vijayjohn wrote:Guys, I wasn't going to say anything because I meant to respond to a whole bunch of things on this thread, but I think this one is more important to me than anything else.
-endra and -endar are just different pronunciations for the same suffix in (some) Indian languages. My brother's father-in-law's name is spelled <Surendra>, but everyone pronounces it [sʊˈɾen̪d̪əɾ] because he's from North India and a lot of North Indians (such as him!) are allergic to word-final schwa.
I know a Rajender, plus several Rajinders (and other -nders : Jaswinder, Sukhjinder and so on), and all are from northern India/Punjab. To be honest I've never known anyone who spelled it with a -dra ending but I knew that Rajendra was an equivalent name used further south (like a Hindi version and Rajinder is a Punjabi versions?). But I didn't realize that Rajender and Rajendra could be consider the exact same name (as in spelling it Rajendra and pronouncing it Rajender) - all of the "-nders" I know spell and pronounce their names with -der at the end. Good to know! When I have seen Indian names spelled with -dra at the end my reaction has generally been to assume they are from further south.
Not that I'm oblivious to the issues of transliterating from different alphabets, which is probably a factor here too (the people I know are immigrants who ended up with their names spelled in English in a way that reflected the way they pronounced them, to an American English-speaker's ear)... and on that note I know a family in which the three siblings each ended up with their surname transliterated in a different way in official documents. Naturally American English speakers who don't realize they are brothers (and even some who do) tend to pronounce their surname three different ways and consider them three different names, but of course, the siblings themselves don't.