Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pronouncing zha, sha, lha

A pet peeve I have on native Tamizh speakers is their mispronunciation of 'zha' ழ. Along with 'sha' and 'lha', it is one of the things that riles me up when heard on a repeated basis (like in a movie, speech etc). My brain just ignores what the person is saying. I just keep their observing the speaker's (mis) pronunciation.

I remember my Tamizh teacher telling our class us how to pronounce 'zha'. "zha ucharippu-ku, naakai suzhata vendum. naakai madikaama vaai mozhi varuvadhu migha kadinam.". Point!

Today, I watched the trailer of Cheran's next movie Pokkisham. An interesting trailer. It looks to be another heartfelt love story from the Cheran factory. The trailer has Cheran reading out a letter sent to his lover. It's a beautiful narration, has good Thamizh, perfect selection of words & comparisons to convey the exact feeling/emotion...the only sour point being Cheran's pronunciation of the word azhagu as alagu. He goes,

"alagu ennum solluku ottu motra artham needhan Nadira!"

"mothathil nee thamilin alagu" (this was too much)

"sandhosamaai irukiradhu"

Other e.g. :

tamil valga
stiram valapalam saptaan.
summa palagunga, palagi paarunga
Amma kolambu vechirkaanga
kolandhaiku bajji romba pidikikum
magesum bathmaavum plight-la kamalagaasan pichhar paathanga

olunga ucharikira palakam ennaku illa

I am sure you can think of many.

I can understand when non-Tamil speakers like wrecker-in-chief Udit Narayan, Yesudas, Adnan Sami mispronounce (read kill) some or all Tamil words. When our own people can't get it right, it is sad.

This post can be best summarised by the famous Thillu mullu interview scene (of Subramania Bharathy) shown below. Thalaivar and Thengai at their best!

Yellaan eye wassss! :D


  1. it annoys me too. and its ironic considering they say stuff like "tamil pechu yengal muchu" :)

  2. Q: Sattaila Enna?
    A: Poonai
    Q: Adhula enna perumai?

    :) It is one of the finest comedy movie !!!

  3. Anjana, lol. yea. Gabtun is known for these pearlers!

    VijayGanesh, yes hats off to Visu for the funny dialogues.

  4. This is one of the hilarious scenes of rajini! esp the part suppi sappi.. brilliant!!

    Even if this movie is remade it can never match the original charm !!

  5. Hey, "Thillu Mullu" is such a hilarious movie, you can watch million times:-)! A clean comedy too!!!!

    On pronouciation, ya...its kind of irritating when ppl dont get even the basics right..Not sure if you get to watch tamil programs on televisions...the tamil these anchors use is horrible...diction, accent, everything is horrible....

  6. Warstu is cheran! he takes pride in talking in tamil that way. [Vaalkai, vaalapalam, alagu] Makes me want to apdiye chappunnu aranjify him.

    Thillu mullu is ultimate! I think theres this other movie, with vivek, alli thandha vaanam, where he tries to spread good tamil, that is also romba jaali :D

    I think what we really need is some kind of super goundamani who'll fly down wherever such thamil murderings is done and give them one punch saying "vaaya kaZHuvu da rubber vaaya!"

    :D :D

  7. chutney, "Makes me want to apdiye chappunnu aranjify him" - lol. exactly!

    havent seen vivek in alli thandha vaanam. will check it out.

    yea we need to mock these guys big time so they make an effort to pronounce right. I think Badava Gopi should take this up in his standup comedies.

    viji, oh yes. TV anchors. I loved the way Kamal mocked them in Thenali. have u seen it?

    nirmal, defly one of Rajni's best. we shouldnt forget Visu. He wrote the dialogues.

  8. I love politicians who are all about tamil elaam.

  9. naan tamil pesha maatein

    lol, I'm just learning tamil so when I talk I am a disgrace.

    Note to self: Don't talk to people until I fix this!

  10. Fantastic! This is one of my all time favourites too!

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Idling in Top Gear, :)

    fd, thamizh pesu. you'll be just fine.

    WellingtonBala, mine too!

  13. Ivangallam ipdi tamiL pesaradha ketta romba "kastama" iruku..Vera ena panradhu.."palagika" vendiyadhudhan..

    BTW, the snaps in your site are arupthamatic! Will ping you before I buy an SLR.

  14. Excellent site you have here.. It’s hard to find good
    quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people
    like you! Take care!! payday loans boise id
    Feel free to surf my web site ... short term loans

  15. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt,
    you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this. this site
    My homepage ;

  16. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you
    penning this article and also the rest of the website is extremely good.

    payment protection insurance
    My blog ; ppi compensation against welcome finance

  17. This is the perfect website for anybody who would like to
    find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you
    (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a
    topic that has been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just great!
    limitation period personal injury solicitors
    Also visit my web site ;