Thanglish or Tanglish = Thamilzh or Tamil + English (This was our gibberish)

Most of the Tamil speaking youngsters use this recently found language to communicate amongst themselves. Thanglish is a marcaronic language of Tamil (Thamizh) and English. When I grew up in South Africa, I spoke Thanglish with my cousins, siblings, some friends and even parents. My parents understood every single word I uttered. It was easy to catch on. At one stage in Tamil Nadu, the parents and grandparents will reply to their kids and grandkids in Thanglish. If you had one of those cool parents then you were lucky šŸ˜‰

It’s very simple to learn Thanglish. Just know a few Tamil words and add “fying’ (a type of gerund) at the end of the word to make it English. To make English words into Tamil add ‘u’ at the end of the word. Oh Greatu! She is Dosa suttufying againu! Oh my Kadavule – Oh great! She is making dosa again! Oh my God.

I would actually say that the media introduced this lingo to us youngsters. Thanglish was (and or is being) used in the movies and advertisements. It became theĀ culture and an un-announced official language in Tamilnadu. People in Tamil Nadu forgotĀ to speakĀ pure Tamil even in rural and interior Villages (Thanks to TamilĀ Satellite TV Channels).

Koundamani: Nee looking like African Kurango. Nee kannadi le un face partu kiya?
Sentil: Dodaa, glasses portorney, periya English Kaaran ne nenapuĀ 

A very good example of Thanglish is the famous ‘Why this kolaveri di’ song form the Tamil movie 3. Here is a version of what teenage kids think about this song.

To view the original ‘Why this kolaveri di’ video, click on my blog link below:


The Tanglish lyrics of the film song “Why this kolaveri di”, which went viral on Internet social networking sites in November 2011, have been identified as a factor in the song’s popularity.

Some entrepreneurs try their hand on Thanglish and end up messing up the definition and grammar.It usually ends up being a mockery and gives a comical section strip to the news paper.

Tanglish speakers have created a new era but at the same time killed both the languages. I see blood drooling out ofĀ Shakespeare’sĀ and Thiruvalluvar’s eyes. Ā As seen in the above advert Madha Die Maker – Was supposed to read Madha Dye Maker.

Tanglish is increasingly used in advertising aimed at consumers in Tamil-speaking regions, particularly for promotion of international products.For example, PepsiĀ has mixed English with Tamil in its slogan “ullam kekkuthae more” – The heart is listening more, if you drink Pepsi.

When you have a household that speaks a mixed tongue, where words that are neither here nor there make up more than 30% of the vocabulary, life gets to be interesting.

The English speaking folks can only understand part of the conversation. The only people who understand the kids and the parents in conversations are other kids raised in an English speaking country.

Here are some examples of Thanglish spoken worldwide:

“Appa, can you come pal thEch me?” = Daddy, can you come teeth brush me?

“Appa, the meen is kutty pOtting!” = Daddy, the fish is baby dropping!

Nakking (licking), kudiching (drinking), thodaching (wiping dry), etc. are one set of variants where the verb starts of in Tamil but ends up as some kind of gerund with the “ing” ending.

Then there are the variations like “doneaa?” which gets a response “donnu!” where the english word gets the Tamil ending added to it to convey question vs. answer, active or passive voice, or tense!

doneaa = are you done ?
Donnu = yes I am!

This is how a tamizh concept gets portrayeded over to Thanglish.

There is one more variant.

“Daddy, can you kadichy saap my tummy?” which kind of translates to :
“Daddy, can you bite eat my tummy?” which is their way of saying
“Daddy, can you blow raspberries on my tummy?”

Note that Kadichy is close to Kadichu (or bitten), but saap is shortened for Saaptu (eaten). Now when two action words are chained back to back, the second one gets chopped. An English concept now gets carried over to Tamlish!

Sometimes, we are misunderstood, but mostly we get the best of both worlds!

Enjaay da lifefu! Butu don’t twistu the tougue gu, I Say! šŸ™‚



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