Practice Corner #7

Do you remember the three letters you just learned? If you can remember the ones you learned in Lesson #6, these should be no problem, as they basically look like two letters joined to one another!

You are about to learn three new letters today! Did you notice that that's the LARGEST number of letters I've ever given in a Practice Corner?!! If you can get through this, you should be rather proud!!!

The first one is a somewhat common letter in comparison to the rest you've learned in this whole lesson:

w /nda/- Listen! This letter is pronounced EXACTLY like L, because it's actually a combination of and ! You're more likely to find this letter in Malayalam texts than the other letters I listed so far or am about to list. Many Buddhists, in particular, may be familiar with the term w /aanandam/, which is a rather literary word meaning "happiness," since Lord Buddha's brother's name was also Ananda. So now you know what his name means! (Many Indian names mean something in practically every Indian language, or at least in Sanskrit!)

And now, to continue your torture in the lush jungles of Kerala, as if the plaguing mosquitoes and humidity weren't enough!

s /nthha/- Listen! This letter, obviously, is just the letters and joined together! Notice the way that this letter is basically a full connected to a without the initial upward stroke. There are other letters that are combined with in this manner; however, there doesn't seem to be any strict rule about this, since the letter /sthha/ (one of the most common combinations) is apparently not included in this font!

One word with this letter is s /panthhaav/, which means "path (as in road or plan/scheme)." Listen! I'm quite sure that this is a poetic word, since I know that you wouldn't hear this word in normal conversation...or at least, I never have!

And our last letter IS...............*drumroll, trumpets*......................

/nha/- Listen! This is a peculiar letter that you wouldn't see very often, though you may see it more often than those taught in the lesson. Although it should be pronounced like the "nha" in "Dan has many Malayalam books that are not publicly available (!)," it's usually pronounced more like K or like the double "n" sound in "Dan kneels before the great authors of these books he bought from who-knows-where" with only a very faint "h" sound. ߭ /chinham/ is the most common word I know for "sign." Listen!

Whenever you see a letter written like a half- joined to another letter, or two letters like , remember that it's always pronounced like the letter AFTER the /ha/ plus a faint /ha/, e.g. in this case, /mha/!


Do you remember all these letters? Now remember.......DON'T LOOK AT THE ANSWERS!!!!!!

1. m

2. s

3. w

4. o


6. t


OK, NOW you can look at the answers! Your tropical torture is done...until your next lesson, that is!

1. NDa

2. nthha

3. nda

4. gna

5. hna

6. ndhha