Friday, January 21, 2005

Chennai Senthamizh

Statutory Warning: This post is sort of a useful for the purposes of TOTFL (Test Of Tamil as Foreign Language) esp. madras tamil. Also, this blog involves quite a few classical tamil usages which or otherwise unknown in many other versions of tamil only, not to talk of other languages. Those of you who do not know or appreciate this language are requested to move on to the next post and not read any further...
Something Interesting...

Tho Daa Naina..,

The aesthetic quality of Madras Tamil comes from the fact that a classical (and old) language like Tamil is given that contemporary touch by the constructive intrusions from languages like Hindi, Telugu, Greek, Italian, Persian and most importantly English (naduvula konjam uttaks naina). As a result, the language may sound uncivilized, from the point of view of the Madurai folks, who seemingly say 'Vaanga..ponga..' even before 'veesing' the 'veecharuvaa' and the Coimbatore folks who add this sickening slur to every statement... and in their obsession with pure Tamil curb the unfettered evolution of the language, thereby
leading to little or no development of the language itself.

For instance, words like 'bejaar', 'peela', 'saavu graaki' have no sense and no equivalents in the Southern dialects of tamil. Certainly an inexplicable loss to Tamil Language! Now, really getting into the mechanics of the spoken language, the most important point is the relative position of the lips while speaking. While most tamil dialects involve a cavity of 2 inches between the lips,Madras tamil involves a much lesser gap (0.5 to 1.2 Inches). Mastering the exact position is half the language learnt.

Assuming we're using flash cards,

Card# 1.

All words -- more specifically, all verbs need to be consistently shortened adhering to a set of strict rules. padiththu(read), mudiththu(complete), sabiththu(curse) will be gracefully shortened as 'Pachchi', 'muchchi', 'sabchi'. Note the conversion of the syllable 'da' to 'cha'. This is essentially true for the entire gamut of emotions to be conveyed in Madras Tamil. 'kondirukkiren' is converted for simplicity to '...nikkeren'.

As a corollary, 'padiththu kondirukkiren' = 'pachchi-nikkeren'
'kuliththu kondirukkiren' = 'kulchi-nikkeren'.

Readers can understand immediately that this was done to save time, so that in the same period of time a Madras Tamilar can convey 1.5 times that of a Madurai Tamilar and 5000 times that of a Coimbatore Tamilar (depending on the length of the drawl... like 'yaeeeeeeenunga?' or when you take a bus trip from Gandhi Puram to Pappanayakka Palayam you come to hear words like yaeeeeeenungaaaaa oaaru papnayakka palayam
koodungeeeeeee and by the time the sentence is finished, Pappanayakkan Palayam would have arrived) One anomaly to this shortening rule is, some words get suffixed with the syllable 'ka'. So, summa = summaka, dhoora = dhooraka.

Card# 2.

Madras Tamil does not use 'neenga' and 'nee' in different contexts. In fact, only 'nee' is used. This is not a deliberate attempt to degrade someone in public, but to offer a level playing field for everyone. So if the auto-karan asks 'engaponum, unakku?' do not feel offended.

Card# 3.

'da' is used by ALL IIT guys and ALL policemen for quite different reasons. The tone of 'ennada, license enga, vootlaya?' and 'what da, where is the Jantha, da?' are self-explanatory. Incidentally, all words beginning with 'vee' can be unconditionally substituted with 'voo'.

So 'Veedu' = 'voodu' and 'Vittuvidu' = 'vuttudu'.

Coming back to 'da', a euphemism for that would be 'ba'. So a 'ennada' would be made to sound much less offensive with 'ennaba'. Other less effective words, principally used among friends include 'naina','vaadhyaare', 'machi', 'berther'(brother),'allo'(hello)... the list is endless. When it comes to expressing intimacy and friendship, Madras Tamil is the best in the world.

Card# 4.

'enna'(what?) in Madras is 'innaa?'. So, combining cards (1) and (4), (sorry ba, 12th Maths madhiree aaychee) 'innaa pachchinikkera?', 'innaa kachinikkera?'.

Card# 5.

The syllable 'zha'(as in tamizh) becomes 'ya'. So, 'vaazhai pazham' is 'vaaya payam', 'vaazhkai' is 'vaaykai', 'vazhukki' is 'vaykki'. Off the record, 'zha' is a pain in the butt. More than 95% of Tamil Nadu substitutes it with 'ya' or 'la'. (yours truly being an exception uses "zha" very easily and as and when warranted)

Card# 6.

When it comes to borrowing words from other languages 'Madrassukku nigar Madrasse'. English words can be used in any context without feeling alien. 'wrongu', 'rightu', 'yechuse me', 'adjist', 'abase', 'abscond', 'beetiful', 'super', 'fruitu', 'pil im','figureu' and so on. Hindi has its contributions like 'bejaar'. Telugu:'naina', 'baava', 'eppudu', 'cheppu' etc. Many such languages have their representation all of which cannot be listed here. Also singular and plurals in English are inversed. So, even one lady becomes 'ladees', one friend becomes 'priends', a vegetable puff becomes 'puphs' etc.


Superlatives are mostly functions of time and fame. But some superlatives like 'Lord Labakdas','Amrican citizen', 'Columbus', 'pisthu', 'pistha' can be used at any time,anywhere, guaranteed. The etymology of these words are unknown. Slangs are very important in Madras. Especially while drunk, during 'kozha adi sandai' and in the 'paal booth'. 'saavu graaki', 'somaari', 'kasmalum' can be used as and when required.

(Tamil spoken at Ethiraj, Stella Maris is entirely different and is beyond the scope of this blog.)

Disclaimer: Any Incidents quoted in the article if resembling reality are purely coincidental
PS: This blog is a copy-paste from some friends group after sufficiently changing it to fit the style of the owner of this blog. Also, for those who do not understand the purpose of this blog, we call it "vanja pugazhchi aNi" in tamil.

ennaba ore galeeeeja keedhu.
language course ippdiya eduppanga. aiyyae.
Pray tell us why I ought to say I'm eating a vazhapazham when it actually is a valhapalham that I am imbibing?
Yebba.. Semma research da Bharath....Whoever did that... ;-)

but, sooooooper appu.. nalla keedhu ba andha researchu...

idhe madhri blogs post panninenu vaichuko nee thamizh pulavan aaiduve.. i mean the MADRAS TAMIZH
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