Hear Voices from Colonial India

Bharath as it was

The British undertook a linguistic survey of Bharath, as it was before the partitions. Recordings were made as part of the survey. Hear these voices, preserved in Gramophone records. The recordings were lost since then but were recently found and digitized.

The entire archive of recordings are nothing short of splendid. Grouped by region and language family, it has people recite common stories, parables or episodes from the epics.

I, for obvious reasons, listened to the languages I know or whose sounds I am familiar with – telugu, tamil, malayalam, kannada and bengali. But the real surprise is listening to languages you know nothing of. Without knowing the words and their meaning, you get to savor just the modulation of sound. Its beautiful, trust me.

You can find more coverage here, and hat-tip for pointing goes to LanguageHat.

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