Home

Lesson 3- Conjugated Letters #3

All right, welcome back, everyone! Before we start our lesson today, let's review all the hard letters we've learned while learning the conjugated letters in Malayalam! (Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to know what Malayalee grammar scholars call certain laws of grammar, such as "conjugated letters"...)

So now that you're reviewing, you won't have to review such a bundle in the Practice Corner! Phew! (Some of you may think this is actually more like being hanged in the execution room instead of your cell!)

This time, I'm going to list some words in Malayalam that I have already used as examples. You should be able to read them by now, if you've practiced (or already know) your Malayalam letters and what I've taught you. Still, I don't like to be too harsh--below the translation I'll give you an audio file and the pronunciations of the words (to check AFTER you've deciphered them, that is!!)

, T , G, M, E, , VP, Y, W, X, Z.

The above words mean:

Loincloth (or rope tied around elephant's neck!), case, song, appam, kanjnji, some, path, pillar, rabbit, deer, scorpion. All of the above words are both written and colloquial, except , which is a word from the Central dialect (therefore colloquial only), and VP which is strictly poetic, written only.

Listen to all of the words!

Also, do you remember the alternatives to & M?

Go here and here to find the answers to that question!

And now, the answers!

/kachcha/, /kEss/, /paaTTam/, /appam/, /kanjnji/, /iSSi/, /maarggam/, /thuuN/, /muyal/, /maan/, /thEL/.

You remember how there are some conjugated letters that can only be stacked on top of each other? Well, similarly, there are some other conjugated letters that can ONLY be written twice! Let me show you what I mean by using the letter J /ththa/ as in J /thaththa/ (written & col. for "parrot.") Listen!

You see how it is like two 's joined together into one letter? That's what we're learning today--basically, letters stacked horizontally instead of vertically!

Let's see the other examples in Malayalam:

j /ththha/ as in Vj /arththham/, written & col. for "meaning." Listen! I consider this and /chchha/ as double letters, since there are no sounds or in Malayalam.

i /ddha/ as in i /buddhi/, written & col. for "knowledge." Listen!

K /nna/ as in K /inn/ (written/col.) and K  /annam/ (written). Listen! No, the former doesn't mean "inn," and it isn't pronounced like it either! Actually, it means "today." The second word is a poetic, Sanskrit word, meaning rice or food. 

N /mma/ as in N /amma/, col. for "mom." Listen! This word seems to be very easily understood throughout India. This is mostly true in the South, but in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India's biggest city, even North Indian children seem to use it a lot. 

U /LLa/ as in U /veLLam/, col. for "water." Listen! (It may also be written, but I know there are much more complicated words used in poetry.)

And finally, a much easier consonant (I hope!)...the great(?)...MERCIFUL(?)...

f /ksha/ as in /kshayam/, written and col. for "tuberculosis." Listen! In Malayalam, they have strangely short words for longer medical expressions in English! FYI- Note that the consonant is written "ksha" but pronounced like "tsha." To get the idea, try saying the word "matching" with the "ch" pronounced like in the word "ricochet."

Now you know another 7 important symbols in Malayalam--enough for me to finally make a passage in Malayalam at Practice Corner #3! (Oh, oh! More torture!)

Plus, now that you know all of these letters, you can read, without fail, the next poem!

To learn a dramatic poem in Malayalam about Sita's Wedding, see Poetry Section #3!

Home