Tamil is one of the oldest living languages in the world, about 5,000 years of history is behind the script and the spoken language. Tamil is a very beautiful language, full of poetry (Thirrukkal) and meaning. Knowing how a Tamilian speaks, you can learn a lot about their culture. I lived in Chennai for two years and tried to learn Tamil. It is a very difficult language in the written sense. The written is classical, like Latin is to English. No one speaks as they write. Even some can not fully comprehend the SUN TV news as it is written in semi-classical Tamil. Written Tamil is not only different grammatically but phonetically. What you write is not what you speak! Letters are dropped out or sounds changed. English is easily sprinkled into Tamil. Hence, book Tamil is not practical on the streets of Chennai. Though Tamil is popular to Tamil Nadu, in India, Tamil is also spoken in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, where many Tamils have relocated over the centuries. Of course, now a days, many Tamils are also in the Western world, but the Asian countries mentioned above are the roots of Tamil. The other speciality about Tamil is the "Zh" sound which is pronounced somewhere between a flat r and the L where the tongue almost touches the top of the mouth.

Due to my love for Indian and Tamil culture, I have created this web site which is dedicated to Tamil Studies and Tamil Sangams in United States and abroad!
Author and Photographer: Jennifer Kumar


Programs In American Universities

University of California at Berkeley.  South Asian Studies at UC Berkeley
Other language programs offered: Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi, Sanskrit.

University of Chicago.
Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
Other language programs offered: Bengali, Hindi, Pali, Sanskrit, and Urdu.

University of Pennsylvania
South Asia Regional Studies.
This is one of the most informative South Asian Deparment Sites I have found, offering many Indian languages.
Other languages offered: Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Pali, Panjabi, Sanskrit, and Urdu.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies.
Offers beginning, elemenatry, and intermediate Tamil.
Other languages offered: Hindi/Urdu, Panjabi, and Sanskrit.

Tamil Studies, Internationally

I have found these pages in English. The native languages should also be available.

United Kingdom
Department of the Languages & Cultures of South Asia
Other Languages offered: Bengali, Gujarathi, Hindi, Punjabi, Sanskrit

I know there are other international resources, but the links I had have expired. If you have anything to add here, contact me (email links below).


Tamil Studies in India

Kolkata University of Calcutta --- Degrees: M.A., Ph.D. and diploma programs

Madras. International Institute for Tamil Studies(ulakath thamizhArAycci niRuvaNam)

Madras Institute of Asian Studies --- Tamil Page --- Highly reputed place to study Tamil culture.
Other cultures studied: Japanese, Kannada, and Telugu.

MOZHI TRUST A Research Center for Resource Development in Language and Culture

Various Locations
Studyabroad.com India Portal -- check here for all India related programs


Tamil Language Resources on the Internet

Learn Tamil Through English - NEW April 2007.

Learn Tamil on the Internet. Web Assisted Learning and Teaching of Tamil (WALTT) This is a REALLY GREAT Site! You can learn to read Tamil by script and with sound files! Very easy to understand!

Tamil Language Resources

Tamil Language Resources from Worldlanguage.com (stuff to buy!) NEW!

Other Tamil Sources on the Internet

TAMIL WORLD  |  Tamil Related Links  |  Tamil Nadu Maps


Tamil TV/ Movies Online - New

Tamil Peek  |  Tech Sathish


Tamil Radio Online

Canadian Tamil Radio Great connection!


Tamil Alphabets - You Tube


Updated April 2007. This page was initiated in August 2001 on my tripod site.

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