Hyderabad: Language knows no boundaries. And French national Daniel Negers is one who vouches for that. An associate professor with the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilisations, Negers is one of the international delegates who is winning hearts at the World Telugu Conference in the city.
Negers’ tryst with Telugu happened back in the late 1980s when he visited Peddapuram in East Godavari district as part of his field work in Social and Cultural Anthropology. Then, he stayed back for more than two and half years and learned Telugu.
“I studied Telugu literature, culture and ‘Burrakatha’ and mentored students pursuing Ph.D. These students were initiated to learn about Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and for the project ‘Telangana Poratalu’, one of my students is actively engaged,” he says.
Neger says he has read legendary poets like Palkuriki Somana, Ravuri Bharadhwaja, Gurajada Apparao and writers, Rayaprolu Subba Rao and Sankaramanchi and also translated Vemana poems into French. Presently, he is busy preparing a 600-page Telugu-French dictionary and also working on a translation of Telangana tribal songs for French-speaking students. The focus is on making Telugu easier for the coming generation, he says.
“Telugu is the Italian of the East. The other day, I heard Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao stressing on the importance of the mother tongue. I also feel that It is time to preserve the sweetest language,” Nigers adds.