Punjabi for beginners

18th July 2008 at 01:00
A Punjabi teacher, frustrated at the lack of dual language books, has written her own
A Punjabi teacher, frustrated at the lack of dual language books, has written her own.

Sushila Sahota, of Leicester, is a nursery nurse who also teaches an after-school Punjabi class at Groby Community Specialist Language College in the city.

She has written an 11-book series featuring six-year-old Mona to introduce basic vocabulary. She had them printed in India and has already sold seven sets.

Mrs Sahota said: "I wanted books with the continuity of characters. I made a character called Mona and wrote a book about her house, her birthday party, her family.

"The books cover vocabulary including numbers, colours and animals. As a supply nursery nurse, I go into primary schools and have seen Gujurati dual language books, but not Punjabi.

"I made a rough copy for my students and they said, 'why not have them published?'

"I have all ages in my class, from six up to 50. One of them is a teacher whose husband is Punjabi and she couldn't speak Punjabi."

Punjabi is often written in Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi script. Mrs Sahota has written the books with the sounds spelt out in English as well as an English translation.

So, "Do you speak Punjabi?" becomes "Dusi Punjabi bool skadey?"

And using the book you can answer: "Hanji."

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