Introduction III

The Tamil numerical system is written with the Tamil alphabet, this is not the only means by which numbers are conveyed. The Arabic numerals (1,2,3,4,5,6…) and Roman figures (I, II, III, IV…) are generally used; however, one may come across the use of Tamil numerals in older Tamil print. In modern Tamil, the numerals of the earlier forms of Tamil are no longer in use.

The Tamil numerals and their Arabic equivalencies are given here for an easier understanding:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 100 1000

This manual is an introduction to reading and writing the Tamil script and the manual employs the strategy of heightening pattern perception and contrastive observation. This manual is partially self-instructional, in the sense that the manual will enable one to read and write the Tamil script. The sound values of the Tamil letters are explained through a phonetic comparison with Roman script. In all cases, the points of articulation in the oral cavity and the manner of articulation are detailed.

This manual introduces the Tamil characters based on shape similarity. This makes learning the script more fluid and easier. While learning to write the script, the learner will also begin to acquire vocabulary. This will make the process of learning Tamil easier. In order to gain the maximum benefit from the manual, the learner is advised to practice writing the letters and the words until the characters become natural.