Vegam Vegam Malayalam

Lesson #4

Was it easy memorizing the hundreds?...Kinda sorta...? GREAT!

Now we move on to our next series: THE THOUSANDS!

But before we do that, we'll start out with a number that's quite similar to the thousands. You remember how "nine" in Malayalam is literally "one before ten (IX)" and "ninety" is "one ten before a hundred?" Similarly, the word for 900 literally means something like "one hundred before a thousand":

900. thoLLaayiram                                                U Listen!

And if you want to make a number between 900 and 1000, how do you make your stem? Well, if you're dealing with a number like 905 or 967, then thoLLaayiram changes to a stem thoLLaayiraththi(n)- (UJ-). 


901. thoLLaayiraththiyonn                              UJK Listen!

902. thoLLaayiraththiraNT                               UJListen!


Now to move on to the thousands!

The thousands are quite similar to the number 900. The word for "thousand" in Malayalam is:

1000. aayiram                                               Listen!

And, needless to say, the stem before any number between 1000 and 2000 is aayiraththi(n)-. (You knew that, right? :))

And the word for 2,000 is, quite simply:

2000. raNTaayiram                                           I Listen!

3,000, however, is a little irregular so that it sounds smoother in pronunciation:

3000. muuvaayiram                                           Listen!

4,000 is regular again:

4000. naalaayiram                                            Listen!

5,000 is also irregular for pronunciation purposes:

5000. ayyaayiram                                             Listen!

6,000 AND 7,000 are regular this time (two numbers for a change!):

6000. aarraayiram                                             Listen!

7000. Ezhaayiram                                             Listen!

8,000 is irregular in a predictable way:

8000. eNNaayiram                                                                                         H Listen!

But then...what's nine thousand? Is it something like "a thousand before ten thousand?" Nah, this time it's actually regular, and so is ten thousand:

9000. ombathinaayiram                                          X Listen!

10000. pathinaayiram                                           Listen!

Then we just have two more irregular numbers in Malayalam:

11000. pathinOraayiram                                         Listen!

12000. panthiiraayiram                                          L Listen!

I haven't the slightest idea why those two numbers take those forms, of all forms that could exist...

After this, everything is pretty regular (pathi(n)- + thousand)...

13000. pathimuuvaayiram                                       Listen!

14000. pathinaalaayiram                                        Listen!

15000. pathinayyaayiram                                        Listen!

Q: And how do you say 100,000?

A: Why, you say nuutinaayiram (x), of course...right?

WRONG! You see, Indians have their own words for 100,000 (hundred thousand) and 10,000,000 (ten million): namely, "lakh" and "crore." ("Lakh" is pronounced almost like the word "lack.") Not only are these words used in Indian English conversation, but they're all over Indian books in English as well. 

This is how Indians write one lakh in India: 1,00,000

Similarly, one crore (a hundred lakhs) is written as: 1,00,00,000

Although Indians often drop these words after traveling to other countries (the U.S. and Europe in particular), they still use the word lakh(s) to mean "hundred thousand rupees" and crore(s) rupees instead of "(ten/twenty/etc.) million rupees." 

And finally, the Hindi version of the American game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, hosted by former Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchhan, is instead called Crorepati ("One Who Has Ten Million Rupees"). 

The reason why Indians use these two terms when speaking English is because the two terms have similar equivalents in every Indian language known today (even Sanskrit!). So, this is how you say the two numbers in Malayalam:

"1,00,000". laksham                                                f Listen!

"1,00,00,000". kOTi                                                ޿ Listen!

The stem for oru laksham is oru lakshaththi(y)-:

oru lakshaththiyonn                              "one lakh and one"                     fJK Listen!

And for oru kOTi, the stem is just oru kOTi(y)-.

And if you want to say more than one hundred thousand or ten million (e.g. two hundred thousand, twenty million), simply put the number of lakhs/crores right before the word laksham/kOTi:

raNT laksham                                            "two lakhs"                I f Listen!

raNT kOTi                                                 "two crores"               I ޿ Listen!

Now can you guess what number this is?:

lakshamkOTi                                                                                              f޿ Listen!




If you guessed ONE TRILLION (one lakh crores), you are correct!

So, now you know every single number in Malayalam! Now, how about stepping out there and buying something in Malayalam...or maybe, if your name is Bill Gates, buying India for what it's worth--I'd say at least five lakh crores rupees! What'cha think...?