Mother Tongue languages have a notorious reputation of being difficult for students to master. This is especially so for Tamil. After all, it has a diglossic nature and students have to learn two varieties of Tamil – formal Tamil and colloquial Tamil.
It is no wonder some students may struggle with learning the language. But, there are ways to learn Tamil easily.
Write in a Journal
Keep a journal or a notebook to write down new words, phrases or sentences that you come across. This helps you expand your vocabulary, and you can refer to these notes for revision before your Mother Tongue Tamil tests and exams.
When writing in your journal, make sure to write in formal Tamil. This helps you practise for your composition exams because you’ll be expected to use formal Tamil.
Join Tamil-language Social Media Groups
Joining Tamil-language social media groups like on Facebook or Reddit is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and practise your Tamil speaking skills. This is because these groups have events or meetups for you to join and converse (in Tamil) with others.
You also get to join in discussions about the history and culture behind the Tamil language, so you’ll gain a better appreciation for the language too! This is a great way to also practise for your oral exams.
Watch Tamil Movies and TV Shows
Watching movies and TV shows lets you stay entertained while you familiarise yourself with the language. Listen to how the actors converse: take note of sentence structure, pronunciation, and vocabulary. Then apply it to your learning.
Here are a few shows that I recommend you watch:
2. Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal
3. Manmadhan Ambu
4. Enga Veetu Pillai
5. Kadhalikka Neramillai
Listen to a Tamil Radio Show
Listening to Tamil radio shows or channels lets you familiarise yourself with colloquial Tamil. Especially when the hosts interact with each other or with guests. There are two Tamil radio channels in Singapore: Oli 96.8 FM and Barakath Radio, so check them out.
This is an entertaining way to learn Tamil because the hosts often add many funny quips and they share fascinating stories. As a bonus, you also get to listen to Tamil music. This method of learning is especially useful if you have a more auditory style of learning.
Use Language Apps
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There are many language apps available online so use them! Apps like Ling Tamil and Simply Learn Tamil teach you how to speak Tamil without needing to interact with other people (which is great if you’re an introvert like me!).
Alternatively, if you wish to converse with other native speakers to get more experience, try using language exchange apps like HelloTalk.
These language exchange apps allow you to meet and converse with new people. Use this opportunity to practise and improve your Tamil language skills too, especially if you’re preparing for a Tamil oral exam.
Tamil can be a complex language to learn if you don’t know the best methods to master it. Instead, try out these tips and tricks to learn Tamil, and you’d find it enjoyable and not all that difficult.