Tharman, the 9th president of Singapore is of Indian Tamil ethnicity. The pronunciation of his first name shows how various languages use Latin alphabets.
English speakers use
thto convey three different sounds –
- “Thames/ते़म्ज़” – Palatial
/t/similar but different from Hindi/Spanish/French/Arabic dental
- “Think/थ़िन्क” – voiceless interdental fricative sound
- “This/द़िस” – voiced interdental fricative
Hindi speakers use
/tʰ/थ– a dental form of
Tamil speakers use
தwhich represents sounds ranging from dental `/t/त` to `/dʱ/ध`.
And that’s how
தர்மன்which should have been translated directly as
dharma/धर्मंends up going via Tamil -> English -> Hindi route and becomes