TAC Meera 2013

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-05, 6:34

!ستړې مشې (I hope that came out right. I might have gotten the Pashto wrong, and I have trouble putting the exclamation mark in the right place).

OK, I couldn't find the Hindi version, either. BUT the first 29 pages (5 chapters?) are available through Google Books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=McK8vK ... &q&f=false

Meera wrote:Dera Manana :)


If I'm not mistaken (again), that was a comment ("many thanks," "thank you very much," etc.), not a correction, right?

I would love to learn Malayalam :)


Woohoo! Somebody's still interested in my language! Hmm, where shall we start? The alphabet? Or greetings? Or what?

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby Meera » 2013-02-05, 23:44

Oh No, It isn't a correction you said it right. I was thanking for you for helping with Malayalam :D
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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-06, 0:27

I have to stop my mind from associating Malayalam with Malaysia. :(

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby MillMaths » 2013-02-06, 0:41

Youngfun wrote:I have to stop my mind from associating Malayalam with Malaysia. :(
Don't they both derive from the Sanskrit for "hill" or "mountain"? :hmm:

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-06, 5:35

Sophie wrote:
Youngfun wrote:I have to stop my mind from associating Malayalam with Malaysia. :(
Don't they both derive from the Sanskrit for "hill" or "mountain"? :hmm:


No, if anything, they both derive from the Tamil word for 'hill' or 'mountain'! (Sanskrit does have the word malaya, which means not just any 'hill' or 'mountain' but specifically the ones that border Kerala, but that's borrowed from a Dravidian language (probably Tamil)).

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-06, 7:51

A little more on this word "Malayalam": the use of this word to refer to the language seems to be relatively recent. Before that, "Malayalam" referred only to the land (now known only as Kerala), not the language. It comes from the Malayalam words mala (മല) 'mountain' (or malai (மலை) in Tamil) and aazhi (ആഴി in Malayalam, ஆழி in Tamil) 'sea'. This is because Kerala ("Malayalam") is bordered on the north and east by mountains, and on the west and south by the sea.

Now, Meera, if you don't mind me asking again, what do you want me to start with?

For now, I guess I'll just say something about greetings. I would say Malayalam doesn't really have a word for "hello" or "hi." In Malayalam, you don't really greet people; you just vaguely acknowledge that they exist! There is the greeting namaskaaram (നമസ്കാരം), but it's a formal greeting, not one you use very often. You'd probably use it with somebody you really wanted to show respect to, but I'd never use it with e.g. my parents, their friends, or my extended family. (Of course, nowadays, it's pretty normal for Malayalees to just say "hello/hi" in English, but I think this is a habit picked up recently from Westerners).

There are, however, a few ways of asking how somebody is. The one I probably use most commonly is:

എങ്ങനെ ഇരിക്കുന്നു? engngane irikkunnu? 'How are you?' (The first word means 'how', and the second word literally means 'am/are/is sitting', but can be interpreted as 'am/are/is living' or just 'am/are/is being'. I left out the word meaning 'you', partly because how you express 'you' in Malayalam is another complicated story...).

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby Meera » 2013-02-06, 16:17

Wow thanks Vijayjohn! engngane irikkunnu sounds a lot like the Tamil version :P
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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-07, 5:09

Meera wrote:Wow thanks Vijayjohn!


!هر کله، پروا نہ لری

Just call me Vijay :)

engngane irikkunnu sounds a lot like the Tamil version :P


Like so much in Malayalam. (I don't need to tell you how closely related those two languages are!). In fact, there's a Malayalam story by the late author V.K.N. called "Lunch" (this is the original title, not a translation of the title) where the main character tries to impress a lady he's having lunch with by quoting Kalidasa in Sanskrit, and then he translates it into Malayalam for her and asks, "yeppaDi? (എപ്പടി?)" I guess in this context it means something like "how about that?" And the Tamil word for 'how' is also eppaDi (எப்படி).

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-10, 6:32

All right, here's a recording of me saying "how are you?" several years ago in Malayalam, just because I can't find a better example of this particular way of saying it online (apologies for the delay before I start speaking in this recording and the thump at the end!):

http://www.jaimalayalam.com/Hawaya.wav

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-13, 4:01

I guess now you know at least one way to say "how are you?" you should be able to respond. One way to respond would be:

സുഖമായിട്ട് ഇരിക്കുന്നു sukhamaayiTT irikkunnu '(I) am fine.' (Literally something like "I am sitting/living comfortably.")

Or if you want to say something a little easier :-D

സുഖം തന്നെ sukham thanne 'Just fine.'

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby Meera » 2013-02-14, 16:35

Thanks Vijay :mrgreen: This is very helpful!
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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-15, 3:47

Nice to see you again, Meera! I'm glad you liked it!

A little more on what you can and can't say in Malayalam: There are a few other ways of saying (basically) "how are you" and "fine," much like English ("how's it going," "what's up," "what's new," "I'm OK," etc.). But Malayalam doesn't really have any words for "please," "thank you," "yes," or "no." Especially "thank you." If you want to thank someone, you'd usually do it in English, although if someone really did you a big favor, you might find some way to express your gratitude in Malayalam ("you've done me a big favor!" or "I am so lucky that you did this for me," etc.).

Since there's no word for "please," the way you normally make a polite request is by saying, "You must do X." For example, if you wanted to say "please come by tomorrow," what you would literally say is something like, "Oh, you must come tomorrow!" There are also formal verbs, but this is like namaskaaram all over again; it's something you reserve for when you really want/need to show some respect.

There's no real word for "yes," either. There is one expression I've heard in Kerala, which does actually mean pretty much the same thing as "yes," but I've never heard my parents (or any Malayalees over here) say it. You could also just say aa, like a lot of other Indians do. There's one more word for "yes" that you use only in response to certain questions. But normally, the way you say "yes" is by repeating the main verb in the sentence. For example:

A: Will you come to my house tomorrow?
B: Will come.

And "no"? Well, there's one word that means "isn't/aren't," and another that means "there isn't/aren't."

Sorry if that was too long! And here's one way to say "goodbye":

എന്നാല്‍ ആകട്ടെ! ennaal aakaTTe!

Literally, 'Then let it be.' Leave-taking expressions in Malayalam are always idiomatic like that. You could also say just ആകട്ടെ aakaTTe 'let it be', or something like 'having gone, (I) will come', or 'I shall go', etc.

This part of my website should help with greetings and such, too: http://www.jaimalayalam.com/vegam_vegam_malayalam.htm.

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby Meera » 2013-02-17, 19:15

Thank you Vijay! This is all very helpful! :mrgreen:
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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-18, 1:34

Vijay why don't you make your own Malayalam course? :)

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-18, 3:25

I did! See here. It hasn't been updated in a very long time, and the design sucks, but there it is :-D

Or do you mean my own UniLang course? Or what?

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby OldBoring » 2013-02-20, 4:38

I think it's nice! But you need to put some more "classes". :)
(and many links, including your brother's site, are broken)

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-20, 4:54

Thanks so much!

Oh God, yes. It needs many, MANY more lessons. (And aaack, I didn't realize that about my brother's website. That's probably because he graduated from Stanford with a PhD over the summer...although this and this still work for some reason! Thanks for pointing that out).

My plan with the website has been to get back to it once I have LOTS of time on my hands. You don't have time like that when you're a grad student interested in starting a company. But while you're waiting for all that to happen, I might as well help in whatever (relatively) small way I can by posting here :oops:

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-20, 6:08

This is a scene from Chemmeen (1965), probably the most famous movie that has been made in Malayalam so far. I picked this scene because although it's fairly dramatic, there are not a whole lot of words in it, and in fact, many of the lines are quite simple:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mNttdaO5Cs

So let's go through this dialogue, line by line. Some of the lines are a little complicated to deal with right now (given how little of the language we've seen so far in this thread!), but others are definitely worth looking at ASAP. I'm going to bold the important phrases here (i.e. the ones you really should look at :lol:).

First, a little background- These are the two main characters in the movie. Karuthamma, the heroine, is the daughter of a fisherman who wants to buy a boat and net. Pareekkutty, the hero, is her boyfriend who has given all of his wealth to Karuthamma's dad out of love for her. Karuthamma's dad has promised to pay Pareekkutty back with his first catch, but Karuthamma knows her dad is lying and plans to marry her off to someone else. In this awkward situation, Pareekkutty and Karuthamma have the following conversation:

Pareekkutty: കറുത്തമ്മ Karuthamma.

വള്ളത്തിലെ മീനെല്ലാം എനിക്കല്ലേ? vaLLaththtile miinellaam enikkallE? Aren't all the fish in the boat for me?

മിണ്ടൂല്ലേ? miNTuullE? Won't you talk (to me)?

Karuthamma: ഞാന്‍ പോകട്ടെ. njaan pOkaTTe. I'll get going.

വല്ലവരും കാണും. vallavarum kaaNum. Somebody will see (us).

P: കറുത്തമ്മ Karuthamma.

K: ഓ? O? Yeah?

P: എന്നോട് ഇഷ്ടമാണോ? ennOT ishTamaaNO? Do you love me?

K: അതെ. athe. Yes.

P: എന്നോട് മാത്രം? ennOTu maathram? Only me?

K: അതെ... athe... Yes...

ഞാന്‍ പോകട്ടെ. njaan pOkaTTe. I'll get going.

P: കറുത്തമ്മ Karuthamma.

K: ഇല്ല. illa. No. (I.e. I won't do/say anything).

ഞാന്‍ പോകട്ടെ. njaan pOkaTTe. I'll get going.

The important expressions here illustrate the points I made before. The first important expression here is:

ഞാന്‍ പോകട്ടെ. njaan pOkaTTe.

It's pronounced more like njaan pOTTe and literally means 'shall/may I go?' or 'let me go' (i.e. allow me to leave). But it can also be used to mean just 'bye'. The first time Karuthamma says it, she is basically saying she should leave, because somehow it's "not right" for them to be seen together. But after that, she keeps saying it to basically mean 'goodbye'.

Karuthamma also uses a word for 'yes':

അതെ. athe.

This can only be used in response to a question that has the verb 'to be' in it. (For example, Pareekkutty's question is ennOT ishTamaaNO? meaning "Do you love me?" aaNu means 'am', 'are', or 'is'. The same verb is implied in his next question).

Finally, the word she uses for 'no' is:

ഇല്ല. illa.

This literally means 'there isn't' or 'there aren't', but it's also the expression you generally use to form the negative form of a verb. Karuthamma is using it to say, "I won't." We don't technically know what she's saying she won't do, but we can make reasonable inferences based on the context (e.g. she won't stay for another moment).
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2016-01-04, 6:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby Meera » 2013-02-20, 20:13

Thanks Vijay. The movie looks good also I will check it out.
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Re: TAC Meera 2013

Postby vijayjohn » 2013-02-21, 4:35

Yeah, it is a good movie. Tragic, like practically all Malayalam movies at the time, but good. You should be able to find a DVD or something with subtitles in English (because I have one right here!).

All the music is by Salil Chowdhury, who I've mentioned too often on Unilang :lol: This was his first Malayalam movie. I had heard all the songs long before I actually got to see the movie with subtitles; that's how popular the songs are.


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