For my final blog post at the end of my language program, I wanted to give an example of what I’ve learned this summer. I asked a couple other Marathi language students if they would help me film a short dialogue for this project. They gracefully said yes if they got to wear “disguises” and we began with just an outline of how we wanted the conversation to go- that is to say this video was not scripted. We are all still learning and I am also still learning how to translate so I tried to keep the translated subtitles as true to what I understood the dialogue to be as possible.
This summer I started at next to nothing as a false beginner in Marathi and have progressed to reading and writing in a new alphabet and speaking in short, simple sentences. This is sincerely one of my greatest accomplishments and something I’ve wanted to learn for almost all of my life. I’m extremely happy with my progress although I still have a long way to go.
This program was beneficial not only because I learned the bare bone basics of Marathi but it also kick started my academic career in South Asia and put me in contact with wonderful scholars. I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the support I received from the Sigur Center and from the department of Anthropology at GWU to pursue these studies this summer and I look forward to returning to Pune and AIIS very soon.
Jessica Chandras, PhD Anthropology
Sigur Center 2013 Summer Language Fellow
American Institute of Indian Studies, Marathi Summer Language Program, Pune, India