Archive for August, 2012

Customized meanings of borrowed words in Tamil

August 5, 2012

Under the influence of English all regional languages of India have undergone a lot of change ( for the worse in my personal opinion ) and many English words have become part of the regional languages. Tamil is no exception. What is quite interesting is that some of these borrowed works take slightly different and sometimes completely connectionless meanings compared to English. I have listed ten that came to my mind.

Assault – This word doesn’t mean an attack .The usage is “with ease” or “careless“.
This needs an example.
Internal evaluationnu “assaulta” irundudaatha. The professor loves failing people.

Duplicate – In English “duplicate” means something exactly alike the original. For instance you might have come across an instruction like this “the form must be ¬†filled in duplicate and submitted” meaning one needs to fill ¬†the same details twice over. But in Tamil it means “fake“.

Cinema – This word actually means a “movie hall”. But the usage in colloquial Tamil is “movie” itself.

Jacket – This is restricted to the thing worn by women on the upper body while wearing sari.

Mansion – This is not a bungalow, but a hostel-like place with a lot of rooms each shared by many people.

Rail – It’s not the track that a train runs on, but the train itself.

Teacher – Strictly female.

Tuition – Not the act of “teaching”, the usage in Tamil is restricted to special classes one takes outside school.

Trousers – The usage is restricted to shorts.

Xerox – Photocopy