Let’s Learn Tamil – Lesson 04 (Vernacular and Number series)


வணக்கம், சுகம் எப்படி? 🙂
(vaNakkam, Sukam eppadi? – Greetings, How are you?)

Sorry for continuing this series once in a blue moon 🙂 I’ll try my best to publish atleast one article per month from next month! May seek the god’s grace! 🙂
Let’s forget the damn grammar for a while 🙂 Today we are going to study about spoken Tamil.

It was already mentioned that Tamil is one of the oldest language in this world and mother of all Dravidian languages. Because of the oldness, it is very soft and flexible language and can be affected very badly by the interaction of another language. It is why there are so many totally different dialects are present inside Tamil.
India and Sri Lanka – The two countries got the first and second places in the population of Tamil people, possess more than 20 colloquial Tamil dialects. Common dialect of Tamil Nadu is known as தங்கிலீஷ் -“Tanglish” (Tamil+English) which is used by worldwide Tamil media nowadays and has the most influence of English.

However, Sri Lanka’s Tamil dialects are comparatively more pure dialects than Tanglish. There are five distinct Tamil dialects observed in Sri Lanka.

01. யாழ்ப்பாண பேச்சுவழக்கு – yaazhppaaNa paechchuvazakku (Jaffna dialect – spoken in Jaffna and Killinochchi districts)

02. மட்டக்களப்பு பேச்சுவழக்கு – maddakkalappu paechchuvazakku (Batticaloa dialect – spoken in Batticaloa, Ampara and southernmost part of Trincomalee)

03. வன்னிப் பேச்சுவழக்கு – vannip paechchuvazakku (Vanni Dialect – similar to Jaffna dialect, spoken in Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Mannar districts)

04. மலை நாட்டுப் பேச்சுவழக்கு – malai naaddup paechchuvazakku (Upcountry dialect – same vernacular of Tamil Nadu, spoken in upcountry region)

05. நீர்கொழும்பு பேச்சுவழக்கு – niirkozumpu paechchuvazakku (Negombo dialect, has the influence of Sinhala)

As Sri Lankans, it is favorable to us to speak any type of above colloquial Tamil. In coming lessons, we are going to study the common SL idiomatic Tamil which is independent on these all dialects.

Today, we’ll start it with simple things. – just Numbers!

How to say numbers in Tamil? (informal terms are given in brackets.)

1 ஒன்று(ஒண்டு/ஒண்ணு) onRu (oNdu/ oNNu)
2 இரண்டு(ரெண்டு) iraNdu (reNdu)
3 மூன்று (மூண்டு/மூணு) muunRu (muuNdu/muuNu)
4 நான்கு(நாலு) naanku (naalu)
5 ஐந்து(அஞ்சு) ainthu (anjchu)
6 ஆறு aaRu
7 ஏழு aezhu
8 எட்டு eddu
9 ஒன்பது onbathu
10 பத்து paththu

10+1 பதினொன்று paththu + onRu = pathinonRu
10+2 பன்னிரெண்டு paththu + iraNdu = pannireNdu (panreNdu)
10+3 பதின்மூன்று paththu + muunRu = pathinmuunRu
10+4 பதினான்கு paththu + naanku = pathinaanku
10+5 பதினைந்து paththu + ainthu = pathinainthu (pathinanjchu)
10+6 பதினாறு paththu + aaRu = pathinaaRu
10+7 பதினேழு paththu + aezhu = pathinaezhu
10+8 பதினெட்டு paththu + eddu = pathineddu
10+9 பத்தொன்பது paththu + onbathu = pathinonbathu
2×10 இருபது iraNdu x paththu = irupathu

Like irupathu,

30 முப்பது muppathu
40 நாற்பது naaRpathu
50 ஐம்பது aimpathu
60 அறுபது aRupathu
70 எழுபது ezhupathu
80 எண்பது eNpathu
90 தொண்ணூறு thoNNuuRu.
100 நூறு nuuRu
1,000 ஆயிரம் aayiram
1,00,000 லட்சம் ladcham
1,00,00,000 கோடி koodi

Let’s see the small differences in this numbering system and some other interesting things in coming lessons.


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