Tamil Alphabet

தமிழ் எழுத்துக்கள்

Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken by over 74 million people worldwide. It is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry (Pondicherry). It is also an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore and has significant numbers of speakers in Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji, and South Africa.

Structure of Tamil Alphabet

Tamil Alphabet

The Tamil alphabet is one of the oldest and most well-preserved writing systems in the world. It is composed of 12 vowels and 18 consonants, each with its own distinct sound and character. The letters are arranged in a specific order, with vowels coming first, followed by consonants. Each letter also has its own unique name, which is used to help children learn the alphabet. Today, the Tamil alphabet is used primarily to write the Tamil language, but it has also been used for other Dravidian languages in the past.

Tamil Vowels

Tamil Vowels

Uyireluttu (உயிரெழுத்து)

Tamil VowelPronunciationTyping Guidance (Google Input)
Like ‘a’ in “car”Type ‘a’
Like ‘aa’ in “car”Type ‘aa’
Like ‘i’ in “bit”Type ‘i’
ஈ Like ‘ee’ in “bee”Type ‘ii’
Like ‘u’ in “put”Type ‘u’
Like ‘oo’ in “pool”Type ‘uu’
Like ‘e’ in “bed”Type ‘ae’
Like ‘ay’ in “say”Type ‘aee’
Similar to ‘i’ in “site”Type ‘ai’
Similar to ‘o’ in “pot”Type ‘o’
Similar to ‘oo’ in “cool”Type ‘oo’
Similar to ‘ow’ in “cow”Type ‘auw’

Aayta Eluttu (ஆய்த எழுத்து)

ஃ (ak)Pronounced as ‘ak’Type ‘ak’

Tamil Consonants

Tamil Consonants
Tamil ConsonantsEnglish PronunciationTypes of Consonants
க (ka)Like ‘k’ in “kite”Vallinam
ங (gna)Like ‘ng’ in “sing”Vallinam
ச (cha)Like ‘ch’ in “chat”Mellinam
ஞ (gna)Like ‘ng’ in “sing”Mellinam
ட (ta)Like ‘t’ in “tap”Idayinam
ண (na)Like ‘n’ in “net”Idayinam
த (tha)Like ‘th’ in “think”Idayinam
ந (na)Like ‘n’ in “net”Idayinam
ப (pa)Like ‘p’ in “pen”Vallinam
ம (ma)Like ‘m’ in “map”Vallinam
ய (ya)Like ‘y’ in “yes”Mellinam
ர (ra)Like ‘r’ in “red”Mellinam
ல (la)Like ‘l’ in “lake”Idayinam
வ (va)Like ‘v’ in “van”Idayinam
ழ (zha)Represents a unique sound, not present in EnglishMellinam
ள (la)Like ‘l’ in “lime”Mellinam
ற (ra)Represents a unique sound, not present in EnglishIdayinam
ன (na)Like ‘n’ in “song”Idayinam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Tamil alphabet called?

The Tamil alphabet is called Grantha.

How many Tamil alphabets are there?

There are 30 Tamil alphabets, including 12 vowels and 18 consonants.

Why Tamil has 247 letters?

The Tamil script has 30 basic letters, but when you combine consonants and vowels, there are 247 possible syllables. This is because the Tamil script is a syllabic script, which means that each syllable is represented by a single letter or combination of letters.

Is Tamil an older language than Sanskrit?

Tamil is not older than Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a classical language that originated in India around 1500 BC. Tamil is a Dravidian language that originated in India around 3000 BC. However, Tamil is one of the oldest surviving Dravidian languages.

Is it difficult to learn Tamil?

The difficulty of learning Tamil depends on your native language. If you are already familiar with a Dravidian language, such as Malayalam or Kannada, then it will be easier to learn Tamil. However, if you are not familiar with any Dravidian languages, then it will be more difficult to learn Tamil.

Learn More: Tamil Numbers

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