Learning language needs dedication and practice. There are people who are very good in learning and there people who are not so good. There are different tricks to learn language
1. Stay with people who speaks the language
If you really really want to learn Yakthung-pan (Limbu language), then best way to do is to go to the place where people only speaks Yakthung-pan. Or hang around with people who speaks the language.
Some of my foreigner friend suggested to have girlfriend/boyfriend who are native speakers so that you can learn the language faster. In my opinion, it will be best to go to village where everyone speaks Yakthung-pan somewhere in Panchthar, Taplejung or Terathum (but not their district headquarters or near district headquarters).
2. Take a class
If you have a group of people who wants to learn Yakthung-pan, then you can find a tutor. There are tutor who also teach individuals. With this little investment, you can achieve something important.
Actually, my brother and I went to Yakthung-pan classes run by an organization called Lilda. Dilendra Kurungbang (now he lives in Panchthar) was our Siksamba (teacher). It was a fun to be in class where there was no age bar. Young and old we all learned together. (Wish we could continue such classes again).
3. Get help from print materials
Getting help from print materials is another way to learn language. It might not help much in verbal part but it will help in understanding. My best friend in this part is dictionary. Now there are several dictionaries in the market and most of them are Limbu-English-Nepali and Nepali-Limbu. I have not seen any English to Limbu. (I hope there is, if not I hope somebody will work on it).
There’s a book called “Yakthung Pan Hu Asi” (i.e. Learn Yakthung Pan or Limbu language) published by Kirat Yakthung Chumlung. This books also helps a lot for beginners. There are several other books published for non-formal education published by different organizations.
There are several newspaper and magazines in Limbu every year. You could grab one of them and read them, mark the word and find the meaning in the dictionary or by asking. (This is not for the beginners though). But going through dictionary, word by word helps a lot (for beginners as well).
Actually, I have been reading Bairagi Kainla’sMundhum compilations (he has published several compilation of Mundhum). These compilations are in bilingual (Limbu and Nepali), so you can read in both language that makes easier to understand and learn. I wrote the words and find their meanings. I like it because Mundhum is so interesting and we can learn so much from it.
Experts says that audio-visual is the best way to learn and tech. So, there are plenty of them in Yakthung-pan. There are so many music albums and videos realesed each year. Bhagat Subba, Jhuma Wanem and Manu Nembang are few names who have beautiful voice to listen.You can find one of them (buy CD or youtube) and write down the lyrics and find meanings. Sing along with the song. Enhance your vocabulary as well as pronunciation.
If you are fan of watching movies then good news is every year a couple of movies are released in Yakthung-pan. You can buy the DVD and watch them. I cannot guarantee the quality but you can definately use it as learning tool. You can find them in Ina Cassette Center, Putalisadak (opposite to Reporter’s club; Kirat Yakthung Chumlung Office (www.chumlung.org.np); Namendra Sing Angbuhang also sells these items at his library at Buddhanagar, Indigenous Film Archive (www.ifanepal.org.np) and Yakthung Munchait Chok Sayang (i.e. association of Limbu film-makers) could help you in getting good movies.
5. Use Internet, email and social media
Internet is great tool for learning many things. You can use it creatively according to your need. The most simple and easy way is to make email group in yahoo or google and learn from each other. You can also use facebook as a learning tool (actually I just created facebook page called “Learn Yakthung Pan” and group “Learn Yakthung Pan”).
6. Mobile application
Mobile application has been an effective way to learn language. There are several applications to learn popular languages such as English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Hindi and so on. But I have not seen any application to learn Yakthung pan. So, I am thinking of developing one with the help of my friends and elder (who speaks Yakthung). (I am looking for moral and financial support and if you are interested to involve in this work or want to support the cause, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
These are the few techniques and tools to learn Yakthung pan. I hope you like it.
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