Tamil basics...

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#1 Feb 1st, 2008, 23:57
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  • 4gotoIndia is offline
#1
Hi all,
I've been cobbling together a list of basic tamil words (from other posts here, mainly), in the hope I can learn these before heading out. Thought others might be interested in them... and perhaps we can add some more!
All contributions welcome...
4gotoindia

Hello Vanakkam
Goodbye Poitu vare
Morning Kaalay
Evening Maalay
how are you eppadi irukkeenga
your are doing fine? nallaa irukkeengala?
i'm doing fine nallaa irukkayn.
see you paappom (om sounds like the famous OM)
see you later apparam paapom (apparam = later)
whats up? ennadaa (male buddy), ennadee (female buddy), ennanga (elders and strangers)
not much onnum illa.

Yes ama
No illay
I don't want / need venda
I don't know/understand tiriadhu
Thank you Nandri
Ok / alright "chery" or "shery"
how much does this cost? idhu yenna vilai?

Tree maram
Mango tree maamaran

Come (when you have a visitor) vaanga
Come in Ulla vaanga
Here ingay
There angay
Come here ingay vaanga

Where is xxx **** enga irukku? (just add what you need in front)
Up Maylay
Down keelay

What is the price of xxx **** aywallavu? (just add what you need in front)
This idhu
That adhu
What is the price of this / that idhu aywallavu or adhu aywallavu.

Half padi
Half a torn note of ruppee Padi rupa
half a rupee i.e. 50 paise Ardha rupa
3/4th Mukkaal
two Irandu
also two Rendu

Food sab
water thanni
Fruit pallam (pallangal) = fruit(s) (
Vegetable Kaai (kaaigal) = vegetable(s)
Meal / food saappadu
Arisu: Rice (raw) Arisu
Saadam : Rice (cooked) Saadam
Onions Vengayam
Sugar chakkiri
Eggplant Kathrikai
Banana Vazhapalam
Tomato Takkali
Lentils Parrupu
Pumpkin Pushnikkai
greens / spinach / lettuce Keerai
Ginger Inji
Chilli pepper Malaga
Garlic poondu
Bitter gourd Paavakkai
Okra Vendakkai

Flower poo
Rose Roja poo

Cat Punai
Dog Nai
Snake pambu
Good dog Nallai Nai

Love Kadal
Much Romba
Very beautiful Romba Alaga Irikku
Good Nalla
Bad
Thief Kalla


Go! Poda
Go, you dog! Poda Nai
Game Villayatu
Game Aattam

Goat Aadu
Tiger Puli: L is pronounced lean
tamarind Puli: L is pronounced rich
#2 Feb 2nd, 2008, 00:20
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#2
Wow! That's about a hundred time more than I know!

Would you like me to print it out and ask Mrs N to check it over for you? I think she might fine-tune some of the pronunciations.

Kaa kaa -- crow
koravi -- sparrow, or general small bird
anil -- squirel
Kili -- parot


Thani --- water
Thuni --- cloth
Thaani --- percussion solo in classical concert

Kosu --- mosquito
Koosu --- fart

Ee --- housefly (my favourite tamil word!)

OK --- sorri (sounds very like sorry!) --- isn't cherri Hindi?
Half --- we say ari, also learnt that in my music theory.

vehicle --- wandi

Giving directions:
right-a-ponga
left-a-ponga
nare-a-ponga


---That's about my total vocabulary, I'm afraid
~
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#3 Feb 2nd, 2008, 00:24
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#3
Just so long as you don't get thaani and koosu mixed up in language or otherwise

Joking aside, this is great info & will be squirrelled away for our forthcoming trip to Tamil Nadu (please see separate post in itinerary advice sub forum for our request for help on itinerary!!)
#4 Feb 2nd, 2008, 00:29
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#4
Quote:
right-a-ponga
left-a-ponga
I could never get that pronounciation

(Aside and true story. Brother in law, recently transferred to Chennai. One of the local employees walks into his office and starts talking at breakneck speed, so bil puts up his hand and says, 'Can you please talk in English, I can't understand Tamil.'

So the guy says, "But sir, I am talking in English!)
.
This is computer generated drivel. No signature is required.
#5 Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:03
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#5
straight-a-ponga is, it seems, not acceptable! It is very odd how these languages get mix-and-matched!

and ponga, wanga, the last vowel isn't quite an 'a', but something like an 'a' with a bit of 'o' in it. Just as the W is not really a 'w' --- but it isn't a 'v' either.

ponga wanga --- go, but come back later.

po! wa! rude go, rude come.

Waram! Get out of the bloody way! (you'll hear this a lot in Parry's, our wholesale market area, where people are trying to move large amounts of good through tiny congested streets.

Enaki --- what day?
Iniki --- today (errr... I think...)
Naliki --- tomorrow
Nalaniki --- day after tomorrow.

Amma --- mother
Appa --- father
Periappa --- father's elder brother
Chinappa --- father's younger brother

(precision of family relations matters a great deal --- except that 'sister' can mean almost anything!)

Amma, yes, sounds almost identical to Amma, mother, but it has a slightly shorter -ma, with a hint (just a hint, mind you) of ending in a 'n' sound.
#6 Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:41
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#6
as with any language, it's one thing to see the word spelled phonetically, it's quite another to pronounce it correctly, as I found out myself with Tamil.

My former Spanish last name of HINOJOSA is pronounced quite differently from it's phonetic spelling when one knows how to correctly pronounce Spanish. Otherwise, it does not make any sense whatsoever and would get you laughed at in Mexico if you did not know how to pronounce it.

and I have to disagree with "I don't want / need venda"
I was told quite emphatically more than once that it's vendaM, and I can assure you that my pronunciation worked quite well! so much so that a very persistent tout in thanjavur abruptly stopped in his tracks in shock and with a very serious look on his face asked me if I was Tamil...
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#7 Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:54
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#7
...having talked with YG about venda/vendam, I checked it out with Mrs N.

Both are right.

Venda is coloquial, vendam is formal and gramatical.

Which is why you are understood saying vendam, and I am understood saying venda!

This is one of the pains of this language: there are formal and informal forms, 'correct' and colloquial forms. One can be rude just by dropping a syllable!

The stress patterns are often (But not always) different from those expected by an English speaker too, just to add to the difficulties.
#8 Feb 2nd, 2008, 02:22
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#8
exactly! like Mambalam...
#9 Feb 2nd, 2008, 03:51
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#9
Well, Quite

Chinna --- small

Perria --- large

Kunjum --- just a little
#10 Feb 4th, 2008, 15:26
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#10
Fantastic... building up a really useful list. Any additions or corrections more than welcome.

Nick, could you check 'no pinching please' for me. Want it to be polite! Someone suggested this on another thread

Please, Killadhengo [Killa-dhen-go] or
Please pinch panna-dhen-go .

thanks!
#11 Feb 4th, 2008, 16:30
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#11
my bit of corrections, from wat i read.

half - arae
ok - seri

and wud suggest don use poda or podi (or wa di, wa da) coz its pretty colloquial and dis respectful!
ne more doubts u may ask me!
#12 Feb 16th, 2008, 04:04
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#12

Updated list...

Hi all,
I've added in your suggestions and made some corrections. Unfortunately I can't seem to paste it in as a table, so not so easy to read.
Any more corrections / additions more than welcome. Now I've got to try and learn it all!
thanks,
4gotoindia

Hello Vanakkam
Are you well? Nalamaa?
Goodbye Poitu vare
Morning Kaalay
Evening Maalay
how are you eppadi irukkeenga
your are doing fine? nallaa irukkeengala?
i'm doing fine nallaa irukkayn.
see you paappom (om sounds like the famous OM)
see you later apparam paapom (apparam = later)
whats up? ennadaa (male buddy), ennadee (female buddy), ennanga (elders and strangers)
Nothing onnum illa.

Yes ama
No illay
I don't want / need Venda /vendam Colloqial / formal
I don't know/understand tiriadhu
Thank you Nandri
OK / alright sorri / seri (sounds very like sorry!) --- isn't cherri Hindi?
how much does this cost? idhu yenna vilai?

Come (when you have a visitor) vaanga
Come in Ulla vaanga
Here ingay
There angay
Come here ingay vaanga

Where is xxx **** enga irukku? (just add what you need in front)
Up Maylay
Down keelay

What is the price of xxx **** aywallavu? (just add what you need in front)
This idhu
That adhu
What is the price of this / that idhu aywallavu or adhu aywallavu.

what day? Enaki
?Today Iniki
Tomorrow Naliki
Day after tomorrow. Nalaniki


Small Chinna
Large Perria
Just a little Kunjum
1 Ona
2 Irenda
3 Moona
4 Naala
5 Enja
6 Aaru
7 Yellu
8 Yetta
9 Umpoda
10 Patter
20 Iru patta
100 Nuura

Half Padi OR ari
Half a torn note of ruppee Padi rupa
half a rupee i.e. 50 paise Ardha rupa
3/4th Mukkaal

Food sab
water thanni
Fruit pallam (pallangal)
Vegetable Kaai (kaaigal)
Meal / food saappadu
Rice (raw) Arisu
Rice (cooked) Saadam
Onions Vengayam
Sugar chakkiri
Eggplant Kathrikai
Banana Vazhapalam
Tomato Takkali
Lentils Parrupu
Pumpkin Pushnikkai
greens / spinach / lettuce Keerai
Ginger Inji
Chilli pepper Malaga
Garlic poondu
Bitter gourd Paavakkai
Okra Vendakkai

Go! (rude) Poda! Po!
Go, you dog! Poda Nai
Come! (rude) Wa!
Get out of the bloody way! Waram!

Love Kadal
Much Romba
Very beautiful Romba Alaga Irikku
Good Nalla
Bad ????keta
Thief Kalla

Flower poo
Rose Roja poo
Tree maram
Mango tree maamaran

Cat Punai
Dog Nai
Snake pambu
Good dog Nallai Nai
Goat Aadu
Crow Kaa kaa
Sparrow / small bird koravi
Squirrel Anil
Parrot Kili
Water Thani
Cloth Thuni
Mosquito Kosu
Fart Koosu
Housefly Ee

Vehicle wandi
Giving directions right-a-ponga ponga, wanga, the last vowel isn't quite an 'a', but something like an 'a' with a bit of 'o' in it. Just as the W is not really a 'w' --- but it isn't a 'v' either.
Giving directions left-a-ponga
Straight –on nare-a-ponga
G, but come back later. ponga wanga

Mother Amma Amma, yes, sounds almost identical to Amma, mother, but it has a slightly shorter -ma, with a hint (just a hint, mind you) of ending in a 'n' sound.
Father Appa
Father’s elder brother Periappa
father's younger brother Chinappa

'no pinching please' Please, Killadhengo [Killa-dhen-go] or ANY IMPROVEMENTS ON THIS?
'no pinching please' Please pinch panna-dhen-go
#13 Feb 16th, 2008, 06:45
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#13
Avan yaray = who is he
Aval yaray = who is she
avar yaray = who are they

Avan rumba na-lar-rica = he very is good
aval rumba na-lar-rica-= she very is good

ningal rumba na-lar-rica = your very good (shows respect)

rumba mosum = very bad

nee po = you go
ingay vanga tay-vu say-do = come here please

nee yenga poringa = where are you going
ningle yenga poringa = where are you going (shows respect)
nan poringa = i am going
nan = me
nee veday yenna = where is your house

nan veday anjay poray = my house is over there

nama tali yenja = where's my head at

nar-li-ki ingay vanga = tomorrow come here
set-a-poach = dead
Nai setapoach angay poray = there is a dead dog over there,

tumbi = young boy
pumbeli = young girl
catricoal = scissors
kuda = give
pal =milk
#14 Feb 16th, 2008, 10:28
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#14
tambi --- is younger brother, or a polite way of addressing a younger male.

I'll show the list to Mrs N.

You guys are so ahead of me I'm ashamed!
#15 Feb 16th, 2008, 13:10
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  • Oyar is offline
#15
Does any one know where I can learn spoken tamil in Mumbai / Pune?

Spend a lot of time in Tamil Nadu ... & would be good to learn some more tamil .... other than some of the words that i cant mention here
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