tamil script book | sarvabhashin

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    t m

    Tamil

    sarvabhshin

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    Script

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    The Tamil letters and words described in this book are each

    accompanied by a pronunciation key in the International PhoneticAlphabet (IPA). Please refer to these IPA keys for the exact

    pronunciation of a Tamil letter or word.

    The IPA is a scientific notation used for accurately transcribing the

    sounds of most human languages. More about the IPA can be

    found at http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/ and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipa.

    The similarities describedin this book between the pronunciations

    of Tamil letters and corresponding English letters are only

    guidelines and should be considered as such.

    http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipahttp://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/
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    k

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    skip

    duck

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    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    go

    game

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    This is the letter weve just seen

    k

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    p

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    speak

    top

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    b

    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    bat

    boat

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    These are the letters weve seen so far

    k

    p b

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    10

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    catch

    beach

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    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    badge

    jump

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    s

    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    sit

    see

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    These are the letters weve seen so far

    k

    p b

    s

    The sounds of these letters are all called consonants

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    This sound is pronounced similar to

    but

    month

    until

    This is called a vowel sound

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    Look at these letters

    k

    p b

    s

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    In short

    k

    -

    =

    k

    p b p b

    s s

    Since the letters on the right

    are made up of a consonant anda vowel sound,

    lets call them comboletters

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    Heres another sign with a vowel sound

    i

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    happy

    This sign is written aftera letter

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    These are some combo letters

    with the sign for i

    ki i

    pi bi

    i i si

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    In short

    k

    -

    +

    =

    ki i

    p b pi bi

    s i i si

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    u

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    putpull

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    This sign also has a sound similar to

    birdpurse

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    These are some combo letters with the sign weve just seen

    The sign for the vowel u/changes shapedepending on the letter to which it is attached

    ku

    k

    u

    pup

    bu

    b

    u

    u

    su

    s

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    And again, in short

    k

    -

    +

    =

    ku

    k

    u

    p bpu

    p

    bu

    b

    s

    u

    u

    su

    s

    Get the idea?!

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    These letters look similar

    k k ki i kuk

    u

    s s i i si u

    u

    sus

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    Look at these sequences

    made from the letters and signs weve just seen

    k pb

    ki pib

    ku pub

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    Some more sequences

    made from the letters and signs weve just seen

    kb p

    kib pi

    kub pu

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    Notice the pattern?

    When the first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronouncedk

    k kb

    ki kib

    ku kub

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    But when notthe first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    k p

    ki pi

    ku pu

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    When the first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    p

    pb p

    pib pi

    pub pu

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    But when notthe first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    b

    pb kb

    pib kib

    pub kub

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    Now look at these sequences

    made from the letters and signs weve just seen

    k pb

    ki pib

    ku pub

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    Some more sequences

    made from the letters and signs weve just seen

    kb p

    kip pi

    kub pu

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    Have a look again

    at these sequences in particular

    ku pub

    kub pu

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    Notice the pattern?

    When the first vowel in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronouncedu

    ku kub

    pub kub

    ku pub

    kub pu

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    But when notthe first vowel in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    k pb kb p

    ki pib kip pi

    ku pub kub pu

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    So

    Beginning of a word Elsewhere in a word

    k ki i ku

    Beginning of a word Elsewhere in a word

    p b pi bi

    pu bThere are some exceptions to this pattern

    which well come across as we go on

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    and its combo letters can be pronouncedeither with or with s

    This depends on the dialect of Tamil

    So you can get away with either

    Happy?

    In this book, well stick with the s pronunciation

    for the most part

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    Now look at these sequences of letters

    kk kki kk

    pp ppi pp

    i

    So

    When a combo letter appears on its own, its pronunciation may vary

    depending on its position in a word

    like we saw on the previous few pages

    But when it is doubled, its pronunciation is fixed

    as shown above

    Yay!

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    These are some actual Tamil words

    Can you read them?

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    Here are their pronunciations and meanings

    s sbi sub

    plus curse auspicious

    ps kus ku

    cow flatulence splinter

    pkk pii pi

    lateral, on the side jasmine madness

    ppi sippi kuppi

    chaff oyster bottle, flask

    kkk ukk ppp

    vomit, spew dried ginger division, classification

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    j

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    yo-yo

    young

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    r

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the Italian wordRoma

    This is a rolled /r/, as in Spanish or Italian

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    l

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    lad

    luck

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    van

    victory

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

    j r

    l

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    This is how the vowel is written on these letters

    j r

    l

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    This is how the vowel i is written on these letters

    ji ri

    li i

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    This is how the vowel u / is written on these letters

    juj

    rur

    lu

    l

    u

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    These are all the various basic and combo letters weve seen thus far

    j j ji juj

    r r ri

    ru

    r

    l l li

    lu

    l

    i

    u

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    These letters look similar

    l l li lul

    iu

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    These combo letters with the vowel u / have a similar shape

    ku

    k

    u

    ru

    r

    As do these

    pu

    p

    bu

    b

    su

    s

    u

    ju

    j

    u

    This letter forms a combo letter with u /

    with a shape different from the rest

    lu

    l

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    Can you read these Tamil words?

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    Here are their pronunciations and meanings

    ur1 irl1 rjil

    wall finger, toe train

    il1 ikkl1 kspp1

    go away, go off hiccup bitterness

    prpp pp sipp1

    lentils classroom red

    sirpp2 kulkk plkkl1

    laughter shake, jolt pronunciation

    1 is pronounced like a in ago2 is pronounced like i inpin

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    n

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    no

    new

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    r

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the Italian word Roma

    This is a rolled /r/, as in Spanish or Italian

    That is, its pronunciation is the same as

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

    n r

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    This is how the vowels , i and u are written on these basic letters

    n r

    ni ri

    nu

    n

    ru

    r

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    These are all the various basic and combo letters weve seen thus far

    n n ni nu ,n

    r r ri ru , r

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    Now look at these sequences of letters

    r ri rur

    tr tri tr

    The double letter sounds like

    tr in tree

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    These combo letters with the vowel u / have a similar shape

    lul nun rur

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    These letters look similar

    l l li lul

    i

    u

    n n ni

    nu

    n

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    Can you read these Tamil words?

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    Here are their pronunciations and meanings

    sni kri sinsinn

    inn

    Saturn curry

    Shiva, name of

    a Hindu godsmall

    ptri sutr kjir

    about circular motion rope

    knr pinr krpp

    calf,

    young one of a cowafterwards, behind blackness

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    n

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    tenth

    month

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tongue

    touches your front teeth

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    m

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    May

    mother

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

    n m

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    This is how the vowels for , i and u / are written on these basic letters

    n m

    ni mi

    numu

    m

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing this sign

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    These are all the various basic and combo letters weve seen thus far

    n n n i n un

    m m mi

    mu

    m

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    These letters look similar

    r r ri rur

    n n n i

    n u

    n

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    These combo letters with the vowel u / have a similar shape

    ku

    k

    u

    ru

    r

    mu

    m

    As do these

    lu

    l

    nu

    n

    ru

    r

    n u

    n

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    Look at these sequences of letters

    mb mbi mbumb

    So,

    when comes immediately before and its combo lettersthe combo letters ofare pronounced with a b

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    Some Tamil words with the letters weve just seen

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    Heres how they sound and what they mean

    mn n m murs

    son fingernail drum

    mns n nri kmbi

    mind thank you wire, string

    n rm srmm n mkk

    town, city skin to us

    n rmb n irmb krmb

    nerve fully, in plenty sugarcane

    pinnum skkrm mummrm

    moreover wheel intensity

    n nnjm surkkm

    courtesy, politeness heaven

    smmns mrmn

    angel son-in-law

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    t

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the Spanish word toro

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tonguetouches the back of your front teeth

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    d

    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the Spanish word diez

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tonguetouches the back of your front teeth

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    tray

    trouble

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tonguecurls right back and touches the roof of your mouth

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    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    drum

    drink

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tonguecurls right back and touches the roof of your mouth

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    This letter also has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the American pronunciation ofbetter

    the American pronunciation ofladder

    the Spanish wordpero

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tongue

    curls right back and flaps against the roof of your mouth

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

    t d

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    This is how the vowels for , i and u / are written on these basic letters

    t d

    t i d i i i i

    t u

    d u

    t

    d u

    u

    u

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    These are all the various basic and combo letters weve seen thus far

    t d t d t i d i t ud u

    t d

    i i iu

    u

    u

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    These letters look similar

    k k ki i kuk

    u

    s s i i si

    u

    u

    su

    s

    t d t d t i d it u

    d u

    t

    d

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    As do these

    r r ri rur

    n n n i

    n u

    n

    t d t d t i d it u

    t

    d u

    d

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    These combo letters with the vowel u / have a similar shape

    kuk

    u

    rur

    mum

    u

    u

    u

    As do these

    lu

    l

    nu

    n

    ru

    r

    n u

    n

    t u

    t

    d u

    d

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    Look at these sequences

    made from the letters and signs weve just seen

    t d t d

    t id i t i id

    t ud u t u ud

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    Notice the pattern?

    When the first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronouncedt

    t d t

    t id t i

    t ud t u

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    But when notthe first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    d

    t d d

    t id id

    t ud ud

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    When the first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    d

    i id

    u ud

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    But when notthe first letter in a word,

    and its derivatives are usually pronounced

    t

    t i i

    t u u

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    Now look at these sequences of letters

    t t t t i t t

    i

    The pronunciation of these double letters is fixed

    as shown above

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    Look at these sequences of letters

    n d n d i n d un d

    So,

    when comes immediately before and its combo lettersthe combo letters of are pronounced with a d

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    Here are some Tamil words with the new letters weve just seen

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    And heres how you pronounce them, and what they mean

    pm skt i k

    movie, picture, photo strength, power tie, bind

    pt t t inn mud

    ten eat (a snack) back

    mnid n mum lm

    human, man onlylakh, hundred

    thousand (100,000)

    mrn d prd mr1

    medicine prime ministerkuijrs smbn d m

    republic connection, relation

    sud n d rm1 mrbrijum

    freedom again

    1 is pronounced like i inpin, but very lightly

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    Some more vowel sounds and signs

    e

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    pen

    bend

    This sign is written before a letter

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    o

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    The Italian word Roma

    but shorter in length

    Note that this sign has two parts

    One is written before, and the other afterthe letter

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    These are the vowel signs weve just seen

    e

    o

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    This is how these signs are written

    on the letters weve seen so far

    ke e ko o

    pe be po bo

    e e se o o so

    Only the beginning

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    je jo

    re ro

    le lo

    e o

    More to come

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    ne no

    re ro

    n e n o

    me mo

    Wait for it

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    And were done

    t e d e t o d o

    e e e o o o

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    These letters look similar

    le lo

    e o

    ne no

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    And these are their pronunciations and meanings

    n el n ej

    paddy clarified butter, ghee

    eri etri

    rage, mania victory

    perij kurt t elmb

    big cartilage

    poj komb

    lie, falsehood horn, antlers

    romb kos

    very, highly mosquito

    porkki pejrol

    rogue, vagabond noun

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    hold

    boulder

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tongue

    curls right back and touches the roof of your mouth

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the American pronunciation ofAmerica

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tongue

    curls right back and touches the roof of your mouth

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    These letters look similar

    l l li lu l

    le lo

    i u

    e o

    n n ni nu n

    ne no

    i u

    e o

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    As do these

    m m mimu

    m

    me mo

    iu

    e o

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    These combo letters with the vowel u / have a similar shape

    kuk u rur mum

    u

    u

    u

    u

    u

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    Here are some Tamil words with the new letters weve just seen

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    And heres how you pronounce them, and what they mean

    mu pm mu

    thorn fruit bud

    t usi poru

    holy basil, tulsi

    Ocimum tenuiflorummeaning

    ikk kikk

    lamp east

    kul mud um

    god wholly, completely

    t m moi

    Tamil language

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    sing

    ringing

    It is notpronounced like the underlined letter(s) below

    finger

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    onion

    the French word montagne

    the Spanish word Espaa

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    bend

    wander

    To pronounce this letter, the tip of your tongue

    curls right back and touches the roof of your mouth

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    These letters look similar

    n n n in u

    n

    n e n o

    n n in u

    n

    n e n o

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    These letters are experts at camouflage

    n n ninu

    n

    ne no

    iu

    e o

    Note that nhas two circles

    and has three circles

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    u / combo letter classes

    Class 2

    pu

    p

    bu

    b

    u

    u

    su

    s

    ju

    j

    u

    u

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    and Class 3

    lul

    nun

    rur

    n u

    n

    t u

    t

    d u

    d

    u

    u

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    Look at these sequences of letters

    i u

    e o

    So,

    when comes immediately before and its combo lettersthe combo letters of are pronounced with a

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    Here are some Tamil words with

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    And here are their meanings and pronunciations. How did you fare?

    sm t m kur

    conch gold monkey

    n t i t i

    shake, tremble Monday younger sister

    srn kuumm

    Sankara,

    Siva, a Hindu Godvermilion powder

    mui pol

    radish Pongal, a Tamil festival

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    Look at these sequences of letters

    n ni nun

    ne no

    So,

    when comes immediately before and its combo lettersthe combo letters ofare pronounced with a

    Note that the pronunciation ofalso changes from to n

    when it comes before

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    Here are some Tamil words with

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    Here are the meanings and pronunciations of these words

    kni pn n en

    gruel, conjee cotton heart

    lnm mn kir

    bribe yellow poet

    konm nerni

    a little, small quantity

    puncturevine,

    Tribulus terrestris

    knol

    harsh words

    Note that the pronunciation ofchanges from to n

    when it comes before

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    Look at these sequences of letters

    i u

    e o

    So,

    when comes immediately before and its combo lettersthe combo letters ofare pronounced with a

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    And here are some Tamil words with

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    Not too difficult?

    k pu pe

    eye sore, ulcer woman

    t i i kini

    water cart, vehicle computer

    ni kri

    dictionary metal ladle

    nbn mbm

    friend festival pavilion

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    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    jump

    badge

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    135

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    ship

    sugar

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u,

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i u,

    e o

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    Note that these letters

    form a whole new u / combo letter class

    Class 4

    u, u,

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    Here are some Tamil words with these new letters

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    And here are their meanings and pronunciations

    i im

    shorts, underpants poison

    ejm km

    victory difficulty, trouble

    nnl n imm

    window minute, moment

    nri rm

    January year

    ermni ijm

    Germany subject, topic

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    Our new letter has a special formwhen it combines with k

    k k

    +

    =

    And this is how the vowel signs are written on this special form

    k ki ku, k

    ke ko

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    Were you able to read these words?

    pki

    bird

    lkmi

    Lakshmi,

    Hindu goddess of

    wealth

    d kim

    south

    n kt t rmstar

    kt t rijnwarrior

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    Great.

    Now, an obvious question.

    What if a word starts with a vowel?

    How do we write it then?

    Theres a slightly different way of doing this

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    If a word starts with a vowel,

    we use the followingindependent letters, instead of vowel signs

    i

    u

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    And here are some words that use these independent vowel letters

    d n

    that he, that man she, that woman

    nb n mbn

    love, affection elder brother barber

    id in i

    this he, this man she, this woman

    ir irt t m ird jm

    two blood heart

    un ujir ud i

    your life helpumb ulm ur

    body world consciousness

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    Here are some more independent vowel letters

    e

    o

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    Note that the independent vowel letters weve just seen

    are pronounced slightlydifferently from their signs

    e

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    ye in yet

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    o

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    wo in wonkyt

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    These letters look verysimilar

    i u,

    e o

    e

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    And are some words that use these independent vowel letters

    en en e

    my who, which man who, which woman

    ermb eppi et t

    ant how writing

    ebd e eirn d

    eighty how much from where

    or oli oi

    a, an sound light

    onr onbd om

    one nine camel

    okkm oi oippm

    discipline parasite photograph

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    Speaking of vowels, here are some more

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    drama

    father

    This sign is written aftera letter

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    i

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    bee

    keep

    This sign is written aftera letter

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    u

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    tool

    loop

    This sign is written belowa letter

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    e

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the French word fiance

    but slightly longer in length

    This sign is written above a letter

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    o

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    the Italian word Roma

    but slightly longer in length

    This sign is written aftera letter

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    This is how the signs for , i,e and o are written

    on the basic letter k/

    k ki i

    ke e ko o

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    Here are most ofthe vowels weve seen so far,

    attached to the letter k/

    k k

    ki i ki i

    ke e ke e

    ko o ko o

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    and form a combo letterwith a slightly different shape

    i

    i

    i

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    u, just like u/, has an identity crisis

    Class 1

    ku

    uru mu

    u

    u

    u u u

    This one is the black sheep among this lot

    ku

    u

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    Class 2

    pu uu

    su

    ju

    u u

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    Class 3

    lu nu ru

    n ut u

    d u

    u u

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    and Class 4

    u su

    Phew!

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    These signs look similar

    e

    e

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    165

    As do these

    o

    o

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    Heres a nice long list of words to get your hands dirty

    kd ear

    kppicoffee

    kie

    below kinm

    horizon

    kun

    curve,

    bend

    kum

    meeting

    keiquestion

    kermKerala, a state in

    India

    kobm

    anger kojil

    temple

    si

    witness spp

    food

    sippipp

    comb

    sikkrm

    speed

    su

    heat surijn

    sun

    sel

    rooster sern d

    together with

    sorcooked

    rice

    somb

    fennel seeds

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    min

    bail

    oi

    pair, couple

    jir

    Sunday bm

    remembrance,

    recollection

    em

    not

    needed

    i

    tea

    uijm

    atrocity

    keen

    I heard

    elder

    brother

    kir

    tears

    t our

    ninety pom

    we did

    t n

    oneself

    in d

    here you go

    t i

    fire lt t in

    Latin

    language

    t ed idate torm

    traditional

    festoon

    n nI

    n iyou all

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    n ul

    thread

    n erm

    time

    pmb

    snake pim

    platform

    sippur

    Singapore somberi

    lazybones

    mnilm

    state,

    province

    min

    fish

    muni

    mouth,

    face mosmfraud

    in d ij

    India jppm

    Jaffna,

    Sri Lanka

    eiji

    release

    jud r

    Jewish

    r

    king srirm

    body

    rubj

    rupee reijo

    radio

    ljkk

    suitability

    li

    leave,holiday

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    klluri

    college

    pinnle

    afterwards

    b1

    bungalow eijm

    tin (metal)

    beur1

    Bangalore,

    India

    ue

    inside,

    within

    i

    festival

    med

    softly

    i

    house t nur

    Tanjore, a

    town in

    Tamil Nadu

    enrlum

    even then sitrur

    village,

    hamlet

    t eni

    honeybee n nurfour

    hundred

    1 at the beginning of these words is pronounced b, not p

    Phew!

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    At the beginning of a word, these vowels are written like this

    i u

    e o

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    Again, note that the last two

    of the independent vowel letters weve just seen

    are pronounced slightlydifferently from their signs

    e

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    Yale

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    o

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    wont

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    Here are all the independent vowels weve seen so far,

    along with their corresponding vowel signs

    i i

    u, u

    We already know that does not have any vowel sign of its own

    More to come

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    e e e e

    o o o o

    Remember,

    the independent vowel letters above

    have pronunciations slightly different

    from those of the vowel signs

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    These letters look similar

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    As do these

    r

    i

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    And these

    u

    u

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    And these

    e

    e

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    And these

    o

    o

    The only difference between these two

    is the little curl at the bottom ofo

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    Some Tamil words beginning with the new vowel letters

    weve just seen

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    You should have got all of these right!

    nlbut

    rmbmbeginning

    irnIran irpp

    attraction,

    pull

    ur

    city,

    town

    urj

    Indian pickle

    enwhy e

    climb,

    ascend

    orun ol

    hotel,

    restaurant

    `

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    And even more vowels

    j

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    kite

    height

    This sign is written before a letter

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    w

    This sign has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    how

    brown

    This sign is written before and aftera letter

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    This is how the signs for j and w are written

    using the letter k/as the basic letter

    kj j

    kw j

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    These are all the vowel signs with the letter k/

    k k

    ki i ki i

    ku

    k

    u

    ku u

    ke e ke e

    ko o ko o

    kj j kw w

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    Notice the similarity in these letter combinations

    ke e

    kj j

    That is, notice the similarity in

    e j

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    And in these

    ko o

    kw w

    That is, the similarity in

    o w

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    Unfortunately, there is no difference between

    these letter combinations

    ke e

    kw w

    That is, there is no difference betweene w

    If its any consolation,

    w occurs quite rarely in Tamil

    So that reduces the chance of confusion somewhat

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    Watch out for these in particular

    lj

    j

    nj

    j

    The last two are especially notorious!

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    Here are some words that have these signs

    kjhand

    mj

    rain

    sj

    quarrel

    sennj

    ennjChennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu

    iljSri Lanka

    jppm

    banana

    wlbat (animal)

    swkkijmhealth, well-being

    swn d rijm

    beauty, loveliness

    mwnrd m

    vow of silence

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    At the beginning of a word, these vowels are written like this

    j

    w

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    These letters look verysimilar

    i i

    u

    u e e

    o o

    j w

    j

    Notice the difference

    in the curls at the bottom

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    These letters, too, look verysimilar

    o

    o

    w

    Note that the portion ofwlooks exactly like o

    that is, withouta curl at the bottom

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    These letter combinations look identical -

    o

    w

    Remember, wdoesnt occur too often in Tamil

    So keep your chin up

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    Here are some Tamil words with the new letters weve just seen

    five

    oh!

    five hundred

    fifty

    Europe

    United States

    respectful title for elderly woman

    medicine

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    i u

    e o

    The vowels above are called short vowels, as their length while speaking

    is comparatively less

    i u

    e o

    The vowels above are called long vowels, as their length while speaking

    is comparatively more

    j w

    The sounds above are called diphthongs

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    Homophones are different letters that have the same sound.

    Tamil too has homophonic letters

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    sugar

    ship

    That is, its pronunciation is the same as

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    s

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    sit

    see

    That is, its pronunciation is the same as one of the pronunciations of

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    This letter doesnt have any homophones

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    hat

    help

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    These are the basic letters weve just seen

    s

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i i

    u u

    e e

    o o

    j w

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these

    vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on s

    s s

    si si

    su su

    se se

    so so

    sj sw

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these

    vowels

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    This is how the various vowel signs are written on

    i i

    u u

    e e

    o o

    j w

    Note that the sign above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    These letters look similar

    l l l li li

    lu , l lu le le

    lo lo

    lj lw

    s s s si si

    su , s su se se

    so so

    sj sw

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    u / combo letter class for these letters

    Class 4

    u, su, s u,

    u su u

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    Here are some words with these new letters

    rmshelter, refuge

    st ri

    scholar

    sr

    sir

    kkkuslatrine, WC

    polis

    police

    pust m

    book

    spt t ri

    hospital

    in d i

    Hindi language

    ll

    halal (Islamic food standard)

    snem

    friendship

    imsj

    non-violence

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    The letter is normally replaced by in everyday Tamil

    So, you would more likely see (and hear)

    srm

    shelter, refuge

    sst ri

    scholar

    In fact, is almost never used in Tamil

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    Our new letter has a special formwhen it combines with ri

    ri ri

    +

    =

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    Here are some Tamil words with this combination letter

    rimt iMrs.

    ride i

    Sridevi

    a name for Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess

    rirmSrirangam, a place in Tamil Nadu

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    This character is sometimes used

    to modify the sound of the letter

    immediately afterit

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    f

    This letter has a sound similar to the underlined letter(s) below

    f in fat

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    This is how the vowel signs weve seen are written on f

    f f

    fi fi

    fu fu

    fe fe

    fo fo

    fj fw

    Note that the sign

    above the letter is removed for writing these vowels

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    The only difference between these pairs of letters

    is the sign

    p

    f

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    Here are some Tamil words

    containing the letters weve just seen

    kfi

    coffee

    fonphone

    fsism1fascism

    frns

    France

    1Some speakers pronounce this word as in English - fz()m

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    Lets end with numerals and punctuation

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

    However, Western numerals are used nowadays.

    The original Tamil numerals shown above are rarely used.

    Punctuation marks are similar to those used in English.

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    Here is a well-known piece of writing, in its Tamil version

    .

    .

    .

    .

    mnid prijinr slrum sud n d rme pirkkinrnr .

    r md ippilum urimjilum smmnr. r

    n jjt t jjum mnsijjjum ijrppp petrr . r

    orrnorr sod r urp pil nn d ol

    eum .

    This is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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    This is the Tamil alphabet, with the names of the letters

    i i u u

    e e j o o w

    k

    t n

    p m

    j inn r l

    perij r n

    s

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    And these are the vowel and other signs, and their Tamil names

    pui i i

    u u e e j

    o o w jd m

    Good luck!

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    End