Overcoming Many Fears in 7 Days: My Personal Journey of Learning Kannada


Let me first give you a short background before going with this post.

Wearebangalore is a twitter account curated by a new person every week. It is one of the most active accounts of Bengaluru with more than 22000 followers. For the week 30-12-2019 to 05-01-2020; I volunteered to curate this account.

Although I have been very active on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn), Twitter was never my priority. I never really understood how Twitter works. For that matter, even working of social media was a bit difficult for me the way it has changed over the years. How something goes viral without proper content? How people get likes without doing anything meaningful? So, it was a bit of a challenge to overcome when I decided to volunteer for curating a Twitter account for an entire week.

I was planning to learn the local language Kannada for a long time. I figured out this could be a good opportunity to overcome my fear of speaking Kannada publicly and also finding out people who could help me out. Instead of text, I decided to go for a video format. Like recording a video, celebrating my mistake, and improving based on the feedback. In principle, I was inspired by #addonechallenge of language learning as well as the rejection therapy technique mastered by Jia Jiang.

So, overall there were 3 objectives behind this curation exercise:

    1. Overcoming fear of making mistakes while learning a new skill
    2. Understanding how social media works.
    3. Using Twitter (or social media) to promote my skills.
    4. How to talk to the public when there is no public present 🙂

Introduction to the public

Day 1[30-December-2019]
On the first day, I struggled a bit to even properly introduce myself. It took me more than 5 times to make this single video. However, the response was unprecedented. Many people came in support of my idea and started helping me out with my Kannada learning journey.

Day 2[31-December-2019]
I changed the location of filming videos from my house to the terrace. Natural light added a good element. As it was the last day of the year, I asked questions like ‘what will you do tonight?’.

Day 3[01-January-2020]
Happy New Year!
Thanks to some of the people, I was reducing my mistakes with my introduction. I added a sentence asking people to forgive me for making any mistakes in Kannada. It was fun. I also asked people about their new year resolutions.

Day 4[02-January-2020]
Today, I took a step ahead and started teaching a few basic words in Kannada to the other people. Thanks to the people I have met via Twitter,I received immediate corrections for any mistakes.

Day 5[03-January-2020]
BMTC Bengaluru plays a huge part in the lives of the local people. I decided to share a few words onboarding a bus. I also shared how to pronounce numbers in Kannada. Twitter trimmed my videos to 2:20 minutes.

Day 6[04-January-2020]
So far I have experimented with different sentences and received confidence in basic greetings. I went on to teach some basic ways of asking questions related to weekend outings. Like ‘How’, ‘Where’, and ‘When’. Today, I spoke far slower and made less mistakes. Uploading videos on You-tube helped as I no longer have to worry about videos being trimmed to cut their lengths.

Day 7 [05-January-2020]

It was the last day of curating ‘WeareBangalore’ twitter account. I felt a sense of nostalgia as well as a sense of confidence. It was fun to learn, record, and share my learning journey with others. Today, I shared how to pronounce the name of the city ‘Bengaluru’ correctly. It is not pronounced the way it is written. I also shared how to say days of the week in Kannada.

The experience was wonderful. Based on the feedback received, I have corrected myself every day and my confidence has improved significantly. Initial barriers were removed and I found many new friends along the way.

Future plans:

I have achieved all my objectives with some success. This entire process also made me realized how social media can be used as a way to share my other skills and competence. Not just as a tool for self-promotion, it can also be useful in gaining self-confidence, improving body language, and finding new friends. In Future, I will:

1. Keep learning and sharing the journey of language learning with others. Especially, my first objective to learn enough Kannada to go shopping and start buying things from local shops instead of big supermarkets.
Keep following my learning journey.

2. Bring out my talent through videos. Whether it’s languages, economics, international relations, cultural competence, or innovative ideas; somehow I was not able to express my talent to the outside world in a way many others could do. I realized, making videos could be one of the ways.
So, I will record more videos as a way of polishing my other languages especially German, Russian, and Spanish.

Goodbye Tweet/Thanking Note to Everyone who helped

Some interesting discussions initiated by me


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