#Tamil script has attracted me for long. Both round & straight alphabets. And I could figure out some similarities with #Bangla script. However recently when there was trend to write names in Tamil, I thought why not push myself to learn the script once and for all? It took me a week to learn the script. Contrary to fear prevalent, I found the script easy to learn.

Maybe because I already knew Bangla and Devanagari. Though I still need practice to be fluent, but would love to share how I went about it. Note that I have not yet practiced writing. I have focused more on reading #Tamil. But once I can read comfortably, even writing should not be an issue. What made #Tamil script easy to master are:

1. Tamil has less alphabets than other Indian languages
2. My brain works in most stupid ways. And stupidity is easy to remember!

You see, stupidity is also an asset sometimes! So here I begin. You can invite other keen people to read this thread in sequence if they are interested.

They can follow my handle as now I plan to replicate it for all other scripts of Bharat. I will assume you know Devenagari. Even if you dont know, you can follow something similar in your own script to create your own learning style. Eventually I take advantage of the fact that all Indian scripts are mostly phonetic. The sequence of vowels and consonants are similar.

Like Devanagari, the alphabets of #Tamil are divided into Vowels and Consonants.

Good part – Most of these are similar to Devanagari. And some alphabets are not present in #Tamil

Bad part – Some alphabets are extra in Tamil.

But they are so different that they are easy. Learning Tamil is divided in 3 parts:

1. Learning vowels
2. Learning consonants
3. Learning consonant forms when vowels combine with consonants

In Devanagari analogy:
1. Learning अ आ
2. Learning क ख
3. Learning क का कि की

We start with vowels Tamil has following vowels, I also give example pronunciations:
அ a – Fun
ஆ aa – Father
இ i – Bit
ஈ ee – Sheet
உ u – Put
ஊ oo – Boot
எ e – Ben
ஏ ae – Mate
ஐ ai – Minor
ஒ o – Roti
ஓ O – Goat
ஔ – ou – Mouth

Now let us crack one by one.

Tip: Go slow. learn only one at a time. அ is almost like अ in Devanagari. Same vertical line and curves on left. This is only such letter in Tamil.

1. Vertical line denotes number 1. அ is for a. And a means One in English. Hence, moment you see the straight line, you know it is ‘a’.

2. ஆ is just a stretch of a அ अ to aa आ . Imagine a rope hanging down his tongue. When one starts saying ‘a’, you pull the rope and he shouts ‘aa’ instead. Exact shape of rope does not matter because no other letter is similar. Moment you see ஆ, you see அ ‘a’ plus a rope = ‘aa’.

3. இ is the most complicated and coiled letter in Tamil. Circle, circle, circle..like a snake twisted in many places. What happens if you suddenly see a cobra snake.

You shout ‘i’ इ in surprise! Also, even in Devanagari, इ has so many twists like cobra!

Hence இ = i or इ like in hit.

4. ஈ is very simple. You clearly see two ‘i’ connected. Each i represents i of bit. Two i means double the sound. Like in beat.

Hence, ஈ = ii = double the length of i. Simple. Right?

5. Next is உ. This is literally like writing 2 or two.
Two has ‘u’ in end.
Hence உ = ‘u’.

6. ஊ = உ + a heavy elephant standing over tail of உ.
Notice the trunk of elephant and two straight legs (side view).

So in pain, instead of ‘u’, the fellow shouted ‘u”u’. ऊ or oo.
Hence ஊ = oo or ऊ! Simple. And congrats. 50% vowels done!!

7. எ is similar as এ in Bangla. Same pronunciation.

Notice the vertical line. One vertical line. One means Ek in most Indian.

Hence, எ = ‘e’ as in Ek (one)

8. ஏ is just எ with an added wire to pull and elongate the ‘e’. So it becomes ‘e”e’ – Double the ‘e’. Devanagari doesn’t have it.

So, ஏ = எ + எ = ‘e’ + ‘e’ = ए ए without break.

9. ஐ is like 2 eyes on top and 2 eyes in bottom. Eye Eye Eye Eye everywhere.

hence ஐ = pronunciation of Eye = ai. Like in Bhaiya, Maiya.
Maiya watches carefully over baby as if she has 4 eyes instead of 2.

Hence ஐ = ai of Maiya (ऐ)

10. ஒ looks like two eyes and a bent nose of Owl. Owl starts with O.

Hence ஒ = O (ओ)

11. ஓ is ஒ + extra loop at end of nose. Someone twisted nose of O so the pronunciation elongated O O. Hence
ஓ = ஒ + ஒ without break. Like in moan.

12. ஔ = ஒ + an elephant on it.

Remember that the elephant makes you shout u in pain in ஊ .
Hence, ஔ = ஒ + u = ou like in loud.

That’s all. You master all vowels in a day!

13. There is one more symbol. Akh or ஃ. This is same as : is Devanagari to pronounce H or Visarg.

This is only symbol with dots. Hence easy to remember. Instead of 2 dots in Devanagari, you use 3 in Tamil. You have three because तमिल has three alphabets!

So we completed all vowels. Just review a few times. Then you will not even need to remember memory hacks.

Now we need to learn consonants.

After that consonant + vowel combos. And we are done!
Probably you can do faster than me!

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