Learn a new language

by | January 23, 2018

Kodrah Kristang is offering free classes so you can learn the endangered language of the Portuguese-Eurasian community.


Want to learn a new language? Why not consider an endangered language called Kristang, which is one of the heritage languages of the Portuguese-Eurasian community? You would be saying good morning (bong pamiang) and goodbye (bong kaminyu) in no time!

Shared Kevin Martens Wong, the founder of Kodrah Kristang, who is trying to get as many people to learn the language, “Most Singaporeans are barely aware Kristang even exists.” He is hoping that by offering free classes, his initiative can change this and bring the language to a new generation of speakers and learners.

Kodrah Kristang is offering a free beginner’s class during the week of July 9 that will run for two hours every week over 10 sessions, likely in the evenings at A Good Space @ NVPC, The Central, Clarke Quay. Students will learn basic Kristang grammar and a vocabulary of about 200 Kristang words including introductions like good morning and goodbye, demonstratives, occupations, family, declarative sentences, locations, movement, numbers one to 100, and time. The class is taught through interactive games and communicative activities rather than the usual worksheets and drills, and all ages and backgrounds are welcome.

Nancy Tng, who is in her 60s, shared: “I signed up for the Kodrah Kristang classes with my daughter to learn the language spoken by her ancestors, and I enjoyed the classes as the method used is not boring – I didn’t expect class to be so interesting, and the games enable us (older people) to remember words and phrases easily (which can be easily forgotten). Class also enabled us to meet some friends that we had lost touch with for a long time.”

Added Winston Longue, who is in his 50s, “I decided to sign up for Kodrah as I wanted to learn more about the language, my heritage and be able to speak Kristang with some of my friends and relatives who are more fluent in the language. Although it is a language class, I had initially feared it would be boring. To my surprise, the lessons are never boring. Lesson activities always engage everyone in the class. Plus, going with friends and family always helps to bring the spirit of togetherness in the room as well. A lot of us in the class have become friends on social media and we do look forward to meeting everyone during lessons.”

Shared Patricia De Souza, who is in her 70s, “I signed up for class as I wished to brush up on the language I knew, heard and spoke when I was younger. I did not have the opportunity to speak much Kristang for many years after getting married. The lessons are informative, interesting and lots of fun as games are incorporated into the learning sessions. I also have the opportunity to speak Kristang with old friends and new ones.”

If you are interested in this class or future classes, e-mail to: kodrahkristang@gmail.com.


(** PHOTO CREDIT: Marvin Tang)



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