MUMBAI: Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan on Wednesday launched the book, My Marathi, a Communicative Marathi for Beginners’, Level 1, at the University of Mumbai. The book is an initiative of the Department of German, University of Mumbai and Granthali, a respected name in the Marathi publishing business since 1974.
Expressed his joy at the endeavour undertaken by the University of Mumbai and Granthali, Aamir, who is also the chief donor of the My Marathi project, said, “I want to congratulate all the people who worked together to bring out this book. I am very happy that this book has been released. It will prove extremely helpful to many people like me who do not know the language.”
My Marathi uses the latest integrated communicative techniques for teaching Marathi to non-native speakers. Aamir is also the chief donor of the My Marathi project. Five more books of upto Level 6 will be released in the future.
Aamir also added, “I am surprised that the Maharashtra government never thought of doing something like this to popularise the Marathi language. I am also surprised that the University of Mumbai’s Department of German spearheaded this project and not the Department of Marathi.”
He also expressed hope and said, “I am sure the ministry of culture can take huge steps to carry out more such projects in Maharashtra.”
The book was released in august presence of Dr. Rajan Welukar, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai and the guest of honour was Mr. Michael Siebert, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany. One set of My Marathi consists of a textbook, a workbook and a free audio-visual DVD for Beginners’ level Marathi for non-native speakers (Anyabhashak) and Rs. 1,250 is the printed price made available for in just Rs. 1,000/-.
My Marathi has been authored by renowned writers, Suhas Limaye, and Jaywant Chunekar and is published by Granthali. “Granthali is very proud to publish this book and it will help Anyabhashak. The book will serve as a guide and prove to be a good counselor for the Anyabhashak who are interested to learn communicative Marathi,” said Mr Sudesh Hinglaspurkar, Trustee, Granthali.
According to Dr Vibha Surana, Head, Department of German, University of Mumbai, though there is a lot of political rhetoric about the use of Marathi in Maharashtra, if a non-native speaker wants to learn Marathi language, there are no structured courses to take the learner from the beginners to the most advanced stage of language proficiency.
“This social lacunae is the genesis of the two year old innovative Marathi Language Teaching Project at the Department of German, University of Mumbai. It undertakes to modernize the teaching of Marathi to non-native speakers using the integrated communicative approach used for German language teaching, prepare Teachers’ Training modules to use this new method, offer Teachers’ Training for Communicative Marathi, network to proliferate such courses in Maharashtra and globally,” she added.
Today, if one wish to learn any foreign languages – German, French, Spanish or Japanese – there are standardized, structured courses with uniform content for each level, which take the learner systematically right from the beginners to the most advanced stage of proficiency in that language. “For mastering a language generally about 700-800 hours of classroom teaching in about 6 levels are required. However, if one wishes to learn an Indian language such standardized courses and content are not available,” Dr. Surana pointed out.
With My Marathi books quality content for teaching material (textbook, workbook and DVD) has been prepared. A part-time Certificate Course in Communicative Marathi is starting at the Department of German. Teachers’ Training shall also commence soon.
“Teaching of Indian languages needs to be revolutionized,” said Dr. Surana adding that if substantive funding is available similar projects would be undertaken for Hindi and other Indian languages in the future.
The book, My Marathi, is an initiative of the Department of German, University of Mumbai and Granthali and will be available at all the major bookstalls as well as on the online platform – Flipkart.com and Amazon.com. “We are glad that Aamir Khan took the initiative to finance this prestigious project and became the chief donor. At Granthali, we continue our dedicated service for the cause of promoting reading habits by keeping alive the literary movement to educate and empower the readers,” asserted Mr Hinglaspurkar.
Established in 1974 by a group of people from different professions, Granthali’s success has largely because of its ability to change with the times, according to him. “Granthali is a unique publishing venture and has earned a place for itself as a Reader’s Movement in Maharashtra. Supporting this innovative Marathi language Teaching Project in promoting our four decade old literary movement financially will help us” Mr Hinglaspurkar appealed.