Some fundamental Tamil phrases are more valuable than others.
Why not concentrate on mastering these words first? We chose to write this post for you specifically for that reason.
The essential Tamil phrases covered in this post will help you communicate better if you’re just beginning to learn Tamil or are already fluent.
If you’re soon traveling to a Tamil-speaking place, these will be especially useful to you.
Basic Tamil Words and Sentences That You Must Know
The following are the basic Tamil words and sentences that you must know:
1. Vaṇakkam nāṉ…….
Hi! I am [your name].
This is a basic greeting when you meet someone new to introduce yourself.
2. Nīṅkaḷ eppaṭi irukkiṟīrkaḷ?
How are you?
When you run into friends, family, or anyone you want to start a discussion with, you usually do it this way.
3. Nāṉ nalamāka uḷḷēṉ, nīṅkaḷ?
I’m good, you?
You can use this phrase to tell them that you are fine and ask about them in return.
4. Uṅkaḷai cantittatil makiḻcci.
Nice to meet you.
This phrase can be used to tell someone how nice you feel about meeting someone.
5. Eṉṉai maṉṉikkavum
If you are looking to apologize, you can say ‘I’m sorry’.
6. Uṅkaḷ tolaipēci eṇ eṉṉa?
What is your phone number?
If you want to have someone’s phone number, you can use the above phrase.
7. Nīṅkaḷ eṅkiruntu varukiṟīrkaḷ?
Where are you from?
You can use this phrase to know where a person is.
8. Nī eṉṉa ceykiṟāy?
What do you do?
You can use this phrase to find out someone’s profession.
9. Eṉakku puriyavillai.
I do not understand.
You can use this phrase if you do not understand something.
10. Nīṅkaḷ eṉṉa niṉaikkaṟīrkaḷ?
What do you think?
If you want to know someone’s opinion, you can use this phrase.
11. Koñcam metuvāka pēca muṭiyumā?
Could you speak a little slower?
If you want someone to speak slowly, you can use this phrase.
12. Nīṅkaḷ atai mīṇṭum ceyya muṭiyumā?
Could you repeat that?
If you didn’t understand something that someone said, and you want him or her to repeat something. You can use the above phrase.
13. Viraivil cantippōm
See you soon
To tell someone you’ll meet or see someone soon, you can use the above phrase.
14. Nāṉ eṅkē kāṇalām…….?
Where can I find …….?
For instance, if you are looking for a place, a hotel, a restaurant, or anything else, you can use this phrase.
For example: Where can I find a medical store/ tea shop/ general store?
15. Uṉ peyar eṉṉa?
What’s your name?
You can use this phrase to know someone’s name.
16. Nīṅkaḷ eṉakku utava muṭiyumā?
If you need/ want to help someone, you can use this phrase.
17. Itaṟku/ataṟku evvaḷavu celavākum?
How much does this/that cost?
To know the cost of something, use this phrase.
18. Eṉakku tamiḻ teriyātu.
I don’t know Tamil.
If you want to tell someone you are not good at Tamil, use this phrase. This will be helpful if you have just started learning Tamil and are still not comfortable communicating fluently.
19. Eṉakku pacikkiṟatu.
I am hungry.
If you are hungry and you want to tell someone, use this phrase.
20. Eṉakku tākamāka uḷḷatu.
Use this phrase to tell someone you are thirsty.
21. Nāṉ tolaintuviṭṭēṉ
22. Maṇi eṉṉa?
What time is it?
Basic Tamil words that you should know:
- Come – Vāruṅkaḷ
- Go – Pō
- Take – Eṭuttukkoḷ
- Today – Iṉṟu
- Day – Nāḷ
- Night – Iravu
- Sleep – Tūṅku
- Food – Uṇavu
- To drink – Kuṭikka
- Slow – Metuvāka
- Enough – Pōtum
- Grandmother – Pāṭṭi
- Mother’s sister – Citti
- Uncle – Māmā
- Aunt – Attai
- Elder sister – Mūtta cakōtari
- Younger sister – Iḷaiya cakōtari
- Elder brother – Mūtta aṇṇaṉ
- Younger brother – Iḷaiya cakōtarar
- Hi! – Vaṇakkam
- Good morning! – Kālai vaṇakkam
- Good afternoon! – Matiya vaṇakkam
- Good evening! – Mālai vaṇakkam
- Good night! – Iṉiya iravu
- Good bye! – Piriyāviṭai
- Mother – Amma
- Father – Appā
- Grandfather – Tāttā
We hope these foundational words and phrases will improve your ability to speak Tamil confidently.
The first few times won’t be simple, so practice is the only and best option.
And always remember to prioritize the most important terms first rather than attempting to memorize all the phrases we shared with you today.