Any Tamil (language) experts?

Inquiring minds want to know something.

I know a guy from Tamil Nadu… he lives in Australia now, but I think I might have his email address written down somewhere at home. I don’t know how much of an expert in the language he is, but Tamil is his mothertongue.

I could ask him if it’s alright to give you his email address. It might take a while though - I don’t know how often he checks that particular address.

I know a couple from Madras, whose native tongue is Tamil. What is it you want to know? If it’s a translation of a relatively short piece of text then it MAY be easy enough as long as it’s not porn or something. I could ask, at least. If it’s more than about a page, I’d feel a bit more awkward.

On the other hand if it’s just some fact you’re after… look, post what it is you want, and I’ll see what I can find out.

OK, another friend has mailed me, saying I can give you his email address… he’ll pass on your email to his Tamil colleagues.

Let me know if you want it.

OK, I’ll 'splain what I’m looking for:

I’m going to be giving a presentation on consonant-based matching algorithms. Part of the intro will be to give everyone in the group a sample of writing that everyone will instantly recognize. . . .

That is, if all the letters were there!

The first hand-out would consist of only the vowels, and the group would be to asked, based only upon seeing the vowels, “What is this text?” I’d venture hardly anyone would guess.

The next hand-out would consist of only the consonant sounds, and the group would similarly be asked, based only upon seeing the consonants, “What text is this?” I’d venture most people could figure it out with that.

The point being, that consonants, being “harder” sounds, are more reliable for matching algorithms than vowels, thus the reason for the algorithm ignoring vowels, and looking only at the consonants.

Now, why Tamil?

One of the members is from Tamil Nadu. She speaks in addition to Tamil, English and Hindi. Her English, although accented, is flawless (well, she does have this annoying habit of using some British terms and pronunciations. :smiley: );however, I don’t think she would recognize the text I was planning to use, as it is strictly a part of American History.

So. . . I though that if I could find something in Tamil, that anyone would immediately recognize, I’d hand her that instead. One with just vowel sounds, and one with just consonant sounds. I know that in Tamil that it’s largely a syllabary as opposed to straight alphabet, so it might not be possibly to just show only a set of vowel sounds, since a lot of vowel sounds are attached to the consonant. However, I do believe it’s possible to show a set of consonant-only sounds.

Anyway, that’s the goal, if possible. Let me know if anyone can accomodate.

Well, you can’t do that with Tamil for the reasons you just pointed out. No consonant-only sounds in all the 247 standard character set that modern Tamil uses. You could write the letters, but it wouldn’t mean anything. Tamil is indeed syllabary, or as I referred to it “made up of vowelized consonants.” Sixteen (seventeen, if you count the one letter that’s only used in the old word for 'shield") consonants and twelve vowels.

Spent 24 weeks learning Tamil. Enlightening? Yep. Fun? Hell no.