good resources for learning Tamil
I have found the following resources excellent for learning Tamil. I present them here since I believe they are very beneficial, and thus deserving special distinction. For learning Tamil, truly good resources are hard to come by.
I must stress that all of the comments in this page are my personal opinions, and that not everyone will necessary agree with those opinions. In other words, use your own judgement in reading this page and following up any of these resources.
- Tamilbook 2000 (CD-ROM, US $40 $25)
- In my opinion, this is the best starting point for learning Tamil. The CD effectively teaches the alphabet and commonly used words. Part of the CD's appeal it is colorful, fairly intuitive, and has pictures that go along with a portion of the words. Every word in the CD was spoken by a native Tamil speaker and recorded. Part of the program is designed to teach the alphabet and how to draw each letter. Another part introduces vocabulary and has little quizzes and a simple matching game to help memorization. However, vocabulary is one half to learning a language; grammar is the other half. You can learn grammar at this website (Thamil Paadanool) or at the following resource in this list...
- Tamilclass.com - Learn Tamil Through English
- Tamilclass is probably the most well-known Tamil learning website. The website is effective at teaching the grammar necessary to read and write in Tamil, and provides some vocabulary to go along with it. It is entirely free and offers lessons as PDF files. Exercises and useful word sets are given at the end of each lesson, and the website has extra lists for household words and verbs. The lessons use a minimal amount of English and are perhaps suitable to be taught in an actual Tamil language class, although it is also possible to learn from the lessons directly.
- Asher, R.E., and R. Radhakrishnan. A Tamil Prose Reader: Selections from Contemporary Tamil Prose with Notes and Glossary. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, England. (1971.)
- This book is a collection of stories from various authors that have been arranged with the purpose of increasing one's reading comprehension. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the book is out of print. The stories are arranged in order of increasing difficulty, with footnotes and a glossary covering all new words. The lessons require a mastery of the basic set of Thamil grammar (lessons in Parts I-III on this website).