Tamil language issues

Languages used in Carnatic Music & Literature

Tamil language issues

#26  Postby cmlover » 19 Jun 2010 07:13

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Concert by Smt Bombay Jaishsri and party in Los Angeles
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Re: Tamil language issues

#27  Postby cmlover » 19 Jun 2010 07:33

Nice quote!
I would have said
ஒரு வரியே போதும் அவட்கு
(oru variyE pOdhum avaTku ) based on the aathicchUDi...
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Re: Tamil language issues

#28  Postby mahakavi » 19 Jun 2010 08:32

>>There are hundreds of words in Sanskrit that commence with 'cha' and similarly there are umpteen such native Tamil words. Let us not introduce phonetic rules that hamper the development of the language and belittle the ancient glory.<<

I cannot let the above statement get away without filing a formal protest. I don't care if there are millions of words beginning with "cha" in Sansktrit. But in Thamizh it cannot be so except under the constraints previously mentioned, such as "ciRu" in "sinnanj ciRu kiLiyE" and similar instances. If cmlover claims that there are no phonetic rules in support of my statement, I want him to show the rules which indicate most or all words which begin with the letter "sa' in Thamizh have to be or can be pronounced with the "ca" sound. Otherwise it is considered the license of renegades to pronounce the way they do. The wayward pronunciation does not contribute in any way to the development of a language.

The proverb "nalla mATTukku oru sUDu" will sound awkward if you pronounce it as "...... oru chUDu". It sounds like Telugu although the meaning is different.
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Re: Tamil language issues

#29  Postby mahakavi » 19 Jun 2010 08:43

cmlover wrote:Nice quote!
I would have said
ஒரு வரியே போதும் அவட்கு
(oru variyE pOdhum avaTku ) based on the aathicchUDi...


When you talk of brevity, word is better than line. A line can have several words. Two words at any time (if they are able to express a great thought) are better than a line (which may have several words) as in KonRai vEndan(of avviyAr)
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Re: Concert by Smt Bombay Jaishsri and party in Los Angeles

#30  Postby Nick H » 19 Jun 2010 12:32

What you are referring to is called the 'intrusive R' and is part of 'received English'. New Englanders' pronunciation (from amongst that of Americans) is closest to British English and has retained some of these 'quaint' features.
You can read more about the intrusive R here: Intrusive R
To take an example, 'law and order' sounds more like 'lawr and order'.

Nick may be able to expand on this further...
Nope. Sorry.

Maybe this is one of those things that is more noticeable to those who are not born Brits!

American to Brit: "I love your accent!"

Brit to American: "But I haven't got an accent".

--- I've had that conversation. Those of us who were bought up to speak English without any particular regional variation, actually believe that we have no accent.

Added to which, some of us English are "R"-challenged: we do not pronounce it correctly, and almost drop it all together. The stereotypical English upper-class R becomes a W.

My wife was trying to teach an Andhra girl to make a particular Tamil "R" sound the other day; she could not do it, but, needless say, neither could I. I know that I don't even pronounce my English Rs correctly.

I stress English: The Scots, for instance, relish their "R"s.
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Re: Tamil language issues

#31  Postby cmlover » 19 Jun 2010 18:07

mahakavi wrote:When you talk of brevity, word is better than line. A line can have several words. Two words at any time (if they are able to express a great thought) are better than a line (which may have several words) as in KonRai vEndan(of avviyAr)

Have you forgotten Bharathy's New aathicchUdi which is modern and as god as the original!
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Re: Concert by Smt Bombay Jaishsri and party in Los Angeles

#32  Postby harimau » 19 Jun 2010 19:35

mahakavi wrote:
So, the oracle has spoken!
All we need now is a virgin from the Greek Isles to reiterate the pronouncement.





Such petulance!

All because CMLover correctly pointed out that


Folks

be assured that the phonetic rules 'mahakavi' is quoting are not sanctified by the original grammatical treatises (tolkaapiyam / nannool). There are modern grammar books written by some tamils (Singaporeans..) who cite phonetic rules which though logical are not necessarily authoritative. In fact ruling out 'ch' at the beginning of the word is an atrocity not found in other parts of TN except at Tanjore/chennai (or is it sennai ). Just like english Tamil has developed independantly in all parts of TN (in the world now-a-days) and hence there are no real phonetic rules to be strictly adhered!



I checked out the Tholkappiyam (by M. Ramalingam and Bhageerathan) and there is NO reference to change in sounds depending on location of a letter.

Think about it: how could a book talk about modification of "ch" into "s" when there was no symbol for "s" at the time the book was written?

Thus, there are also no rules about 'k' becoming 'g', 't' becoming 'd', 'p' becoming 'b', etc.

If anyone decides to quote ancient grammar in support of their contention, I can tell you it is not there in Tholkappiyam, the oldest extant Tamil grammar.

Tamil has evolved since Tholkappiyam. But any talk about sounds being modified to assume sounds used in Sanskrit (such as s, S, sh, j, h, g, b, d, D, etc.) could happen only after the introduction of those letters into Tamil, which can be dated by experts. It certainly does not date back to Tholkappiyam, Nannool, etc.
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Re: Tamil language issues

#33  Postby mahakavi » 19 Jun 2010 23:19

>>Such petulance!<<
Look who is talking!

>>All because CMLover correctly pointed out that <<
really?

>>checked out the Tholkappiyam (by M. Ramalingam and Bhageerathan) and there is NO reference to change in sounds depending on location of a letter.<<
I did not say tolkAppiyam mentions the change in sounds

>>Thus, there are also no rules about 'k' becoming 'g', 't' becoming 'd', 'p' becoming 'b', etc.<<
You have to talk to some Thamizh professors, if you happen to be in Chennai regarding such phonetics. I cannot help you

>>Tamil has evolved since Tholkappiyam. <<
Definitely!

>>But any talk about sounds being modified to assume sounds used in Sanskrit (such as s, S, sh, j, h, g, b, d, D, etc.) could happen only after the introduction of those letters into Tamil, <<
No need. Contextual change has been recognized. Talk to reputable Thamizh professors and if they deny my stand I will accept it,

There are also certain tacit features which dictate the sound. You and I cannot settle such issues here
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Re: Tamil language issues

#34  Postby cmlover » 19 Jun 2010 23:28

Agreed! The rabbit you caught has only three legs :D
You still write only Chennai (the capital of TN) and not sennai phonetically!
Your anonymous Tamil professors know better!
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Re: Tamil language issues

#35  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 01:49

1. This is not the place for smart aleck remarks. It is very elementary school sfuff.
2. I provided a grammar textbook reference to substantiate my claims. If you do not accept that it is not my problem.
3. I don't know why you resort to parroting the same thing over and over. Learn something new.
4. Shouting from rooftops the same old prattle does not take you far. If you have substantial proof in published form against that grammar book I cited ( by an expert) produce it. Otherwise....
5. I am not intransigent like some others here. I mentioned that chennai is referred to as sennai in railway announcements. But the city was named for chennappa naicker and the city has been renamed as chennai and pronounced widely as chennai. Why would I deny that? Like chandra being an import chennai is an import. Hence it is pronounced as chennai. No harm in that.
6. All the above goes for harimau too who made fun of "embLathu" while writing it as "embathu" instead of "eNbadu" (for the number 80) and then defending it without merit. Then he questioned the use of "b" instead of "p". At least he is consistently inconsistent. A virtue indeed!
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Re: Tamil language issues

#36  Postby cmlover » 20 Jun 2010 03:47

1. This is not the place for smart aleck remarks. It is very elementary school sfuff.
1. Thank you as long as you are ready for a rational discussion.
2. I provided a grammar textbook reference to substantiate my claims. If you do not accept that it is not my problem.
2. What is your grammat text reference? Provide it here. Are you citing the Singaporean reference that I provided?
At least be gracious to admit that I gave you that reference!
3. I don't know why you resort to parroting the same thing over and over. Learn something new.
3. I know to use a similar language ; but I refrain :D
4. Shouting from rooftops the same old prattle does not take you far. If you have substantial proof in published form against that grammar book I cited ( by an expert) produce it. Otherwise....
4. Same response as in 2 and 3. At least be honest to admit that I did the research and provided you a 'toy tiger' reference which you are flaunting at me! Perhaps you know better Tamil grammar than the author of that book! Instead of waving your hand at chimeral Tamil Profs at Chennai (there are many all over the world) name them! Put up or shut up!
5. I am not intransigent like some others here. I mentioned that chennai is referred to as sennai in railway announcements. But the city was named for chennappa naicker and the city has been renamed as chennai and pronounced widely as chennai. Why would I deny that? Like chandra being an import chennai is an import. Hence it is pronounced as chennai. No harm in that.
5. I know the History of the naming of Chennai too! If the Telugu language (of course Sanskrit too) can have words starting with the palatal 'cha' why should Tamil which is an ancient language not have the same liberty.
Do you agree that Tamil existed independent of Sanskrit?
6. All the above goes for harimau too who made fun of "embLathu" while writing it as "embathu" instead of "eNbadu" (for the number 80) and then defending it without merit. Then he questioned the use of "b" instead of "p". At least he is consistently inconsistent. A virtue indeed!
6. Tanjoreans used to say only 'embLathu'! I was beaten by a Tanjore teacher for not saying so.
It is actually 'eNpathu'. Here is the derivation
eN + patthu = eNpatthu --> eNpathu
(the Singapore Siddharthan may claim it is 'eNbhathu' but he has no grammatical authority!)
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Re: Tamil language issues

#37  Postby harimau » 20 Jun 2010 06:25

mahakavi wrote:
[5. I am not intransigent like some others here. I mentioned that chennai is referred to as sennai in railway announcements.]



Yes, railway announcers are the new authorities on Tamil pronunciation. These are probably the knowledgeable professors you call in support of your arguments.

mahakavi wrote:
[6. All the above goes for harimau too who made fun of "embLathu" while writing it as "embathu" instead of "eNbadu" (for the number 80) and then defending it without merit. Then he questioned the use of "b" instead of "p". At least he is consistently inconsistent. A virtue indeed!



In writing, Harimau uses "eNpathu". In accordance with common usage, he says "embathu". The reason is that he does not want to look like he is spouting cinema dialogue written by certain famous people but he does draw the line at "emblathu" even during his travels through Tanjore district. The diglossic nature of Tamil is well-recognized by linguists but one merely has to read books and listen to common everyday speech to understand that the spoken and written forms differ. As they say, you don't need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind is blowing!

Harimau spends several hours reading 1,250 pages on Tholkappiyam to back up his claims. He is consistent in that he refuses to pull "facts" out of certain parts of his anatomy.

By the way, Tholkappiyam says there are no recongized Tamil words starting with the uyir-mey letters "cha" (the short 'a', the first vowel in Tamil), "chai", and "chow". You didn't know that, did you? So, right there go several hundred words over whose pronunciation you have been pontificating!
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Re: Tamil language issues

#38  Postby cmlover » 20 Jun 2010 07:12

சகரக் கிளவியும் அவற்றோற்றே
அ,ஐ,ஔ என்னும் மூன்றலங் கடையே (tolkaappiyam)
is the reference to what harimau cited

However nannool disputes the claim
பன்னீருயிரும் கசதந பமவய
ஞஙவீ ரைந்துயிர் மெய்யு மொழிமுதல் (Nannool 102)

The Singapore Siddharthan (the famous authority for mahakavi) however claims only சௌ is not allowed since all words starting with it are sanskrit imports.

Again Tamil is an evolving language. Rules prohibiting word formation as well as pronunciations will hamper the development of the language.

Any one attending the chemmozhi (mark my word not semmozhi) conference should raise this issue. The Tanjoreans (and especially mahakavi :D ) are not going to dictate to us as to how Tamil should be pronounced :D
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Re: Tamil language issues

#39  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 08:28

[quote="cmlover
2. What is your grammat text reference? Provide it here. Are you citing the Singaporean reference that I provided?
At least be gracious to admit that I gave you that reference!
Yes, you were "gracious" enough to mention it to me although it went against your thesis. But I had the book with me for a long time. I knew all the details of how pronunciations change without even referring to it. I told you that and you recognized it at that time. Why stir it anew. This is not a court where you cross examine me. If you do that you will yourself trip
4. Same response as in 2 and 3. At least be honest to admit that I did the research and provided you a 'toy tiger' reference which you are flaunting at me! Perhaps you know better Tamil grammar than the author of that book! Instead of waving your hand at chimeral Tamil Profs at Chennai (there are many all over the world) name them! Put up or shut up!
You are obsessed with the "anonymous" professors! I only suggested to seek out reputed people at the university. It was not my intention to plant somebody to give verdict favorable to me. Even if I contact someone and get answers you might disregard it just like you did Siddarthan's book. You have the preconceived notion which cannot be rectified

chimeral ------> Do you mean chimerical (imaginary)? I don't know what you are talking about
5. I know the History of the naming of Chennai too! If the Telugu language (of course Sanskrit too) can have words starting with the palatal 'cha' why should Tamil which is an ancient language not have the same liberty.
Do you agree that Tamil existed independent of Sanskrit?
In one word ----YES
6. Tanjoreans used to say only 'embLathu'! I was beaten by a Tanjore teacher for not saying so.
Yeah, cock and bull story!Tell it to someone like your great-grandchildren while narrating how you walked uphill (both ways) to school barefoot in knee-deep snow in the tropics
It is actually 'eNpathu'. Here is the derivation
eN + patthu = eNpatthu --> eNpathu
The hard "p" cannot occur in the middle without getting doubled like "paruppu". Hence the p becomes soft and becomes "b"

[/quote]
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Re: Tamil language issues

#40  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 08:35

>>சகரக் கிளவியும் அவற்றோற்றே
அ,ஐ,ஔ என்னும் மூன்றலங் கடையே (tolkaappiyam)
is the reference to what harimau cited

However nannool disputes the claim
பன்னீருயிரும் கசதந பமவய
ஞஙவீ ரைந்துயிர் மெய்யு மொழிமுதல் (Nannool 102)<<

I suggest you and harimau reconcile with each other before continuing the dispute with me. I do not have either book with me and hence I cannot comment on that. It is unwise to try to quote selectively to suit one's purpose while not understanding the whole text, hiding it, or ignoring parts of it.
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Re: Tamil language issues

#41  Postby sridhar_ranga » 20 Jun 2010 09:58

CML sir, Quoting you from the parallel thread (the one on sa,cha):

cmlover wrote:Of course! I am not a Tanjorean. Don't thrust your 'accents' on to us southern Tamils. We share a lot with the malayaLees who pronounce words distinctly whereas you guys go with the Telugus. That does not make your Tamil more legitimate than ours.

Leave us alone :D


Malayalis also write 'tampi', and pronounce it as 'tambi'. Some more such combos I can think of: tankappan/ tangappan, nampUtiri / nambUdiri ( am I right?), etc.

The written form of the above words is similar to what one would see in Tamil (written as tampi, tankam, etc). May be because these words are of non-Sanskrit/ Dravidian origin and the rules of Tamil are followed in Malayalam as well for writing them ? Are there grammar texts in Malayalam and do they contain rules for pronunciation?
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Re: Tamil language issues

#42  Postby cmlover » 20 Jun 2010 18:00

dear sub
There is no conflict between myself and harimau. I honestly provided further 'documented' evidence to show that Tamil is evolving instead of hiding behind a smoke screen and bluster as you do. There is nothing wrong in honestly confessing 'I don't know' instead of citing shadow evidences and names that you do not have. Thanks, you have done it now. You are a respected scientist/biologist and a well-read scholar. But then you are not an expert on Tamil grammar, nor have you the credentials (neither have I ) except for a fervent love of the language. You may have better expertise in English language and grammar as of yore you used to make comments on posts which were quite legitimate but unfortunately not relished by posters. Nevertheless your comments are very valuable and informative that add great value to the discussions here. Your intuition and logic are outstanding as also your scholarship. But you should also realize your limitations as per the ancient dictum "kaRRathu kai maNNaLavu; kallaathathu ulagaLavu" (what one learns is just handful while what is to be learned is as big as the universe)!

AR Rahman is a great and internationally well-respected musical genius. But he will be ridiculous if he starts commenting on CM!

I realize I do not have the knowledge or expertise to comment on your competence in Tamil grammar or in other areas except perhaps my age! I am indeed a fan of your scholarly and well-researched writings elsewhere on the Net. Take these comments in the right spirit ...
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Re: Tamil language issues

#43  Postby cmlover » 20 Jun 2010 18:17

sridhar_rang

I am no expert on malayalam. It is generally accepted that the language evolved from Tamil with a large admixture of Sanskrit. It is a language which has the vitaliity and flexibility of Tamil (based on grammar) and the grandeur of sanskrit (based on varNa (script), vocabulary and expressions). It is indeed a great language whose potential is underestimated and underutilized. It is an ideal language for CM. If only the Trinity were born in Kerala CM undoubtedly would have been malayalam-based (though Telugu vis-a-vis is an equally powerful language as is Kannada which I think is closer to Malayalam). I agree with harimau that malayaLees pronounce the words much better due to their extended scripts but of course with an accent that is native to that region.

Our dravidian languages along with sanskrit are indeed a treasure for the whole of humanity!
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Re: Tamil language issues

#44  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 20:44

dear sub
There is no conflict between myself and harimau.
I only meant what he quoted which you supplemented and the conflict with the nannUl that you cited. Let me reiterate that tolkAppiyam and nannUl draw the framework for word and sentence structure but do not give a clue on pronunciation. Sound came first, then the language, then the grammar, as you are aware.
I honestly provided further 'documented' evidence to show that Tamil is evolving instead of hiding behind a smoke screen and bluster as you do.
No, I am not hiding behind anything. I also quoted only published work. Siddarthan is no novice. If you don't like him for whatever reason I can't help it. Siddarthan deals elaborately with Thamizh grammar in his book. He also gives elaborate examples for ordinary mortals to relate to grammar. As for the sound morphing of "ka(ga), sa(ca), ta(da) and pa(ba) based on the context he is right on the money. He points out that Caldwell has mentioned that the tradition of sound morphing goes way back. He also admits that tolkAppiyam does not mention the sound morph, which I also indicated earlier about my agreement with that.
There is nothing wrong in honestly confessing 'I don't know' instead of citing shadow evidences and names that you do not have.
You are right here. Perhaps I should have stated in the beginning of the discussion that the sound morphing of the vallinams ka, sa, ta, and pa are on a practical and traditional basis. But dogmatic pronouncements from you and others toughened my stand too.

But then you are not an expert on Tamil grammar, nor have you the credentials (neither have I ) except for a fervent love of the language.
Of course, not!. I would be first one to admit it. Except for some basics I am a nitwit in detailed grammar.


[color=#000000]But you should also realize your limitations as per the ancient dictum "kaRRathu kai maNNaLavu; kallaathathu ulagaLavu"

Sure enough! If I revere avvaiyAr how can I be otherwise? But you see when the surroundings are hot it is difficult to keep cool![/color]

. Take these comments in the right spirit
OK, let us call for a truce...
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Re: Tamil language issues

#45  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 21:13

>>Malayalis also write 'tampi', and pronounce it as 'tambi'. Some more such combos I can think of: tankappan/ tangappan, nampUtiri / nambUdiri ( am I right?), etc.

The written form of the above words is similar to what one would see in Tamil (written as tampi, tankam, etc). May be because these words are of non-Sanskrit/ Dravidian origin and the rules of Tamil are followed in Malayalam as well for writing them ? Are there grammar texts in Malayalam and do they contain rules for pronunciation?<<

Sridhar_rang:
I have very little knowledge of Malayalam and hence I can't comment on its grammar. But as is obvious it is roughly 50% Thamizh and 50% Sanskrit. Originally it was all Thamizh (cEra nADu---- imayavaramban neDuncEralAdan, senguTTuvan, iLangO aDigaL etc). Perhaps after the first millenium CE and partly due to Adi Sankara's influence and the import of nambUdiris from the north, the language got heavily hybridized. As you pointed out in the words like tambi, nambUdiri, tangappan etc, the "p" sound softened to "b", (when it occurs next to "m"), k sound softens to "g" (in the middle of the word without consonant doubling) etc., following Thamizh tradition (let us not call it "rules" anymore lest I offend some sensitive souls here). It also uses the mellinam sounds of Thamizh words (enganE, gnAn etc) extensively (specifically ங and ஞ). That constitutes a heavy nasal component in the pronunciation of Malayalam words which softens the sounds further and make them more homogeneous, without the rough and tumble Thamizh pronunciation (which is abhorred by some non-Thamizh folks).
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Re: Tamil language issues

#46  Postby gangar2758@vsnl.net » 20 Jun 2010 22:05

cmlover wrote:சகரக் கிளவியும் அவற்றோற்றே
...is the reference to what harimau cited

Tamil is an evolving language. Rules prohibiting word formation as well as pronunciations will hamper the development of the language.

Any one attending the chemmozhi (mark my word not semmozhi) conference should raise this issue. The Tanjoreans (and especially mahakavi :D ) are not going to dictate to us as to how Tamil should be pronounced :D

Am a delegate@ the CONFERENCE!:) shall try to look into this :!:
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Re: Tamil language issues

#47  Postby mahakavi » 20 Jun 2010 23:06

gangar2758@vsnl.net wrote:Am a delegate@ the CONFERENCE!:) shall try to look into this :!:


If you are able to confer with an academic (professor) and clarify the phonetics part regarding ka(ga),sa (ca), ta(da), and pa(ba) sounds as to their dependence on the context (mainly in Thamizh words and not necessarily in imports) that would be great. The major issue is the soft and hard sounds---where they occur, when they do, what sound is common with the letter sa/ca in a single word, joint words and the like. Are these governed only by tradition and/or rules---if so what is the source reference?
Thanks.
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Re: Tamil language issues

#48  Postby arasi » 20 Jun 2010 23:57

Gangar,
Look forward to your post--though I may not understand all of it.

To all the rest: "All's well that ends well."
I am only quoting, as you can see...
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Re: Tamil language issues

#49  Postby harimau » 21 Jun 2010 10:23

gangar2758@vsnl.net wrote:
Am a delegate@ the CONFERENCE!:) shall try to look into this :!:



in reference to

cmlover wrote:
Any one attending the chemmozhi (mark my word not semmozhi) conference should raise this issue. The Tanjoreans (and especially mahakavi :D ) are not going to dictate to us as to how Tamil should be pronounced :D



99.9999% of delegates and attendees are at a semmoLi conference, as they would pronounce it. :devil:

You might as well ask a rickshaw-wallah in Chennai.

By the way, roads in Chennai are already jammed because VIPs are arriving to attend the conference.

And I got a call this morning on my cell phone from Doctor Kalaignar himself asking me to attend the conference. Don't get jealous: it was a recorded call that is being sent out on the airwaves to God-only-knows how many cell phone owners! :grin:
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Re: Tamil language issues

#50  Postby MaheshS » 21 Jun 2010 17:11

Harimau -

I went to the World Tamil Conference in Tanjavoor. Yes, while a lot of them turn up for other purposes than discussing Tamil, there still are a bunch of people who attend conferences like this who do it for their love of the language. Even though I was naive,young and was sent there as a punishment[:)], I did learn a lot. It was at that place did I fully realise the beauty and vastness of Tamil having had the opportunity to speak with a few delegates.

There are people like Dr Nagaswamy, who is one of the 0.00001% you mention. I reckon, he's more than enough :)

I wouldn't discount it as you do, just because it's all wrapped up by a few politicians for their own agenda.
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MaheshS
 
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