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Tamil phrasebook

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Tamil (தமிழ் tamiḻ) is a classical language and the language closest to Proto-Dravidian among the Dravidian language family. Spoken predominantly by Tamils in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, it has smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. As of 1996, it was the eighteenth most spoken language, with over 74 million speakers worldwide. It is one of the official languages of India, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Pronunciation guide

Vowels

like 'a' in "apple", 'a' in "cake", "a" in "amen"
like 'e' in "magazine", 'e' in "bed" (often silent at the end of a word)
like 'i' in "pine", 'i' in "fin"
like 'ow' in "low", like 'o' in "top"
like 'oo' in "hoop", like 'u' in "cup"

Consonants

like 'b' in "bed"
like 's' in "supper", 'k' in "kid"
like 'd' in "dog"
like 'ph' in "phone"
like 'g' in "go", 'j' in "jello"
like 'h' in "help" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries)
like 'dg' in "edge"
like 'c' in "cat"
like 'l' in "love"
like 'm' in "mother"
like 'n' in "nice"
like 'p' in "pig"
like 'q' in "quest" (with "u", almost always)
like 'r' in "row", like 'r' in "feather" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries at end of word)
like 'ss' in "hiss", like 'z' in "haze"
like 't' in "top"
like 'v' in "victory"
like 'w' in "weight"
like 'cks' in "kicks", like 'z' in "haze" (at beginning of a word)
like 'y' in "yes", like 'ie' in "pie", like 'ee' in "flee"
like 'z' in "haze"

Common diphthongs

ay 
like 'ay' in "say"
ai 
like 'ay' in "say"
au 
like 'awe'
ee 
like 'ee' in "see"
ei 
like 'ay' in "say"
ey 
like 'ay' in "say", like 'ee' in "see"
ie 
like 'ee' in "see"
oi 
like 'oy' in "boy"
oo 
like 'oo' in "food", like 'oo' in "good"
ou 
like 'ow' in "cow", like 'oo' in "food", like 'o' in "cot"
ow 
like 'ow' in "cow"
oy 
like 'oy' in "boy"
ch 
like 'ch' in "touch"
sh 
like 'sh' in "sheep"
th 
like 'th' in "this", like 'th' in "those"
gh 
like 'f' in "fish"
ph 
like 'f' in "fish"

Phrase list

Basics

Hellyjgjho. 
வணக்கம்
Vaṇakkam
Hello. (informal
ஹாய் (hāy) (Hi) (as used in English)
How are you? 
எப்படி இருக்கீங்க?
Eppaṭi irukkīṅka?
Fine, thank you. 
நல்லா இருக்கின்றேன்
Nallā irukkinṟēn
What is your name? 
உங்க பெயர் என்ன ?
ungGa pEyaru enna?
My name is ______ . 
என் பெயர் ______
en pEyaru ______
Nice to meet you. 
தங்களை பார்த்தது மிக்க மகிழ்ச்சி
ThanGala paatthadhu mikka magizhcchi
Please. 
தயவு செய்து
thayavu Cheithu
Thank you. 
நன்றி.
nandri.
You're welcome. 
வரவேற்கிறேன்
Varavetrkiren.
Yes. 
Āmām. ஆமாம்
No. 
Illai. இல்லை
Excuse me. (getting attention
mannikkavum
மன்னிக்கவும்
Excuse me. (begging pardon
thayavu seithu. தயவு செய்து
I'm sorry. 
Enna manniththuvidunggaL. என்னை மன்னித்துவிடுங்கள்
Goodbye 
pOi varukirEn. போய் வருகிறேன்
Goodbye (informal
varEn. வறேன்
See you tomorrow 
nalai parkalam. நாளை பார்க்கலாம்
I can't speak name of language [well]. 
ennaal name of language Uraiyada Iyalaadhu.
Do you speak English? 
AangilathiL UraiyaaduveergaLa?
Is there someone {here/around-here} who speaks English? 
ingGe evaaravathu AangilathiL UraiyaaduveergaLa?
Help! 
uthavi veeNdum உதவி வேண்டும்.
Look out! 
chariyaga paar. சரியக பார்
Good morning. 
kaalai vaNakkam. காலை வணக்கம்
Good evening. 
maalai vaNakkam. மாலை வணக்கம்
Good night (to sleep
nalliravu
Secret. 
Ragasiyam செகுத்து
I'm looking forward to... 
Naan yethirparthu konde irukirEn
Have a pleasant journey. 
Ungal payanam nandraaga amayattum.
I wish you have a nice day 
Intha Nal Iniyia Nalaga Malarum
I don't understand. explain clearly / again 
Puriyalavillai. thelivaaga KuurungaL/ thirumbavum KuurungaL
Where is the toilet? 
Toilet/Kazhivarai/othukkam கழிவறை/ஒதுக்கம் engGe irukirathu
what to do now? 
ippozhuthu enna cheya--223.190.136.94 02:03, 14 October 2011 (EDT)?
Eagerly waiting for your arrival 
Thangalin Varugaiyai Avaludan ethirparkirEn!

At this point, the fake phoneticizations of English are going to stop, and be replaced by ellipses.

Problems

Leave me alone. 
ennai thaniyaaga vidungaL.
Don't touch me! 
ennai thodaathe;(informal) ennai thodaatheergaL (Formal)
I'll call the Police. 
Kavalthuraiyai azhaipEn
I need your help. 
ungGaL udhavi vEndum. (formal) ; ungGaLudaiya Udhavi vEndum -(Informal)
It's an emergency. 
migavum nerukadiyana nilai
I don't know where I am 
naan engee erukiren endru theriyalavillai ( equal to I'm lost)
I lost my bag
en paiyai ThulaithuvittEn
I missed my "Bag"  
En paiyai Thulainthathu.
I lost my wallet. 
en Pana Paiyai ThulaithuvittEn.
I'm sick. 
en odambu chariyaga illai.
I've been injured. 
enakku kaayam ErpattuLLathu.
I need a doctor. 
enakku oru Maruthuvar Chigichai vEndum
Can I use your phone? 
ungaL Kaipeesiyai naan PayanpaduthikoLLaLaama?

Eagerly waiting

Numbers

one (ondru)
two (irendu)
three (moondru)
four (naangu)
five (ainthu)
six (aaru)
seven (yEzhu)
eight (yettu)
nine (onbathu)
10 
ten (pathu)
11 
eleven (pathinondru)
12 
twelve (pannirendu)
13 
thirteen (pathimoondru)
14 
fourteen (pathinaangu)
15 
fifteen (pathinainthuu)
16 
sixteen (pathinaaru)
17 
seventeen (pathinEzhu)
18 
eighteen (pathinettu)
19 
nineteen (patthonbathu)
20 
twenty (irupathu)
21 
twenty one (irupatthu onnu)
22 
twenty two (irupatthu rendu)
23 
twenty three (irupatthu moonu)
30 
thirty (mup-ppathu)
40 
forty (naar-pathu)
50 
fifty (iam-pathu)
60 
sixty (aru-pathu)
70 
seventy (ezhu-pathu)
80 
eighty (en-pathu)
90 
ninety (thonnooru)
100 
one hundred (nooru)
200 
two hundred (iru nooru)
300 
three hundred (mun nooru)
1000 
one thousand (aayiram)
2000 
two thousand (rendaayiram)
100,000 
hundred thousand (noorayiram) {Indian system}
1,000,000 
one million (pathu noorayiram)
10,000,000 
ten million (oru kOdi) {Indian system}
1,000,000,000 
one thousand million in UK, one billion in USA (Nigarputham)
1,000,000,000,000 
one billion in UK, one trillion in USA (Karpam)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
number _____ (...)
half 
half (arai)
less 
less (kuraivu/ kuraivaaga)
more 
more (athigam)

Time

now 
ippO(...)
later 
appuram(...)
before 
munnaadi(...)
after 
pinnaadi(...)
morning 
kaalai(...)
afternoon 
mathiyam / mathiyaanam(...)
evening 
malai / saayingkalam(...)
night 
iravu / raatthiri(...)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
kaalai oru mani (...)
two o'clock AM 
kaalai rendu mani (...)
noon 
mathiyam / mathiyaanam (...)
one o'clock PM 
mathiyam / mathiyaanam oru mani (...)
two o'clock PM 
mathiyam / mathiyaanam rendu mani (...)
midnight 
nalliravu / nadu-raatthiri (...)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ nimisham (...)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ mani (...)
_____ day(s) 
_____ naal(...)
_____ week(s) 
_____ vaaram (...)
_____ month(s) 
_____ maasam (...)
_____ year(s) 
_____ varusham (...)

Days

today 
indru / innaikki
yesterday 
netru / nEtthaikki
tomorrow 
naalai / naalaikki
this week 
intha vaaram
last week 
pona vaaram
next week 
adutha vaaram
Sunday 
nyaayiru
Monday 
thingGal
Tuesday 
sevvaai
Wednesday 
puthan
Thursday 
vyaalan
Friday 
velli
Saturday 
sani

Months

All dates provided below are approximate, varying by one or two days in the Gregorian Calendar depending on adjustments made to the calendar each year, to bring it in alignment with astronomic observations.

January 
15th January to 15th February (Thai)
February 
15th February to 15th March (Maasi)
March 
15th March to 15th April (Panguni)
April 
15th April to 15th May (Chiththirai)
May 
15th May to 15th June (Vaikasi)
June 
15th June to 15th July (Aani)
July 
15th July to 15th August (Aadi)
August 
15th August to 15th September (Aavani)
September 
15th September to 15th October (Purattasi)
October 
15th October to 15th November (Aippasi)
November 
15th November to 15th December (Kaarthikai)
December 
15th December to 15th January (Margazhi)

The year starts on the first day of the month of Chiththirai, usually the 15th of April.

Writing time and date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

Colors

black 
karuppu (...)
white 
vellai (...)
gray 
saambal (...)
red 
sivappu (...)
blue 
neelam (...)
yellow 
manJal (...)
green 
pachai (...)
orange 
narantam (...)
purple 
kathatipu, utha (...)
brown 
manniram/pazhuppu (...)

Transportation

link title====Bus and train====

How much is a ticket to _____? 
_____ ku ticket evlavu? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
_____ ku oru ticket kudunga, please. (...)
Where does this train/bus go? 
intha train/bus engae p'O'guthu? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
_____ ku train/bus engae? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
intha train/bus _____ la nikkumaa? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
_____ ku train/bus epp'O' kelambum? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
epp'O' train/bus _____ vanthu sErum? (...)
let's embark on ship? 
kappalill earalama?
but let's -------- on bus? 
buslill earalama? please everyone fill that one.


Directions

how to go there ? : anga eppadi porathu ?

How do I get to _____ ? 
_____ ku eppadi pOrathu? (...)
...the train station? 
...pugai vandi nelayam (...)
...the bus station? 
... perunthu nelayam (...)
...the airport? 
...vimaana nelayam (...)
...downtown? 
...downtown (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...illangar veduthi(...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...thangum veduthi (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British thutharagam(...)
Where are there a lot of... 
enga neraya... (...) irukkum?
...hotels? 
thangum veduthi? (...)
...restaurants? 
unnavagam (...)
...bars? 
mathu arunthum iddam (...)
...sites to see? 
...parkum idam? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Map la kaata mudiyumaa? (...)
street 
theru (...)
Turn left. 
idathu pakkam thirumbungGa. (...)
Turn right. 
valathu pakkam thirumbungGa. (...)
left 
idam (...)
right 
valam (...)
straight ahead 
nEraa (...)
towards the _____ 
_____ pakkam (...)
past the _____ 
_____ thaandi (...)
before the _____ 
_____ munnaadi (...)
Watch for the _____. 
_____ ku paarunga. (...)
intersection 
intersection (...)
north 
vadakku (...)
south 
therku (...)
east 
kilakku (...)
west 
mErku (...)
uphill 
mEdu (...)
downhill 
pallam (...)

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
_____ ku kooti ponga, please. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
_____ ku evalo aagum? (...)
Take me there, please. 
anga kooti ponga, please. (...)

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
Room irukkaa? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
oru / rendu aalu room evlavu aagum? (...)
Does the room come with... 
... roomOda varumaa? (...)
...bedsheets? 
...pOrvai (...)
...a bathroom? 
...kuliyelarai (...)
...a telephone? 
...tholaiphesi (...)
...a TV? 
...tholaikachi (...)
eg
Does the room come with bedsheets? ; pOrvai roomOda varumaa?
May I see the room first? 
muthalla rooma pakkalamaa? (...)
Do you have anything ....? 
itha vida ..... vEra irukkaa? (...)
...quieter? 
...amaithiyaa (...)
...bigger? 
...perusaa (...)
...cleaner? 
...sutthamaa (...)
...cheaper? 
...maliva (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
seri, eduthukarEn. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
_____ iravu(kal) thangGuvEn. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
vEra hotel Ethaavathu sollunga? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
locker irukkaa? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
kalai-tiffin/night-saapadu sEtthaa? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
kalai-tiffin/night-saapadu etthanai manikku? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Room suttham pannunga. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
enna _____ maniku eluppi vda mudiyumaa? (...)
I want to check out. 
Check out panrEn. (...)

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? (neengGa america/austhiralia/canadia naattu dollar-gala yEtrukkolveergalaa?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept British pounds? (neengGa british pounds-a yEtrukolveergalaa?...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Do you accept credit cards? (neengGa credit card-a yEtrukkolveergalaa?)
Can you change money for me? 
Can you change money for me? (ennOda paNatthukku chillarai maatthi thara mudiyumaa?)
Where can I get money changed? 
Where can I get money changed? (engGa enakku chillarai kadaikkum?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Can you change a traveler's check for me? (neengGa yenakkaaga payanigal check-a maatthi thara mudiyyumaa?)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? (payanikal check-a ennala engGa maattha mudiyum)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (Exchange Rate yenna?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM) (nearby)? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? ((pakkatthula) ATM enGa irukku?)

Eating

A table for one person/two people, please. 
oru maejai oru nabarukku allathu irandu paerukku, thayavusaithu
Can I look at the menu, please? 
naan intha menuvai parkkalama, thayavusaithu...
Can I look in the kitchen? 
intha samayyal arayyinai naan parkkalaamaa?...
Is there a house specialty? 
Ethavathu speciala irruka
I'm a vegetarian. 
Naan saivam
I don't eat pork. 
Naan pork/panrikari sappida maattaen.
I don't eat beef. 
Naan beef/maattukkari sappida maattaen
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Ennna koriva uthunga
fixed-price meal 
Allavu sapadu
unlimited meal 
Mulu sapadu
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
breakfast 
breakfast/kaaLai sapadu
lunch 
lunch (madhiam sapadu)
tea (meal
tea (theayneer)
supper 
supper (sayangalam sapadu)
I want _____. 
Ennaku _____ vendum
I want a dish containing _____. 
I want a dish containing _____. (...)
chicken 
chicken (kozhi kunju)
beef 
beef (maatirachi)
fish 
fish (meen)
ham 
ham (...)
sausage 
sausage (...)
cheese 
cheese (Paalkatti)
eggs 
eggs (muttai)
salad 
salad (pachai kaikari)
(fresh) vegetables 
pachai kaikari
(fresh) fruit 
pazham
bread 
bread (bannu)
toast 
toast (muru murunu)
noodles 
noodles (...)
rice 
satham
beans 
beans (avarai)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Ennakku oru glass ______ vennum.
May I have a cup of _____? 
Ennakku oru cup ______ vennum.
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Ennakku oru bottle ______ vennum.
coffee 
coffee (...)
tea (drink
teh / tea (...)
juice 
pazharasam / juice (...)
(bubbly) water 
thanni
water 
thanni
beer 
beer (...)
Toddy 
"KALLU"
red/white wine 
red/white wine (...)
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (...)
salt 
uppu
black pepper 
milaghu
butter 
vennai (This some times can be a insulting word.)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Excuse me, waiter? (...)
I'm finished. 
I'm finished. (naan mudithu vitean)
It was delicious. 
Rusiya irunthathu
Please clear the plates. 
Plate clear panirunga
The check, please. 
The check, please. (...)

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
(madhu inga kidaikkuma?)
Is there any table servicer? 
(YaravDhu table servicer irukaanGala?)
A beer/two beers, please. 
(oru beer/rendu beers, dhayavu saidhu.)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
(oru glass sivappu/vellai wine, dhayavu saidhu.)
A pint, please. 
(oru pint, dhayavu saidhu.)
A bottle, please. 
(oru bottle, dhayavu saidhu. )
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.
(_____ matrum _____, dhayavu saidhu.)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
rum 
rum ("...")
water 
("thanni")
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? ('inga snacks irukka thanni adikka')
One more, please. 
innumonu , dhayavu saidhu
please,one more 
dhayavu saidhu,innumonu
Another round, please. 
(innum oru round, dhayavu saidhu )
When is the closing time? 
(entha manikku muduvinga? (or) mudum neram enna?)

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
(Unga kitye indha madhiri en size/aalavu iruka)
How much is this? 
(idhu yevalavu? (or) idhu/idhan villai enna/yevalavu)
That's too expensive. 
aadhu romba koodudhal.
Would you take _____? 
_____ nengal eduppingala?
expensive 
koodudhal
cheap 
koranjadhu
I can't afford it. 
naan kuduka mudiyadhu.
I don't want it. 
ennaku idhu vendaam.
You're cheating me. 
nee ennai yemathigithu irrukirai.
I'm not interested. 
ennaku virupam illai.
OK, I'll take it. 
sari, naan idhai eduthu kolgiren.
Can I have a bag? 
ennaku oru bag thara mudiyuma.
Do you ship (overseas)? 
neengal kadal kadanthu payanippavara.
I need... 
ennaku thyevai
...toothpaste. 
pal paste
...a toothbrush. 
...a toothbrush. (...)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (...)
...soap. 
...soap. (...)
...shampoo. 
...shampoo. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
vali nivaranam.
...cold medicine. 
...Jalathosha marunthu. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
vayaru vali marundhu.
...a razor. 
...a razor. (...)
...an umbrella. 
kudai. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
...oru Anjal Attai. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...postage Anjal Thalai. (...)
...batteries. 
...batteries. (...)
...writing paper. 
Ezhuthum thaal.
...a pen. 
Ezhuthugol.
...English-language books. 
...English-language putthagam.
...English-language magazines. 
aangilam moli puthagam
...an English-language newspaper. 
aangilam mozhi Seythithaal.
...an English-English dictionary. 
aangila-angilam dictionary.

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
Vaadagaikku oru car venum. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Enakku kaapidu kidaikumA? (...)
stop (on a street sign
stop / Nillu (...)
one way 
oru vazhi paathai (...)
yield 
vilaichal(...)
no parking 
vaaganam nirkka thadai(...)
speed limit 
vega thadai (...)
gas (petrol) station 
erivayu nilayam (...)
petrol 
petrol (...)
diesel 
diesel (Diesel is the name who found Diesel...so it should be same in Tamil too)

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Naan oru thappum seyya villai
It was a misunderstanding. 
Neenga thappa ninachuteenga. (...)
Where are you taking me? 
Ennai enga kootikittu poreenga
Am I under arrest? 
Ennai kaithu seyringala'
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
nan oru American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
nan American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate kitta pesanum. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
Naan oru valakaringarodu pesa vendum
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Naan ippothu abaratham kattalaama?
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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