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Re: < Pronunciation #

In article <2pn3fm$qgo@ucunix.san.uc.edu>, wenode@chester.cms.udel.edu
(Vinod Arekar) writes:
|> About pronunciation of the word RAMAYANA:
|> I dont know why this fuss about ramAyana or ramAAyana.
|> First of all, IT'S RAMAYAN, and not RamayanA
|> Adding 'a' in the end of Hindu names (Ram, Ravan, Lakshman etc.)
|> is the 'english thing' which started because the british could
|> not accept the names like Indr(a) which are difficult to pronounce
|> if written without the 'a' (of course, the british never did anything
|> to improvise the words like colonel and lieutenant, but that is beside
|> the point).

This is pretty much blatantly incorrect.  The reason it is rAmAyana is
because in Sanskrit, unlike Hindi, the final "a" IS pronounced, whereas
Hindi has changed over the course of many years to the point where
the final "a" of a word is not pronounced.  If you study any of the vedas
or the old Sanskrit Scriptures, you will see that this is the case.
The devanagiri script for the two is the same, but in Sanskrit, a
"halanth" is needed to silence the final "a", where it is not in hindi.
So when read in sanskrit, the names are rAma, lakshmana, ravana, mahAbhArata,
etc.  The final "a" is dropped in Hindi pronunciations.  I tend to feel
that the Sanskrit pronunciation is more correct, since all these
words are originally Sanskrit words, but that may also have to do
with the fact that I'm from South India, and most south Indian
Languages (malayalam, tamil) have retained that final "a" sound.

However, I also tend to think that there is no "correct" pronunciation.
One pronunciation has evolved into something different over the
years, and one has stayed the same.  But it's certainly not 
something the englished forced on us.


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