You’re probably here because you’re wondering why there’s no Tamil on Rosetta Stone? Well, the answer is multi-faceted, but it basically comes down to this. There are only 70 million Tamil speakers. Although that sounds like a lot, and in fact, it is 18th on the list of the world’s most spoken languages, ask yourself, in the job marketplace, how valuable it is to speak Tamil compared to Mandarin.
So that begs the question, why would you want to learn Tamil? Well, read on to find out why.
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What Is Tamil?
Tamil is classed as a Dravidian language and is spoken in South Asia by 70 million people, specifically the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and, more famously, the country of Sri Lanka. It is also spoken as a minority in several other Indian states. Rather interestingly, Tamil is one of the world’s oldest classical languages, and the literature goes back to 300BC. Tamil areas are still highly literate to this day. At the turn of the century, the last time it was counted, there were almost 2000 Tamil newspapers!
Why Should You Learn Tamil?
- Business- Although we mentioned in the intro that the economic incentives for learning Tamil are less, they are still significant, specifically if you plan to work or invest in Southern India/Sri Lanka. It is worth spending a little time talking about the Sri Lankan economy, which has had extremely mixed fortunes in recent years. COVID has been disastrous for Sri Lanka in large part due to the lack of tourism. There has also been talk of high government spending and massive debt repayments to the Chinese. The situation is so severe that the World Bank says up to 500,000 have been dragged into poverty since 2019. Inflation as of 2022 stands at 11%. All that being said, Sri Lanka is a land that has shown great prospects to become as powerful an economy as its neighbour India. Wherever there is crisis, there is always opportunity
- As mentioned earlier, there is a storied history of Tamil literature. Obviously, if you speak that language, you become part of that story yourself. Tamil literature is so old it literally predates Christianity! The topics of ancient literature encompass everything from sociology, economics, politics, war, love and religion. The Tamil classics are heavily influenced by religion. Some notable works include kambaramayanam and Periya Puranam. Tamil history really is fascinating.
- You’ve heard of Kollywood, right? Tamil film making and Tamil tv are legendary, and what better way to be fully engrossed in a culture than watching their movies in the Tamil language. Tamil movies are based in Chennai, specifically in the Kodambakkam area, which is where the name Kollywood comes from. The story of Tamil movies goes right the way back to 1918 at the birth of modern movie making. One of the central hubs in South India is Chennai, and many films have come from there. These movies haven’t quite made the jump to the Western market, but they are popular in India, Asia and the Middle East.
General Reasons To Learn A Language
Of course, on top of reasons to specifically learn Tamil, there are also general reasons to learn any language. Probably the most widely cited is the increased neuroplasticity levels that come with taxing your brain. Language learning literally makes your brain younger.
Instead of speaking about scientifically-backed hypotheses about why it’s good to learn a language, I will speak from personal experience. Language learning seems to have a positive effect on my mental health. There’s something about the structure of a language that really helps. When you learn to plan your day, i.e. 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed, it adds a great cadence to your life. There is also the dopamine hit you get from doing something productive.
However, the single most important reason is the reaction that it engenders in other people. If you have a friend, colleague, or partner of Tamil origin, it is a tremendous honor if you decide to learn their language.
No Tamil On Rosetta Stone? Alternatives For Learning Tamil
The most obvious alternative to Rosetta Stone is Youtube. For me, the best thing about Youtube is that you feel part of a community. This goes back to an earlier point I was making mental health. Studying with other people is vital; you don’t like you’re in a bubble. The options are a little limited for Tamil, but I’d recommend Bhanumathy K Seed Succeed, a lady who teaches Tamil, among other things.
Learn Tamil With Ling
Undoubtedly your best option to learn Tamil online is Ling. Ling is built along similar lines to Duolingo and Babbel but covers lesser-known languages. You can build from a base in your native language(not just English). Learn 60 languages from 60 different base languages.
You can go from zero to a near-native speaker in Tamil with our app. Our language programs give you practice in spoken Tamil, conversational Tamil, the Tamil alphabet (Tamil script), written Tamil, and Tamil grammar.
Although we don’t have a dedicated Tamil blog, we do have other blogs that cover language tips as well as app reviews. Why not check out our latest posts like the Learn Spanish through music and Preply vs. Duolingo? Happy learning!