Me Thinks

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The zh in Tamizh

I've always wondered who came up with the idea of using the letters z and h to get the zh sound, which is exclusive to only tamil & malayalam. If that sound is not present in other languages, we should use something thats very close like the letter L. In fact, many tamilians pronounce tamizh as tamiL. So L would've been a better choice. Even Captain Vijaykanth says TamiL (right kaps?). South Indian languages dont have certain sounds that are present in N.Indian. But we make do with whats available and get the closest possible sound. But using z and h totally defies any logic. Any non-tamilian would say tamiz and not what we desire.
I tried something different recently. To make my American friend pronounce the word properly, I wrote T-A-M-I-R and lo behold, he pronounced it exactly the way it should be pronounced. Whoever came up with the 'zh' idea must be a creatively-challenged person. Don't you think so?

8 Comments:

Blogger NaiKutti said...

english by itself is a complicated language :-), atleast i think so... for island is pronounced iland, doubts is pronounces douts, psychology is pronounced sycology and so many more... so this "zh" is something like that :-)...

why didn't they (who ever framed and formed english) keep it just simple... what u write is what u pronounce... life would have been so much easier... :-)

so with all this complications "zh" doesn't bother me much...

btw the question "nee unga appa amma vukku ethanavuthu kuzhanthai?" is very difficult to translate to english.. try it :-)... its so damn easy in most of the mother tongues... i have talked with some american friends and they kinda accept..

9:59 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...

Captain pronounces it as Damil.

If a person doesn't know Tamizh, he will mispronounce it anyway....hence Tamizh is better as it tries to capture to the beauty of the letter zh.

11:27 PM  
Blogger VC said...

Oruththar creative-aa yedhaavadhu pannaa ungalukkellaam porukkaadhey. :-)
Disclaimer: I am not the one who came up with zh. But I think it is better than other alternatives.

Hopped on to your blog from....well, I forget where I hopped from. Anyway, Good one. keep blogging.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

Naikutti, kaps and VC, looks like I am in the minority. There are indeed many fans for the 'zh' usage.

8:04 AM  
Blogger ashok said...

u r perfectly right...I'll make sure to raise this issue in the next 'Ullaga TamiLh maanadu...'

no kidding!

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » »

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »

5:46 AM  

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