Friday, September 18, 2009

Barking Barking Malayalam Chopping

A joke that Malayalis share about non-Mallus is that the hapless foreigners always say: "Kurachu kurachu malayalam ariyum". This post is about debunking and clarifying that joke - which is quite an impossibility!

Well, a little more about the "joke".

When the foreigner (who has tried to learn the notoriously difficult-to-speak language) means to say:
"കുറച്ചു കുറച്ചു മലയാളം അറിയും ",
They end up saying it as.
ച്ച് കുച്ച് മലയാളം അരിയും.".

The former means "Little little Malayalam I know" while the latter means "Barking Barking Malayalam I chop"! :)

There is only a slight difference in pronunciation for the 'ra's involved in this statement. The normal 'ra' (റ) sound that a foreign-tonguer would utter naturally would result in the correct version (knowing-knowing) of the statement in question!

The other ra (ര) is a sound that Wikipedia tells me used to exist in early Kannada and Tamil as well; but they became obsolete there. To understand the difference between the two 'ra's, contrast the two la sounds in "Loyola" (ലൊയോള). The difference between the two 'ra' s is also the same.

The barking-barking version of the statement is actually a testimony to Malayali elitism and sarcasm. The joke is that the foreigner would not be able to say the joke... or hear it, he would auto-correct it.

It is an insider joke!... perverse Malayali humour... :)

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