Chennai

Words that speak of an enduring link between Tamil and Korean

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Interesting facts came to light at the day-long International Conference on Cultural Exchange between India and Korea in Antiquity.

In the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Tamil words resonate in homes. And many of the native speakers do not realise they are using Tamil words. For, these words are a part of the Korean language.

Amma and appa — denoting mother and father in the Korean language too — are among the first words Korean children learn. These are among the thousands of Tamil words that are part of the Korean language.

This surprising and interesting fact came to light at the day-long International Conference on Cultural Exchange between India and Korea in Antiquity, jointly organised by the Consulate General of Korea and the International Institute of Tamil Studies here on Friday.

Jung Nam Kim, president, Korean Society of Tamil Studies, said there were words found both in Korean and Tamil and in both these languages, they meant the same thing and were pronounced the same way.

Other Tamil words found in Korean with the same meanings are: naal (day), uraam (manure), pull (grass), pudhu (new), sourru (rice) and yerru (plough).

There are more – vanakkam in Tamil is Vankkaamtta in Korean. Bambu denoting a snake, in Tamil, is Bambu-baem in Korean. Santhosham (happiness) in Tamil is Shantutham in Korean.

Recently, the State government started translation of Tirukurral into Korean. “We have a shared heritage. The tomb of Queen Suriratna, an Indian princess, in Gimhae in Korea is a symbol of our shared heritage. In fact, Chennai has the largest Korean population — 4,000 — in India,” Kyungsoo Kim, Consul General of Republic of Korea, said. Rathina Pugalenthi, a scholar from Viruthachalam near Cuddolore district, said that dance forms such as Korean drum dance and Thappaattam in Tamil Nadu had at least 12 similarities in terms of movements, and composition of eight members in a group, including two drummers.

P. Banumathi, assistant professor, Department of Tamil in Valliammal College for Women, spoke about how the traditional weaving technology of the State was meritoriously followed in the interior parts of Korea even now.

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Printable version | Nov 15, 2018 10:33:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/words-that-speak-of-an-enduring-link-between-tamil-and-korean/article7853212.ece

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