In Tamil, "Do you know" means "Teriyuma" - தெரியுமா, Generally sounds like "Teri Amma". Now, because Tamil is spoken fast by many people - many times it sounds like "Teri Maa". "Teri Maa" in Hindi stands for "Your Mother" and this is why some Tamil people who know Hindi become extra cautious unnecessarily.
I know someone who knows Hindi and as soon as this word came from my mouth, she corrected me in a very strong tone, "It is 'Teriyuma' not Teri Maa". The extra stress was on "YU" (यू). But why? I was surprised by the sense of determination in the tone.
2 years ago when I said வீடு (veedu) for house with "U" (उ) sound, I was strongly objected by the same person, "It is not Veedu, It is Veeda" i.e. no "U" (उ) in the word.
It happened because I was learning from Tamil-Hindi speaking course book. Because they had written "वीडु", I thought it was spoken like that only.
Anyways, I agreed to her but later due to my love for learning languages I discovered that "U" generally sounds like "A" (अ) in Tamil (தமிழ்). For example Tamil Nadu is actually spoken like तमिल नाड and not तमिल नाडु although it is written with "U" vowel. Surprisingly those who were correcting me did not know this fact.
The purpose of writing this article is - Just because some words might have some different meanings in any other language, we should not change the pronunciation of that word. Or, if some word is spoken in a particular way in any language it should be like that only.
Just because it may be sound different or uncomfortable to speaker of different native language should we change the way we speak?
For example "Kundi" (कुण्डी) is a very common word in Hindi but a seriously objectionable word in Tamil. Similarly, "Chumma" is very commonly spoken in Chennai Tamil but not in the same sense as in Hindi.
Languages are different for some reason; hence the words may be and will be different.
We should respect the languages in original forms or the form in which it is in practice. Changing the pronunciation just because someone may laugh at it is the insult of the language (in my opinion).
Those who know me are very well aware of my love for learning languages and how much respect I have for languages. I can speak, read and write four languages (excluding Sanskrit) and I can understand many Tamil words now due to my hard work. I can read Tamil too. Making fun of any language is not my style and this article means no offense to anyone.
Author - Archit
लाभस्तेषां जयस्तेषां कुतस्तेषां पराजयः I येषामिन्दीवरश्यामो हृदयस्थो जनार्दनः II