Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The big pronunciation debate!

Recently, I asked one of my friends about his opinion of Star Singer program. To my surprise, he said he 'wanted' to watch it, but avoids it due to the 'horrible' Malayalam pronunciation of the anchor, Ranjini!

On the contrary, in my opinion, her pronunciation is the program's one of the most selling points. While hardcore Malayalees like my friend watch it with bemusement, youngsters raised outside Kerala understand and appreciate this genre of Malayalam better. I can very well testify to this from my experience. I see more and more youngsters in our locality, who hardly speak Malayalam, tune in to Star Singer program. They find the show quite natural, enjoyable and entertaining with Ranjini on the stage as the anchor.

The Malayalam language has changed a lot ever since the visual media invaded the households. Many words have become archaic. Many have been borrowed from English. Pronunciation of words have changed. Linguists may call it corruption or bastardisation, but one cannot ignore the impact of this new kind of Malayalam on youngsters! I am pretty sure that in the near future our language will not be the same again. Whether this is good for the language is debatable.


  1. I think the most difficult time Ranjini has ever had probably was when she pronounced the name Sapjna (സപ്ജ്ഞ) Devi. A real tongue twister..

  2. A great language is on its death bed.

  3. Why the anchor? Look how M G Sreekumar sang the song Swarnathamara Ithalilurangum ... Intead of Kanva Thapovana, he sang Kanma Thapovana. He does not even know or bother what the song is about. Very sad.