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How to begin and end a conversation
Beginning a conversation is usually done with expressions like என்ன சேதி? எப்படி இருக்கீங்க?, வீட்டுலெ எல்லாரும் சௌக்கியமா?, என்ன? ரொம்ப நாளா பாக்கவே முடியலெ? ஊருலெ இல்லெயா? 'What's the news? How are you? Is everyone at home doing fine? What happened? Long time no see!' and so on. A more laid-back way of beginning a conversation with someone whom you haven't seen for a while is asking about, or commenting on, each other's physical appearance. Usually, asking why the other person looks so thin is a customary way of beginning a conversation: என்ன? ரொம்ப எளச்சிட்டீங்க போலிருக்கே? 'What happened? You look so thin!' (NOTE: this is not a compliment; rather, a compliment might indicate that one has gained weight, for example). Of course, one shouldn't ask whether that was because of any illness, but should ask whether that was because other person is not taking food regularly: நல்லாவே சாப்பிட்றதில்லையா? 'Are you not taking food regularly?'.
What would be a normal method of ending a communication? And are there any polite ways of cutting short any dragging conversation? Some words and phrases that can be used to bring a conversation to an end are: Saying சரிங்க, வேற என்ன சேதி? ('any other news?'), அப்பறம் ('then'), பாக்கலாமா 'shall we see each other later' etc. When used during a conversation, such phrases would trigger a mood of completion of the dialogue. Especially, when someone is not very conscientious about maintaining time and seems to keep dragging out a greeting, use of these words will help to move on.
Taking a leave of
As it is customery to say வாங்க to someone who visits someone, it is also required that person says போயிட்டு வறேன் 'I will go and come back' when leaving. No one is expected to say நான் போறேன் 'I am going' when leaving, as it is considered impolite because everyone is expected to eventually return and not simply leave. The other phrases like சரி! நான் கெளம்புறேன் 'okay! Let me take a leave of', அப்பறம் பாக்கலாம் 'we will see each other later', நான் பொறப்பட்றேன் 'let me make the move' etc., are also acceptable phrases. The generic expression that refers to inviting someone during the visit is வாங்கண்ணு சொல்லுங்க 'say welcome' and for leaving is சொல்லிக்கொள் (spoken: சொல்லிக்கோ 'say bye' (lit. say yourself to the host). The formal term for 'invitation' is வரவேற்பு as in மணமக்கள் வரவேற்பு 'invitation of the bride groom'; invitation letter is அழைப்பிதழ் as in திருமண அழைப்பிதழ் 'marriage invitation'.
It is absolutely wrong to ask someone எங்கெ போறே 'where are you heading' when about to leave for some place. In such circumstances the other person might respond with உனக்கு அறிவு இருக்கா? வெளியே போறப்போ எங்க போறேண்ணு கேக்கிறியே 'do you have any sense? Why do you ask me where I was leaving for, when I am about to leave?' Instead, எங்க கெளம்பிட்டே 'where are you making a move for' would be appropriate.
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