Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Future of Spoken Tamil

Tamil, one of the dozens of languages in India, has been regarded as a classical language, but recent generations have not learned how to speak it, despite it's deep history:
You can’t separate people’s lives from the fabric of the language – it transcends other divides like caste and religion. You use the same proverbs, pass on the same folklore…and both in the literary tradition, and the folk tradition, Tamil has great significance.  
Its grammatical grandeur is great; the alphabet has been divided into subdivisions based on which part of your palate meets your tongue when you pronounce certain letters. You have poetic devices like edhugai-monai, which guide your rhyme and meter. You have five categories of land – hills, forests, grassland, fields, desert – and separate deities for each.  
So, it’s wonderful that this will be appreciated at the global level, and Tamil will be spoken of along with other classical tongues like Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Sanskrit and Persian. A lot of money is being spent to showcase Tamil culture. 

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