The creator duo of the podcast ‘Kannada Gothilla’ — Arvind and Aakash — said that the podcast aims to teach Kannada to those migrating to Bengaluru.

Stylized picture of Arvind Krishna and Aakash AthawasyaTwitter
Features Language Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 16:10

“Despite having been in the city for two decades, I had not learnt Kannada; but I wanted to. I wanted to converse with people so I turned to my friend Arvind. He gladly helped me out,” says Aakash Athawasya, one of the creators of the Spotify podcast Kannada Gothilla. The duo—Aakash and Arvind Krishna—began their podcast in May, 2021 and within three months, they have garnered the attention of many listeners attempting to learn how to converse in Kannada. 

It started with Aakash and Arvind deciding to record their conversation and uploading it on the internet so others could also benefit as well. “There are resources to learn how to read and write Kannada, but not many teach conversational Kannada on platforms like Spotify. Many people migrate to Bengaluru for work or to study and are new to the city. They want to learn how to speak the language, and there are not many resources for them to learn,” says Arvind.

Within three months, the duo has uploaded more than 50 episodes of their podcast that teaches how to converse with people in different scenarios with delivery executives, vendors, and pharmacies, banks, etc. that one may encounter in everyday life. Additionally, they post flashcards of the prominent words from their episode on their social media along with their usage in different contexts.

The duo explains that the focus of the podcast, presently, is Bengaluru. Aakash further tells TNM that the podcast was primarily started to teach non-natives how to speak Kannada. However, it has helped listeners to understand life in the city as well. “Knowing a little bit of the language makes lives easier for the delivery executives, policemen and whoever one is interacting with alongside the individual. With that aim, we started this podcast focused on the city, however, listeners also get a gist of how life in the city is and its culture through the language,” says Aakash.

We asked Aakash and Arvind how they create content. They say that initially, they recorded conversations in which Aakash needed assistance as well. As their podcast garnered listeners, requests began pouring about what they wanted to learn next. “Last week, I had to receive the LPG cylinder delivery and the conversation got prolonged since I did not know enough Kannada to explain [what I wanted to convey]. From this experience, I created a scenario and we recorded an episode for the podcast. As our community grew on social media, they began sending their requests as well,” Aakash says.

“People go back and listen to our podcast; send their feedback and we try to improve. The goal is to know your audience, our focus is on our community [listeners] and consider their needs rather than appeasement of the public,” says Arvind.

Both Arvind and Aakash create the podcast while managing their full-time jobs with corporate companies in the finance sector. They both note that during weekends or late evenings on weekdays, they get together to record new episodes that release thrice in a week.

While the description on their Spotify account says that it aims to teach Kannada to the non-native speakers, in their bonus episodes, the duo discusses the culture of Bengaluru, or current events like Euro Cup [football championship] or translate songs they find amusing in Kannada, says, Arvind.

Currently, the duo is preparing to release new episodes discussing the city of Bengaluru, its history and culture as read in a book on the city. They say that eventually, the scope of the podcast will be broadened to explore the various dialects of Karnataka and the culture of the state’s different regions.

“Learning Kannada is the first and easiest step for an individual to connect with the city. For those who wish to learn about Bengaluru and Karnataka, the podcast will go on,” Arvind opines. He adds that they plan to release one episode from their series on Bengaluru will be released either once a week with two other days reserved for situational conversation learning.

Aakash notes that requests to create podcasts as Kannada Gothilla for different languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi and others were sent to them. The duo has expressed willingness to create such podcasts for other languages in collaboration with native speakers and those wanting to learn the language. “I can speak Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English while Aakash speaks Hindi and English, so our knowledge is limited. If there are those creating content in different languages, we can share about the same or collaborate with people and create podcasts,” Arvind concludes.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.