Self-introduction is usually done in a formal setting. Maybe for a job interview, when making new friends, for conversation and so on. In English, it is often done by shaking hands and saying, “nice to meet you.” In South Indian cultures, the scenario may be slightly different. For example, in Tamil Nadu, it is not common to speak directly, shake hands or make direct eye contact when making new acquaintances. Here is a guide to how to introduce yourself in Tamil.
How To Introduce Yourself In Tamil?
To properly introduce oneself in Tamil, this guide will mention two ways – the formal and the informal. In both instances, making a good impression is almost always the goal upon meeting someone. Listening is as important as speaking. It is good to note the person you are communicating with, the moment or time of the day, the culture, and what they may be interested in.
Ways To Greet
Here are some greetings in a formal setting:
|English Word||Pronunciation In Tamil||Tamil Script|
|Good morning||Kālai vaṇakkam||காலை வணக்கம்|
|Good afternoon||Matiya vaṇakkam||மதிய வணக்கம்|
|Good evening||Mālai vaṇakkam||மாலை வணக்கம்|
Informally, people use English words like “Hi” and “Hello” in Tamil. Here are some informal greetings:
|English Word||Tamil Pronunciation||Tamil Script|
|What’s up?||Eṉṉa viṣayam||என்ன விஷயம்|
|How are you?||Nīṅkaḷ eppaṭi irukkiṟīrkaḷ||நீங்கள் எப்படி இருக்கிறீர்கள்|
Here are common sentences that will follow a greeting:
|English Word||Pronunciation In Tamil||Tamil Script|
|My name is _____||Eṉ peyar||என் பெயர்|
|Nice to meet you||Uṅkaḷai cantittatil makiḻcci||உங்களை சந்தித்ததில் மகிழ்ச்சி|
You can also find more greetings in Tamil by visiting and reading our blog.
Greeting An Elder
While learning about the languages and cultures of India, you must have come across the salutation Namaste. In this greeting, one holds the palms of your hand together in front of your chest with the tip of your fingers pointing upwards.
Now, for Hindi, it’s Namaste; in East India, for Bangladesh and Assam, its Nomoshkar; in South India, its Namashkaram for Malayalam-speaking people and finally, for Tamil Nadu, its Vanakkam.
This gesture is not made to those who are younger. In fact, the opposite is expected that they would greet you in this way. But it is done to show respect and humility.
Next is talking about yourself.
Talking About Yourself
This would be sharing more of your personal history, for example, where you live and what your parents do. In South East Asia or most Asian cultures, asking about family and occupations in the family, living conditions, and educational background details are widespread and expected. In Western culture, this is not the norm.
Asking Questions To Get To Know Someone
In this case, speaking about mutual interests would be a good idea. For example, a conversation can be about watching movies with a friend or peer. For a job interview, it can be language skills or work skills, interests in local businesses, hobbies like do they love traveling, etc. The following are some examples:
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Thanks And Closing Salutation
Whether in a formal setting or among friends, it is always polite to say thanks! It is also a good thing to wish them well. Interestingly, in Tamil culture, “goodbye” is never used. There are several words and phrases to relate to the same, but saying “good bye/bye bye” in Tamil is not done. Of course, it is used as an English word both formally and informally. Here are some common ways to do this in Tamil:
|English Words||Pronunciation In Tamil||Tamil In Script|
|Will see you later||Piṟaku pārkkalām||பிறகு பார்க்கலாம்|
|See you||Uṉṉai pārkkiṟēṉ||உன்னை பார்க்கிறேன்|
|Will meet again||Mīṇṭum cantippārkaḷ||மீண்டும் சந்திப்பார்கள்|
|Be safe||Pattiramā iru||பத்திரமா இரு|
In A Marriage Proposal
We have covered the formal setting and informal introduction. What do we call an introduction to possible future in-laws? In my opinion, this is the absolutely crucial time to make a great impression and keep everything formal! This is because in South Indian and most Asian cultures, a formal marriage or arranged marriage involves the would-be couple having no acquaintance prior to this.
Parents, their friends, or relatives often arrange this match. The first meeting is done in a public place like a restaurant or coffee shop alongside several family members. It could also be at the bride’s home.
The first thing upon entering a home would be an introduction to the eldest person and then to reach out and touch the feet of the elder or the ground in which they stand in. This act is often seen in Indian cultures and indicates a sign of humility and respect toward the elders in the home.
Something to note is that a good conversation is not subject to the number of words or vocabulary you have used. The point is to focus on giving the needed information and listening well to what is asked or said.
Indeed, introducing yourself requires listening to queues to what information is necessary to say. Also, try to make the experience fun.
Learning needs to be an experience that involves play!
Learn With Ling App
Learning a new language can be quite challenging. Self-introduction can be very awkward if appropriate words are not used in the right culture and among the right people.
Ling is an online language app that can help you speak, read, write and listen to great conversations in many foreign languages, even Tamil. It has new words, tasks for writing, examples of dialogues and sentences, and so much more!
Best of all, it is a gamified app that gets the learning experience going in a matter of days!