“Tamil Semozhi Maanadu”- Heard of it? Well if you haven’t let me enlighten you. It was a grand conference which was organised in Tamil Nadu to celebrate the “Classic” status given to Tamil language. So what does this have to do with our K-Obsession? Well…I am coming to that!!
One of the speakers in that conference was a Korean, Jung Nam Kim. What was a Korean doing in a Tamil Conference?
Curious?Time for a small story…
Some seven or eight years back Jung Nam Kim was travelling in a train in Toronto, Canada. Suddenly he heard someone calling out “Amma”. He scanned through the crowd for a Korean. Not one in sight. Then he thought, “Maybe, I heard wrong!”. “Amma” the child before him called out again (Definitely not mistaken!). The woman near the child is definitely his mother and they are definitely not Korean. He got curious and started a conversation. He found that they were from Tamil Nadu and as he analysed the conversations within themselves, he cannot help but notice how similar the dialect was to Korean. He decided to dig deeper. He went to a book store and bought two standard dictionaries-one Tamil-English and another English-Tamil. He has found like 500 words in Tamil having same pronunciation and meaning in Korean. Cool stuff right?
So that’s it! He did a research and presented his paper “Similarities between Tamil and Korean languages” in “Tamil Classical Conference”.
Check out this interview of Jung Nam Kim!! He speaks Tamil in a funny yet cute way! (Source:http://www.youtube.com/user/TheTamilLanguage) Thank you TheTamilLanguage team!! 🙂
Not “The End”….I have few more to say!! I did my own research and found that Mr Jung was not the first person to note the similarities. Time for some spark in the history wires in our head!
Very long ago some parts of Tamil Nadu were French colonies. French missionaries used to visit these colonies often. These missionaries happened to go to Korea and they were the earliest to notice the similarities. But they just noticed it and moved on. Maybe it was a tea table topic for a few days but they did no research or anything close.
Time rolled by and the first ever official theory was put forward by a Japanese linguist Ohno but he did not provide reasonable evidence. A few years later Morgan E. Clippinger gave his eviedence for the theory in the paper “Korean and Dravidian: lexical evidence for an old theory”. I tried to learn and understand the kind of evidence he has presented. But man it was way too complex.
I used to notice these similarities now and then but thought they were just a coincidence…Silly me!! 😀