IN ORDER to teach Marathi language to the non-Maharashtrians, 31-year-old Dombivli resident Kaushik Lele has launched a unique online course — a free of cost service that has started to steadily gain popularity.
Kaushik has started two blogs, which offer information pertaining to basic grammar, sentence constructions, daily conversations, usage of short forms and others. Talking about what prompted him to start such a platform, Kaushik, a software engineer in a multinational company, said, “As a hobby, I learned Tamil and Gujarati with the help of some books. When some of my colleagues were trying to learn Marathi a few years back, I tried to find out the available options. While I found a few books, I thought they were not sufficient for learning the language. On the internet too, the same problems existed, as very few options were available. This made me uneasy — we insist others learn Marathi, but we haven’t created enough options for them to do so.”
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He said he decided to use the online medium which can be accessed by a large number of people. “Since I like learning and teaching languages, I decided to take it on myself to start the task of teaching Marathi to non-Marathis. So, I prepared two blogs – learn Marathi from English and learn Marathi from Hindi. With the lessons that I prepared, I have also created more than 200 sound clips of the conversations to make the learner understand the language fast and to help them in pronunciation,” he said terming the course a ‘one-stop-shop’ for those who wish to learn Marathi.
“I am keeping it free as then people will prefer to learn it. Also, I will be always happy to see others learning my mother tongue,” he said.
Besides, Kaushik has created a forum on social media to answer the queries related to the language. “The YouTube channel and forum on social media is being used by the students, who are from outside Maharashtra and studying in the cities like Mumbai and Pune. Also, many foreigners and NRIs too are learning the language,” he added.
To Kaushik’s credit, Jonathan Galton from London, his student, came to attend the 90th Marathi literary festival held in Dombivli recently. “Jonathan had come to see the literary festival. Though he is not fluent in Marathi, he is able to converse with people,” Kaushik said, adding many other foreigner students, including from China, are learning the language.
Kaushik has also started a similar course for the Gujarati language, which also includes blog, among others.
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