Here’s another translanguaging task based on a translingual text from a poster advertising the ubiquitous vada-pav or Bombay burger. Vada-pavs generally have a fried potato filling but this one unusually has chicken. The text says “Garam-Spicy Chicken Vada-Pav” in the Devanagari script and then repeats the words Chicken Vada-Pav in the Roman script. The Indian words are presumably in Marathi but are intelligible to Hindi speakers.
For more information on translanguaging, read the first post in this series.
- Review and recycle adjectives related to food
- Raise awareness of the phonemic variation between /v/, /w/ and /ʋ/
- Maximise communicative potential through translanguaging.
- Display the Instagram post or get learners to access it on their own devices.
- Ask learners to talk about their favourite street food with their partners.
- Display the Instagram post and ask learners to discuss if there’s anything unusual about this street food. Would they want to try it?
- Get learners to identify all the English words (spicy and chicken).
- Ask them to translate the other words into English so the text becomes wholly English (Elicit “Hot and spicy chicken burger/sandwich”).
- Ask them to discuss the following questions in their home language and/or English:
- In the original Marathi text, there’s no ‘and’ between the adjectives, why did we add ‘and’ in English?
- Why didn’t we do a literal translation of vada-pav (fritter-bread/roll)? Why is burger/sandwich a better way of describing the dish in English?
- Get learners to work with गरम-Spicy and come up with alternatives to ‘spicy’ for different translingual combinations.
- Have them now convert these into wholly English combinations inserting an ‘and’ between the adjectives (hot and delicious, hot and sour etc..
- Now focus on ‘chicken’ and ask learners to brainstorm other adjectives that could modify vada-pav/burger (vegetable, potato, lentil etc.).
- Lastly, get them to notice the spelling of pav (paw) in the Roman script at the bottom of the poster. Ask them to consider how the word is spelled phonetically in Marathi and how best to write this in English (vada or wada | pav, paw or pao)? There may be some variations here in how they say this in their home language. It might also be useful to point out the mouth positioning for /v/, /w/ and the Marathi phoneme /ʋ/ in vada-pav vs. wada-pao. Interestingly, the word ‘pav’ has come to Marathi from the Portuguese ‘pão’ via Konkani.
- Get learners to work in groups to make posters advertising their own favourite street food. They can use a combination of scripts and languages.
I tried this activity with some teachers recently. It was fairly quick and they had a lot of fun with it.