Tongue

Konkani is the mother tongue of Goans - the people of Goa. It is also the state's official language having been recognized as so in 1976 and is also one of the languages recognized in the constitution of India.

The Konkani language is written in both the Roman script and the Devnagri script used for languages such as Hindi and Marathi.

Since Konkani is used everywhere in Goa in day-to-day life, this section is intended to provide you with some basics in the native language of Goa.

The smattering of phrases or words given here will certainly not make you an expert nor is in any way a substitute for any formal language training. But the list of essential Konkani words and phrases given in this section will help you interact with the locals on your trip to Goa.

Konkani is a beautiful language and we hope with this brief introduction you will be motivated to learn more and explore it beyond what is presented here.

One

Ek

Two

Don

Three

Tin

Four

Char

Five

Panch

Six

Sou

Seven

Sat

Eight

Ath

Nine

Nou

Ten

Dha

Eleven

Ikra

Twelve

Bara

Thirteen

Tera

Fourteen

Choudah

Fifteen

Pondra

Sixteen

Solla

Seventeen

Sothra

Eighteen

Otthra

Nineteen

Ekunnis

Twenty

Vis

 

Bad

Borem Num

Boy

Cheddo

Girl

Cheddum

Excuse me

Matxem

Fast

Begin

Woman

Bail

Man

Dadlo

Here

Hinga

How much

Kitle

I/Me

Hanv

My/Mine

Mojem

You

Tum

More

Odik

No

Na

Reduce it

Todde Kor

Slow

Soukas

Sorry

Guneaun bogos

Stop

Rau

Stop here

Hinga rau

There

Thinga

They

Thim

This

Hem

Too expensive

Ekdom marog

We

Ami

What

Kitem

When

Kedna

Where

Khuim

Who

Konn

Why

Kiteak

Yes

Voi

 
Konkani - Official State Language

Goa is a multi-lingual state, thanks to its chequered history of thousands of years, which has seen people of various regions, ethnic races and religions from India and abroad coming over to and settling in Goa, while influencing the local language.
At present, Marathi and Konkani are two major languages of Goa. Hindi, the national language of India, is well understood in Goa. In major towns, English is widely used in writing and conversation.

On the other hand, Portuguese, the language of the colonial rulers and the official language till 1961 before liberation, notwithstanding the official patronage and a compulsory medium of study, failed to make a dent in the mind of the majority of Goans.

It remained only the language of the elite but alienated the masses. Thus just after the departure of the Portuguese, Portuguese lost all its favour and usage. However, very few - particularly the older or pre-liberation generation - still use Portuguese.
Konkani and Marathi, much related, survived in Goa by secret studies at home, in temples and public places in villages. Both Konkani and Marathi are derived from Sanskrit, the mother of majority of Indian languages. These two languages use Devnagari script like Sanskrit. Hindi is also written in Devnagari script while Roman script is used for English and Portuguese.

Goans speak Konkani. Konkani is also written in Kannada in Karnataka and in Malayalam script in some parts of Kerala. People residing on the Canara Coast have been following the Kannada script, whereas to the extreme south of Karnataka, on the borders of Kerala, Konkani has been written in Malayalam script.

Famous Goan poets and writers have written and published their literature in Konkani. The prominent poets of Goa, Manohar Rai Sardesai, Bakibab Borkar, R.V. Pandit have written various poems on Goa, Goa's natural beauty and its culture. The writers such as Chandrakant Keni, Pundalik Naik, N Shivdas, Dilip Borkar, Mrs. Hema Naik, Mrs. Sheela Kolambkar, have played dominant role in developing konkani lierature.

Konkani plays called "Tiatr" or "Natak" are held in each and every village. The Goan Christian community holds “Tiatr” and the Goan Hindu Community holds “Natak”. It is a must for the local Deity's feast. May it be a Local Saint's 'Fest' or a 'Zatra'. It is the way of life for Goans.

Tiatr plays are the folk variety. The Tiatr groups now a days stage plays in prominent towns of Goa and are quite popular. Subjects such as Fiction, Politics, Family life, Social problems are also gaining ground. The prominent Goan Roman Script Monthly magazine being 'GULAB'.

Konkani is also widely spoken in Mangalore, Bombay and some parts of Kerala. Konkani is the official language of Goa and is being used in all the offical correspondence. Konkani Bhasha Mandal is the prime body working for the development of Konkani.
Important Dates in history of Konkani Language

1187 First Konkani inscription
1209 Jnaneshwari is written in Konkani
1548 Portuguese destroy all Konkani works
1808 Konkani Bible is published
1932 Portuguese start Konkani school
1987 Konkani recognized as a National language
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