Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherwise?

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Ajesh, Aug 6, 2014.

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Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherwise?

  1. Yes it is indeed a Useless British Legacy

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  2. No(Explanation Please)

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  1. Ajesh

    Ajesh Regular Member

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    I am talking about the zh word in words like Kozhikode, Alapuzha and so on. I am sure it must be in Tamil also. Please note that in Tamil, l is actually rrr.

    Same for Kozhikode, It is actually pronounced as Korrikode and Alapurra instead of going by the zha letter. To me the British couldnt pronounce rrra properly so they invented zh for it which totally distracts from the orignal Pronunciation.

    Whats Your Opinion?
     
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  3. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    l is r? no....:lol:

    "zh" tells me it is of type à®´ which sort of sounds like "ila", but not quite. This sound I think is limited to Tamil, Malayalam afaik. So in the absense of any symbol in the roman script for this sound, zh is used.

    In fact the correct way of writing தமிழ், i.e "Tamil" in english would actually be Tamizh. Nowadays people just use the L cause it's easier, and the reader gets it.

    Of course if you just use L you will run into issues. For example
    வழி = Vazhi, means way.

    If you were to use Vali instead , it would be read as
    வலி which means pain. the last letter is the "lee" sound. To prevent this from occuring, the zh is useful while transliterating to english.

    Here is the actual english term for alphabets that are pronounced like it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retroflex_approximant
     
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  4. Ajesh

    Ajesh Regular Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    Zh in Malayalam means a variation of rrrr, still not clear how in Tamil it works- need to check out a video
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    I have never understood how zh could be remotely related to r.

    Whenever I see Zh, I think about Ж.
     
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  6. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    @Free Karma:Afaik, outside of Tamizh and Malayalam, there isn't a major language where we find the 'zh' sound. I suspect the sound might have been present in other Dravidian languages and probably faded away. These days in Tamizh also, at least colloquial Tamizh, people aren't using it and are using the 'L' sound.

    @pmaitra : That Cyrillic character is close but is not the same sound.
    It is, as pointed out by Free Karma, 'à®´' in Tamizh and 'à´´' in Malayalam.

    @Ajesh: I don't clearly understand what you are saying. Are you saying that the 'à´´' or 'zh' in Kozhikode is/was actually a rolling 'r' ?

    @Trivia: Kozhikode seems to have come from "Koyil Kotta" meaning: Palace Fort; later morphed to Kozhikode later corrupted to Calicut.

    PS: Free Karma, Vali with the 'lee" sound means something else in Malayalam and it's funny when Tamizh guys say "Vali voodra".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
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  7. Ajesh

    Ajesh Regular Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    @Razor, Yes the zh in Kozhikode is actually a Rolling R. Like a RRRR.. Like when You drag Your Tongue extra Backwards to touch Your Inner Upper Mouth and then pronounce R...

    According to me the local Alphabets were much Richer like the Rolling R for which there was no alphabet in English and the British, as they usually do changed the spelling to suit them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  8. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    ZH makes more sense for that sound. In the word Kozhikode, the ZH part is not pronounced as a proper RR, but a combination of RR and YA. It is sounded by touching the tongue along the edge of the roof of the mouth. Pazhyam (banana) is a good example. Its hard to explain its pronunciation, unless someone can sound it to you. Check with any traditional mallu.

    Once you hear it you will realize that ZH makes more sense than any other letter.

     
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    Zh, as in Ж, requires the tongue to be near the palatal roof and closer to the teeth, while R, requires it to be at the palatal roof but a bit burther back, so yes, I can see how it woks.
     
  10. Ajesh

    Ajesh Regular Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    No Way Man.. Zh makes no sense for a Variation of the Letter R... This is completely way off..

     
  11. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    Hmmm, lets try this.

    I am assuming you are a mallu or someone who is close to mallus (your name suggests the previous). The ZH in pazhyam, is very close to the ZHHH sound in the word wash. In fact, the correct pronounciation of the ZH can be achieved by tipping the tip of the tongue a little inwards to the roof of the mouth when pronouncing WASH. This sound (the one made when pronouncing WASH) is better written as ZH, because any other combination can distort the sound by a mile.

     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    ঋ in Bengali is also a problem for phonetic pronunciation in Englis. Nearest is kri , but still not quite.
     
  13. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    I haven't heard people pronounce Kozhikode as 'korrrrikode", neither is it written that way. :hmm:

    Will have to check with someone who is more knowledgeable in Malayalam than me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  14. Ajesh

    Ajesh Regular Member

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    Re: Zh Word in Malayalam and Tamil - Useless British Legacy or Otherw

    Z is when we say Zebra or Zambia or Zimbabwe, It is similar to the Pronunciation of Poison in Hindi, Zehar, Z is ZZZ and No Way it is related to rrrrrr Sound in Kozhikode. No Way.

     

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