|Home Culture Lessons > I 1 2 3 4 5 6 II 1 2 3 4 5 6 III 1 2 3 4 5 6 IV 1 2 3 4 5 6 V 1 2 3 4 5 6 VI 1 2 3 4 5 6 Select Unit|
Using proverbs and idiomatic expressions
Experienced and fluent speakers of Tamil often use proverbs, sayings and other idiomatic expressions in their speech in order to emphasize or illustrate what they want to say. Literate speakers often quote poems from ancient Tamil literature; e.g., from திருக்குறள், ஆத்திச்சூடி, அகநானூறு, புறநானூறு and so on. In general, most Tamil speakers know these poems, proverbs, and idioms by heart simply through hearing them through movies, the radio, magazines and personal communications. The more aged someone is the more they know of these customary expressions. Such expressions often maintain very archaic words and phrases because they are transmitted orally and memorized from generation to generation, and thus often do not undergo any change along with the developments of the common languages.
Eloquency in Tamil is mostly gauged by how one can use such expressions very frequently and in appropriate contexts.
என்னதான் தாய் பிள்ளை என்றாலும் வாயும் வயிறும் வேறு வேறுதானே!
காடு வா வா என்கிறது! வீடு போ போ என்கிறது.
Unlike proverbs, sayings or customary expressions are often quoted from ancient literature, for example from the 'Ramayana', 'Mahabaratha' and so on. In order to understand these allusions, one would need to have a good knowledge of these literatures.
விடிய விடிய கதை கேட்டு சீதைக்கு ராமன் சித்தப்பா என்றானாம்!
© South Asia Language Resource Center (SALRC)