Sunday, July 27, 2008


Please follow my notation for uniformity and clarity.

I am not imposing my notation. It is left to you to evolve a better notation.

But you should come out what is your notation.

Where you differ with my notation?

How your notation is better than mine – which you should explain.

I again repeat that ambiguity in pronunciation is to be avoided.

What you pronounce, in the same way it should be spelt.

If you differ, please furnish your notation.


You should not give room to others to correct.

You are at liberty to point out my spelling mistakes etc.

What is on your back, you may not know. Somebody should point out. Of course,

with the help of a mirror, you can detect what is on your back.

The pity is most of the writers do not check what they have written before they are posted.

Though there are many dialects in every language, we realize them when we hear them. But in the written form only STANDARD form is used.

Of late, some people are writing colloquial form of their area. This is difficult to follow. In some Tamil Books, this is adopted. But the sales may go down for the person hailing from some other region may not be able to understand the colloquial form of a different region.


Now let me give the notations for writing Sourashtram in roman script.

Vowels a aa i ii u uu e E ai o O au am ah

ru ruu lu luu am ah

Consonants k kh g gh n

c ch j jh n~

T Th D Dh N

t th d dh n

p ph b bh m

y r l v sh

S s h L kS

nh mh rh lh

Consonant + vowel

ka kaa ki kii ku kuu ke kE kai ko kO kau

kru kruu klu kluu kam kah


For lengthening the vowel, the same vowel is written again

Ex: a aa i ii u uu e ee ai o oo

Instead of repeating you can use Capital letter

Ex. a A i I u U e E ai o O

But to write, capital letter, you have to operate shift key. This will arrest your typing speed. So it is suggested that the vowel can be doubled. But it creates the problem because of the usage of English words i.e. the way in which they are pronounced.

Ex. keep is pronounced as kiip only i.e. ee à ii and not lengthened form of e

room is pronounced as ruum only i.e. oo à uu and not lengthened form of o

You can also put a dash on the top/head of the letter. But that is not possible while typing with the existing English Key Board.

With the result, use of Capital letter for lengthening vowel e, is the best choice.

Similarly, use of Capital letter for lengthening vowel o, is the best choice.

In this way, we avoid the ambiguity by making use of Capital letter.

In respect of consonants, we have to use Capital Letter for minimizing the space.

If you do not use Capital letter, then the 3rd varga of letters are written like this

t th d dh n

Then to write the 4th varga of letters, you have to write like this

th thth dh dhdh nn

For me, it does not look nice. It occupies more space because of increase in the number of letters. Instead of one letter t, we have to use two letters th

For the second letter in the 4th varga, we have to use 4 letters i.e. thth instead of two letters th. Similarly for 3rd and 4th letter of the 4th varga, we have to write as dh and dhdh. This method is not aesthetic.

There are 3 sa in our language. sh is termed shakti sa. S is termed Shanmugam sa. In Tamil Shanmugam is written using this S only. The third one is called saraswathi sa.

We have got two la in our language. They are kaal=yesterday poLLo=fruit

The third la in Tamil is called Special la cirappu Lagaram

It is written as zh as in pazham=fruit mozhi=language

In Sourashtra we do not have any word in which the special La occurs.

We have to use it only when we write the borrowed Tamil words.

The other Tamil letters viz. Big ra is written as R. ex. aRai=room

Two circled na – reNDu suzhi na is written as n_ ex. man_am=mind

Witness is written as saakSi. The final consonant kS in our consonant chart.

Now the Notation for writing Tamil Language in roman script is as under

Vowels a aa i ii u uu e E ai o O

Consonants ka na

ca n~a

Ta Na

ta na

pa ma

ya ra

la va

zha La

Ra n_a

Consonant + vowel ka kaa ki kii ku kuu ke kE kai ko kO kau k

The aayutha ezhuttu can be denoted by k_ ex. ak_tu = that which occurs rarely.

If Tamil is written in the above manner, representing the Tamil orthography, it will be like English. That is writing one spelling and pronouncing the word in some other way. You have to practice spoken Tamil emulating the native Tamil speaker. By this learning process becomes tedious and time consuming.

Tamil is the only Dravidian language where instead of 4 ka, only one ka is available. In other words, ka can be spelt like ka, kha, ga and gha.

If we remove the four Sanskrit letters ja, sa, Sa and ha from the orthography of Tamil, it will lose its charm and it will be confined within Tamil Nadu only. Some foreign language word cannot be written in Tamil correctly.

In Japanese also to represent Ta and la, there is no symbols.

Petrol is written as petoru. Italy is written as itarii. But ,somehow Japanese are surviving without the symbols for Ta and la. There are also some other peculiarities in that language that we need not discuss here.

A small exercise for you.

You write one or two sentences in Tamil. Afterwards you transliterate in roman script. That is, you change the lipi/ezhuttu/script.

Now you read what you have written. It will be horrible.

I bathed in the river Ganges. = naan_ kankai aaRRil kuLittEn_.

Now you can understand why foreigners find it difficult to learn and speak Tamil.


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