What is Common To? Answered

Six months back I had asked:

What is common to Sanskrit, Brahmin, Sion and Matunga?

The answer is that they are all Indian words written in English that would have been correctly pronounced if they were pronounced the way a native English speaker would  pronounce them, but mispronounced because of  the way Indians pronounce English.

In “Sanskrit” and “Brahmin”, the “i” is supposed to be pronounced the way it is in “Sir” and the pronunciation would have been correct. Instead, we Indians pronounce them as “Sanskreet” and “Brahmeen”  thinking that we are anglicizing them.

“Sion” comes from the Marathi word “Sheev”, which means border.  (Sion is the northern border of Bombay city. Beyond it is suburban Bombay.)  It is supposed to be pronounced “Seeon”. But everyone pronounces it “Saayan”.

If  you were to pronounce the “u” in “Matunga” like the “u” in “but”, you’d be close to the original name of the suburb, which is “Mathanga”, so called apparently because an elephant stable used to be housed there. But everyone calls it “Matoonga”.

Incidentally, the last two examples tell us something about the original inhabitants of Bombay, viz. how few actually exist. They also tell us a lot about the state of Hindi and Marathi scripts in Bombay till recently.