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Colloquial Tamil: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 16 May 2002

2.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 16 May 2002
£63.38 £34.52

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Colloquial Tamil: The Complete Course for Beginners
£21.99
This title will be released on October 1, 2017.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (16 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415187885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415187886
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 940,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'Surpasses many of the previous publications not only in terms of the composition of the text but also in the systematic presentation of the text on two tapes and on two CDs.' - Archiv Orientálni. Quarterly Journal of African and Asian Studies, vol. 72

Customer Reviews

2.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Colloquial Tamil gives the learner a good introduction to spoken Tamil and exposes you to very natural, conversational usage. It is a must to get the book and the audio, otherwise you will not get a good feel for it.
The Routledge Colloquial series is not to everyone's liking. The emphasis being on practical conversational language as opposed to a comprehensive grammar coverage like the Hodder and Stoughton "Teach Yourself" series. However, there is no Teach Yourself Tamil course. I have come across a number of Tamil courses all of which are truly abysmal. Routledge's Colloquial Tamil is better than all of these by an infinite amount. It is the only Tamil course on the market worth getting, so while it may not give you as structured a coverage as Teach Yourself, there really is no other choice.
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WARNING - I got the impression from the above description tha tthis book comes along with the 2 CD's with which it should be used. It doesn't, and I needed to order these direct from Taylor & Francis.
Having satisfactorily studied languages before using "beginner's guide" style books I was very disappointed with the structure of this book. It is in no way conducive to learning for a beginner and little thought appears to have gone into its presentation. Some of the exercises require you to use vocabulary and/or grammar that is not explained until later in the book. The introduction of this vocabulary and grammar is piecemeal, with no apparent logic to it. Also, the CD's don't tie in perfectly with the book exercises.
On the plus side, it is a hundred times better than other 'learn Tamil' books I have seen.
It's probably okay for learning tamil if you havea class to go to, or are living in a Tamil-speaking area, but not for home study. Time for a rethink on structure and content from T&F methinks!
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Format: Paperback
before you read on with this review, i think its essential that you know that i am actually a 22-year-old sri-lankan from a tamil-speaking background! so unlike most people considering this book, i actually have a fair knowledge of the language!
strangely enough, i never managed to pick up the language as a child, and spent most of my teens trying to learn it (admitedly half-heartedly!). i had absolutely no luck in finding a teach-yourself book anywhere! this book was therefore a wonderful suprise, and now, being 3 chapters into the book, am finding it a joy.
obviously, having a lifetime's "knowledge" of Tamil, as it were, i can only offer a biased perspective on this book. but for anyone like me who, despite having grown up surrounded by the language, has not yet picked it up, this will probably be your saviour. it gave me the confidence, through knowledge of grammatical rules etc, to string together the odd words i already knew into sentences, while also teaching me useful phrases through the selection of colloquial dialogues.
all in all, probably not perfect for the beginner, (but then its its the only Teach-yourself-Tamil course/book i've ever come across!). but for someone with knowledge of the language already- ie young tamil adults who cant quite speak it but would like to learn, its perfect!
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I'd reiterate what previous reviews say; this is a poorly-written book full of badly devised exercises, missing information, difficult to grasp explanations, and is generally well below the standard of any other 'teach yourself' language book for any European language. Furthermore, the accompanying CD is at extra cost ([...]) and it too contains recordings which are what seem like gabbled, far too fast versions of the dialogue, so that even after multiples hearings, it's still hard to work out what they're saying, even with the text in front of you! Definitely not appropriate for 'beginners'!

BUT...
You will learn some Tamil from it at least and it outshines other Tamil courses available by far, particularly some of those available in India! For anyone who's merely interested in learning a bit of Tamil with no previous knowledge, like me, I'd highly recommend exploring the following website, which has very basic introductory sentences in Unit 1 and a lot of interesting cultural info in the 'New' section at the top:
[...]
And if that whets your appetite, then prepare yourself for this book, but don't expect too much!
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