How we learn to write

Aksharaya — Letter Conscious People, the amazing folks who gave me a chance to be a part of their workshop and camp last year, are on a drive to collect script primers from India and abroad. This call is on behalf of Prof. Kshirsagar, who is pursuing his PhD from the Industrial Design Centre at IIT, Mumbai. His thesis will deal with the idea of how we learn to write. This is a subject that he also spoke about at the ICTVC conference last year.

Learning how to write new scripts is exciting. Once I heard the great news from Reading a few months ago, I went into a bit of an overdrive collecting any language and script learning books that I could. The search turned out to be pretty difficult  in Delhi. A book to learn German or Spanish or French can be found in every bookstore, but when you ask for a book, for lets say, Oriya, the salesperson usually looked at you like you were crazy. Even Gurmukhi primers for children could be spotted in none of the bookstores, in spite of Punjabi being an official state language of Delhi. My search finally bore fruit at Pages Bookstore where I found some books by Readwell Publications (see below a scan from the book on Bengali). And I bought a few more language books from the National Integration Language Series at Blossoms in Bangalore (see below a scan from the book on Telugu, second from the top). At Blossoms, I also found advanced versions of Kannada script primers for school-going children for a mere ten bucks apiece on the steps outside the bookstore. It was like winning the lottery.

Over the next week, I’ll scan my books, add them to Flickr and pass them on to Aksharaya. If you also have any script primers, please leave a comment on Aksharaya’s Facebook page or let me know. I’m sure all contributions, whether they are new or old, fresh or used, will be welcome. You can also send scanned copies if you don’t wish to part with the originals like me.

Comments 3

  1. Sarang Kulkarni June 20, 2011

    This is the same situation in many places.
    If you ask for Language dictionaries, you will get few from various publication.
    You wont get language thesaurus at all. I think, at least one publication should make this available. And one more problem is these publications are not available online. so searching it really tough task.

  2. santosh kshirsagar June 20, 2011

    Thanks Pooja…More over i’ll also say this to Sarang..if the small little publisher is not having any Internet existence. but who is publishing this info about Indian Script (suddenly the whole, so called developed world is interested in) make a provision of their addresses and phone numbers to the whole world…least that we can
    lets do that…things will work…not just for me but for every one who are crazy about and believe in …”Script is a vehicle of civilization”-said by Deringer. And only proof of the alive civilization is /are our scripts…do you know? we still exists. …Agree..?

  3. Pingback: The Shape of Letters | Its a Nerd's Life!

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