Lets have some fun learning Tamil consonants. We learnt vowels in older thread. Like most Indian Bhasha, Tamil consonants are also categorized by pronunciation.

Eg, in Devanagari we have:
क ख ग घ ङ्
च छ ज झ ञ
ट ठ ड ढ ण
त थ द ध न
प फ ब भ म
य र ल व
श ष स ह
क्ष त्र ज्

We need to know Tamil for each of these. Plus a few special alphabets. And we are done!

Let’s start with first set:
Ka Kha Ga Gha
क ख ग घ
Ignore ङ् for now.

In Tamil, we don’t have Kha and Gha.
And Ka and Ga have same letter க
So we just need to know one க for 4 alphabets!

க is easiest to remember, especially for Devanagari and Bangla people. Almost similar to क or ক. Visualize a straight line coming down and then looping up to CUT itself and then coming back. All this travel to CUT itself. Hence க is Ka (Pronunciation of CU in CUT)


Next alphabet is ங which is same as ङ in Devanagari. Most people don’t understand it, even among Hindi speakers. They just memorize it but few know how to use it. The real use is simple.

In Sanskrit, the sound N (na) takes form depending on what comes immediately after it. If any of
क ख ग घ comes then it is ङ
च छ ज झ then ञ
ट ठ ड ढ then ण
त थ द ध then न
प फ ब भ then म
Concept is to pronounce Na in a way that least movement of tongue is needed.

Hence the form of Na that is closest is given a separate alphabet.
For Ka group it is ங in #Tamil or ङ in Devanagari.
See, 3 lines and a Fat Nose (NaaK in Hindi) between two lines. Remove vowels and pronounce NK together. The kind of N you pronounce is ங.

Next is च छ ज झ Cha Chha Ja Jha
Tamil does not have Chha and Jha. And Cha and Ja are represented by same letter. Even Sa is included because Cha and Sa zones are close in palate. (Even in Asamiya I think it is same).
The alphabet is ச which is க without tail.

The N sound for this is ஞ (Nja). Clearly you see a Nose on Left and a partial Circle around it. Circle starts with Sa. Circle is Geometric shape. Geomtery starts with Ja. Hence Sa, Ja, Cha have N sound of ஞ.

Next is easy. ट ठ ड ढ Tamil doesn’t have Dha and Tha Ta and Da given by ட Looks like a broken T fallen on ground. Hence T (Tree), D (Doll) given by ட

he Na of ட series is given by ண.
It is a spriNg attached to T. In Bangla, Devanagari also Na is given by न ন . The Na is elongated with more loops in Tamil and hence it becomes a deeper Na like in Danda, Bhandaar unlike in Bandar.
Congrats. You now know 50% #Tamil alphabets!

Now come त थ द ध न . (English cant differentiate त from ट). In #Tamil, there is no थ, ध. And for त, द same alphabet is used – த. That is why you will see #Tamil people using Th for T. This is to differentiate from T of Total.

த is easy to remember. Notice that this is alphabet க (Ka) stretched further like a tail. K is for KutTa (Dog). So த is Ta that completes the Kutta with its tail. Ta = Ku extending its tail to Ta for Kutta.
When you see க wagging its tail, you know it is த

ந has two parallel lines that show Nose. And curve is water flowing down the Nose. Hence ந is fully (dys)functional Nose or Na.

For प फ ब भ म Pa Pha Ba Bha Ma, again in #Tamil Pha and Bha dont’ exist. And same alphabet is used for Pa and Ba – ப. This is just an open Packet or a Palang (Bed). Hence ப is P or B.

Ma is given by ம. You clearly see Me sleeping on My bed (ப) with my Maatha on side. Hence ம is Ma.

Next is Ya given by ய. You clearly see the letter starts with U. Hence ய is pronunciation of U or Ya.

Ra is given by ர . You can see two Rail lines. Hence Ra is ர

La is ல. This is like the musical notation. And in music, you sing La La La La.

Va is வ. It is La La (Music) ல suddenly stopped. Hence Music becomes tragic Love. La was already there. So the stop becomes V or வ.

Next is the most complex alphabet unique to #Tamil. It is ழ. See that it starts with ட(Ta) followed by ம (Ma) and then a waving tongue below it. This waving tongue gives it same pronunciation that is used to pronounce Ta + Mi + L or Tamil! Hence ழ is the L of Tami!

This L of Tamil is different from normal L of Love. You almost completely turn your tongue to make full circle before touching palate. Learn the pronunciation from a native speaker. But just by looking at ழ you know it is L of Tamil.

Next is another La, unique to Tamil and Vedic Sanskrit and Marathi. It is ळ or ள. Just see an elephant sideways. Two parallel lines are legs. And trunk is on Left. Hence it is L.

Next is another Ra pronounced as ற. I don’t know its exact pronunciation as different people suggest different things. But You see an उ turned 90 degree. उ is for Om when we are straight. But when we are forced to bent our fingers, Uri happens. Hence ற is Ra in Tamil!

We complete the Dravidian Tamil with this. There are now some controversial symbols that I will discuss next. Controversial because atheist Dravidians dislike their presence in Tamil because they come from Sanskrit texts. Hence not liked by them.

Tamil has 5 alphabets that are allegedly Sanskrit though I doubt these claims. Let us learn these. They look complex but are easy to remember:
ஜ ஷ ஸ ஹ க்ஷ ஸ்ரீ

ஜ is for Ja. Notice how similar it is to Ai(eYe) or ஐ. Now Ya of Sanskrit often becomes Ja in local lingo. Yogi becomes Jogi. In Bangla, all Ya were pronounced Ja till recently. Hence, ஐ (eYe) when modified becomes Ja or ஜ.

ஷ is for Sha. The symbol itself looks like a Sheep with horns on right, and body on left.

ஸ is for Sa. You see an inverted s (Ƨ) lying down. Hence the pronunciation Sa. I also see Soond (Trunk) of elephant in the symbol.

ஹ is for Ha. I see an O on left and then an M to make it OM. Since Tamil culture are so friendly, they make you feel at Home by drawing a long line to Help you. Hence this means H.

க்ஷ = க(Ka ) + ஷ (Sha ) = Ksha क्ष . Easily visible in symbol itself.

Finally, grand symbol : ஸ்ரீ
Notice Tilak on top of symbol on left. You give Tilak to somone you respect. And call him Shree श्री। This symbol means Shree!!

So all consonants over. Next we will study consonant + vowel combos. And thats all. We can read oldest spoken language!

Yes, some of my memory tips may look crazy and illogical. But our goal is to learn the symbols in whatever way. Not give exam in logical reasoning! Just practice these symbols for a while. Revise for few days and soon you will remember without my stupid means!

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