A Star of Karnataka

You would be forgiven for thinking that I’m talking about celluloid stars. Hardly. The literary firmament of the Kannada language includes many doyens including, hold your breath, a German born missionary!

A statue in the honour of Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Kittel is enclosed in a well maintained ( but fraying at the edges, methinks!) park at a pivotal point on M.G Road, called the Ferdinand Kittel Circle.




Reverend Ferdinand Kittel (1832-1903) was a priest and indologist with the Basel Mission and worked in Mangalore, Madikeri and Dharwad in Karnataka. He is most famous for his studies of the Kannada language. His magnum opus, however, seems to be the first ever Kannada-English dictionary, a 1,700 page book covering about 70,000 words that was written in 1894, according to online references.His work was pretty comprehensive as it also included dialects from Dharwad, Mangalore and Kodagu. Apparently, lexicographers use his methodology even today. He is also credited with having written numerous poems in Kannada.

Apart from the circle mentioned above, the powers that be have also renamed Austin Town as Kittel Nagar. Usha, our erstwhile MB colleague, has written about it here.

On the occasion of his 100th death anniversary in 2003, Kittel’s work was critically evaluated. The Ferdinand-Kittel-Seminar, held in Stuttgart from May 23rd to 24th 2003, offered a forum for discussing related questions. Here is a synopsis of the programme details. Its a pity, however, that a record of this sympisium is not in the public domain for everyone to access and read.

Wish me luck in my attempts to contact the organisers of the symposium to see if they can give us something!

2 Comments so far

  1. Mytri (unregistered) on March 1st, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

    Bwa Ha Ha Ha
    with a flag no less!!!

  2. SHADOW (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2007 @ 9:17 am

    Let your attempts come true, Kittel is unforgetable name in the history of Karnataka.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.