Lesson #7- Gna, NDa, ndha

Hi, everyone! It's been quite a while since I made the last lesson! How was the last set of conjugated letters? Do you remember those three letters and the letters that aren't pronounced the way they look like they would be pronounced? Was the practice test too hard or too weird? :)

Hopefully, you DO remember those consonants well, because those are the main ones you'll keep on seeing! Today, we'll be dealing with three letters that involve the consonants /Na/ and /na/ which are not nearly as widely used in Malayalam:

o /gna/- Listen! Since this letter is obviously a combination of and , it's ALWAYS pronounced just like the gn in "magnet." One word in Malayalam using this letter is o /agni/, which is the more literary/poetic word for "fire" and the name of the Hindu god of fire. (The common word in Malayalam is /thii/.) The word agni comes from Sanskrit (the Sanskrit word is also agni), and it's from this Sanskrit word that Latin got the word ignis (fire), from which we, in turn, got our word igneous (with/containing fire).

The next two letters are NDa and ndha, which are rather similar. In learning these two letters, however, remember that there are no letters Ndha or nDa in Malayalam!

m /NDa/- a combination of and . Listen! This letter is so rare in Malayalam that I had to browse through my dictionary in order to find a word using this letter! One of the first words I found (and just learned!) was m /aNDajam/, which means "reptile" (or, more accurately, "egg-laying creature"). Listen! I'm sure this word may be used in poetry, but I doubt that most ordinary Malayalees know this word!

t /ndha/- a combination of and . Listen! Out of the three letters, I would say this letter is the most common of all...though, overall, it's still quite rare! There is one word, however, that is rather well-known by Malayalees these days: t /bandh/. Listen! Actually, this is related to the word t /bandham/, which basically means "tie" (as in tying a knot or family ties), at least literally. Listen! Lately, though, there has been a holiday called "Kerala Bandh" (commonly known as (the) t) which is a special day for political parties, organizations, supporters, etc. to argue and protest as they wish. Though it may sound like Kerala is so politically tolerant or something, really it's just an excuse for a holiday! (At least, that's what I've heard!)

Now about continuing to the Practice Corner where you'll learn some new letters that also have /na/ in them?