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Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Tamil Goof Ups Could Fill a Book

1. Setting- Skit with the theme of Yamlok. Chitragupta begins every sentence with "Arasu"
After trying hard to follow what is going on, yours truly asks her colleague, why is he using Rice before every sentence?
Arasu means king, Arasi means rice.

2. Setting- The fish seller comes to the door step and asks if we want Yera. MIL says no and she walks off. I get excited and call her back saying I want to eat Yera.
Me- Why is yera looking like prawn.
MIL- Because this is prawn.
Me- But I want that fish you made last week
MIL- That was Sura
Me- I wanted Sura not Yera
The scene ends with very dirty looks from the fish seller.

3. Setting- This was when I was in college and my Tamil vocablary was limited to a few words like po, ille, aiyo.
I was in my then-not-my-hubby's house and there was a small girl doing all sorts of naughtiness, not eating food etc. Every sentence people spoke to her was like- eat, else, Pune, come ...Pune. I constructed the whole conversation as she must eat this type of food because in Pune she will not get it, or before going to Pune she must visit again, etc.
Then just to do some small talk I asked- when are they going to Pune?
It took a while for then-not-my-hubby to explain that they were talking about the stray poone (cat) that had found it's way into the house.

4. Hubby asked his Mom- What is for dinner
MIL- Soar
Me- Wow, soar is there
Hubby- Why are you so excited?
Me- Mutton you meant right?
I don't know by what logic I had derived that soar means Mutton while it actually means Rice

5. This was in college. A group of boys were trying their hand at hindi "bad words" to try on 2 of us hindi-speaking girls. Then-not-my-hubby was among the lot who were using them.
To take revenge I asked one of the boys who was apparently supporting us to teach me some Tamil swear words.
He asked me to tell Na Orru Paithyam and explained to me it meant You are mad.
I repeated with a whole lot of forceful vengeance thrown in my expression.
The class burst into laughter and I realized that Na means I & Nee means You.

6. MIL- I don't have a sari here, need to get it from my apartment (in Tamil)
Me- Naa Vaangita Vera(my rendering in Tamil, which according to me means I will get it from your house)
MIL- No need to buy, I have at home.
I repeated what I had said earlier.
MIL- You mean Erthite va (you wll bring it)

Believe me, there are many more such goof ups in everyday conversations...


Shobana said...

Very funny! But appreciate the effort you are putting into learning the language.

Premalatha said...


For setting 1, Arasi means queen. Arusi, sometimes pronounced Arisi, means rice. :-)

My Hindi goof ups could fill few books. :-)

The Inquisitive Akka said...

Hey at least you are making an attempt, that's admirable!
My bro doesn't even let me speak in Hindi, he says its too embarassing to be seen in public with me when I'm trying to speak Hindi!

~nm said...

Hahaha...that sure was such a funny compilation!!

But I'm impressed at your Tamil vocabulary. I somehow always feel learning any south Indian dialect is one hell of a task!!

Just Like That said...

hahahaha very funny.. :-D

Sam said...

lolzzz.... u really having a nce time with the language!! :D

Anusha said...


AA_Mom said...

Forget the goof ups(-nah! more like teething troubles). It is pretty admirable that you are able to speak those words.

Considering that none of the sounds in Hindi match with those is Tamil it is awesome!.

Opal Scraps said...

LOL. that was funny.

Anonymous said...

Please make this a regular feature of your blog...almost like a goof up a week. :)
My mum instead of saying paal Kodikatam (let the milk boil)...she used to say paal Gudikatam (let the milk jump). :)

Timepass said...

Good One.. I appreciate ur effort to learn a new language.

Preethi said...

lol.. still its very commendable that you are trying to learn a new lang.. and that too one like Tamil!! Btw, the last one is something I would have done too :P

aMus said...

that was funny..but kudos to u for trying...and i think u r doing pretty well...:D

nalla attempt...:)

Lavs said...

Each one is a gem!! Ha ha ha

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