There are 3 reasons why conversational Gujarati is important. Gujarati is the 26th most spoken language in the world. You are one of the lucky ones if you have ties to a Gujarati family and heritage. If you grew up outside of India, you may have been guided or even forced to learn to speak Gujarati and you may have appreciated it or not. However, you are privileged if you understand this language.
Why is it important to learn a second language and in particular, to learn to speak Gujarati?
The answer to this question is unique for everyone of us. Maybe you wish to explore the spiritual aspect of your Gujarati heritage and for that it would be great if you can understand the language as many things are lost in translation. Or maybe you want your children to learn this language so in public you can scold them or yell at them and not be embarrassed about it. Maybe you even enjoy watching Gujarati Nataks (plays) and you want to learn more about it. Maybe you love Garba (Gujarati folk songs) and you want to know what they mean? Perhaps you want to be able to communicate better with others who speak this language or you simply want to learn and treasure the language of your ancestors.
Whatever yours may be, here are three simple reasons on why it is important to learn the spoken word regardless of if you can read or write Gujarati:
Communication: If you can speak the language, you can express yourself better amongst others who speak this language. Especially in Gujarati when the sound of just one syllable can change the meaning of what you are trying to say. For example, MaDAvoo means to meet however if you say MaRAvoo it means to die. So lets not kill people with our simple mistake of saying it incorrectly! 🙂
Respect: If one can greet elders in Gujarati and show them that you value them enough to make an effort to learn this language. It always makes them happy that you care to learn this. Also the same words when spoken in Gujarati vs. in English are more meaningful and respectful.
Survive: Although English has become a universal language, if you choose to be in the most rural areas of Gujarat as a tourist or as a social worker this need to be able to speak and communicate in Gujarati will be evident.
Being able to speak Gujarati will also allow you to cherish and treasure this wonderful language along with the three things mentioned above. So come along and let’s learn to speak Gujarati.