Re: Gujarati: Pronunciation of words starting with Z
I like your interest in Gujarati - your question is thought provoking.
Originally Posted by panjabigator
If i'm honest, i don't really know why there is this tendency for Gujarati people to pronounce "Z's" as "J's", because there is actually a letter for the "Z" sound in Gujarati, which is ઝ. I actually find it funny myself when i hear it! (It sounds so freshie!! (I suppose you know what this means? If you don't ask me)
Weirdly though, some of these words (actually most of them) that are pronounced like a "Z" [e.g. Zindagee (life), Zindaabaad ("long live")] are spelt with a "J" in Gujarati - Zindagee is spelt with a "J" (જ) So in Gujarati it would be spelt: જિન્દગી (spelt with a "J")
In Gujarati, it would definitely be pronounced with a "J" (i.e. majaa maa)
Originally Posted by punjabigator
I do have to stress at this point that, even in Gujarati, there are different "types" of Gujarati (I'm not sure whether you'd call them dialects, but I'd rather not say that). The Gujarati that i speak at home is the Bharuchi Gujarati. There is also the Surti Gujarati (which us Bharuchis consider a little "posh" (not necessarily in a bad way)) And then there is the "standard" Gujarati, which Hindus mostly speak (at home). We call this Suddhar Gujarati (suddhar means something like "clean/clear"). The Suddhar Gujarati is the one that i use to answer questions here on WR.
Just one thing - The standard pronunciation for this "J" (જ) in Gujarati (the suddhar/standard Gujarati) is a proper "J", like in the English word "Jargon". But the way i say it (Bharuchi) is slightly different. It's a slightly "softer" J. I can't really describe it unless you hear me saying it. If you say it the proper way (like in Jargon), you would be touching the middle of the tongue with the upper part of the mouth - but the way i say it is if the tip of the tongue touches the back of the top two teeth, as well as a bit of the fleshy part. (geddit?? hmm.. that was hard to describe!) Just ask if you don't understand what i mean.
To wrap this up, i'd just say that "mazaa" is Urdu/Hindi, and "majaa" is Gujarati. Why the two different pronunciations? Simply because they're different languages I'd say. (I agree with you it does sound funny when said by Gujarati people!!) and i myself would much prefer it if it was said as a "Z", but Gujarati is Gujarati!
It's always OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end.