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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tamil or Tamizhe- are we teaching properly the language as it must be taught?

Tamil or Tamizhe- are we teaching properly the language as it must be taught?

Have you ever wondered why many day to day communications based important vocabulary eludes the radar of lexicon of Tamil speaking masses, even the people who have studied in Tamil medium?

It is all because we never teach Tamil as a language to anyone but impart only very scholarly literature in the language through text books or let loose lewd slang dialogues through films and thousands of magazines and mutilate it through political parties of Tamil Nadu.

For example I studied many languages and incidentally did my entire schooling in Tamil Medium besides it happens to be my mother tongue, still I have never come across this word because along with various other reasons, which are too many so I do not want to go into that, even the teaching of Tamil in school after the initial alphabets and words in first standard in those days was wrong. From second standard we were taught and made to memorize [mug up] Tirukural, seyyuls [poems] by Appar, Tiruvasakar etc, followed by Naladiyar, kamba ramayanam.

No English school anywhere in the world teaches original of Shakespeare, Robert Browning, Wordsworth etc or even Mark Twain or Charles Dickens until they have studied languages for at least 10 to 12 years.

One of the reasons for relative lack of importance of or impact of Tamil could be this and we have not remedied it yet.

Even indexing in Tamil magazines is not done, except Manjari which was closed long ago, started only recently. So, we need to effect lot of necessary changes in our approach to the language learning, language teaching before our keenness to language spreading and besides our linguistic chauvinism.

Tamil language scholars failed to carry out systematic research in etymology, phonetics [if it all it could be done without bias] and puns [I mean Tamil pun-pazhaya padalgal especially involving spiritual literature] we concentrated more on kavithai, kaviyam, seyyul etc

Because I feel the Tamil ‘pirai kattu’ (because they bundled the olai suvadigal that way with curved crescent shaped dry leaves)from ancient Tamil puns sounds a more logical etymological root for the English ‘brackets’ than these late 16th century: from French braguette or Spanish bragueta ‘codpiece, bracket, corbel’, from Proven├žal braga, from Latin braca, (plural) bracae ‘breeches’ etc.

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