Long thread: Connections between #Tamil and #Portuguese
When we land in a new country, we generally ask how they say ‘Thank you’ or ‘good morning’ in their language. When we landed in Lisbon, we asked the cab driver: “How do you call a window in Portuguese?” He said, “Janela”.
The emergency windows in Portugal read as ‘Janela de Emergencia’. We continued, “How do you call table in Portuguese?” He said, “Mejai”. We didn’t stop. “How do you call a ‘key’?” “Shavi”, he helped us in the pronunciation. #tamil #Portuguese
Many roof top restaurants in Lisbon are named as “Varanda de Lisboa” (Balcony of Lisbon). Many of us who speak Tamil might have thought Jannal, Mejai, Varanda and Chavi are Tamil words or Sanskrit loan words. They are not. #தமிழ் #tamil_portuguese
These words have travelled several thousand miles - from Tagus river to Indian Ocean - to enter into Tamil vocabulary. The etymology does not stop there. #tamil #etymology #Portugal
In Tamilnadu there are many places named with a suffix ‘pettai’ (பேட்டை). Saidapettai, Crompettai, Ulundurpettai - the list of places may be more than a hundred. Porto is the second largest city after Lisbon in Portugal. Porto means port in Portuguese. #porto #பேட்டை
When the Portuguese established their first port in Tamilnadu near Chennai they named it Porto Novo (‘new port’). That’s the place later Tamilized as Parangi Pettai (பரங்கிப்பேட்டை). #பரங்கிப்பேட்டை #tamil
Parangi originates from crusade period Arabic term, ‘Firangi’ - adopted by Hindi as well - and ‘Petta’ from Portuguese. Many places around the port city Chennai and later the northern part of Tamilnadu got Portuguese Porto attached to them, i.e., Pettai. #chennai #port
Let us now try finding why Chennai was named as Madras once. It is quite possible to think that it is connected to some Madrasa. There had been a Portuguese church of ‘Madre de Deus’ (mother of god). Simply, Madras. #chennai #whymadras #madras
The church does not exist now, but the name existed until we changed it to Chennai in 1990s. Interestingly there had also been a Portuguese cargo ship with the same name (Madre de Deus) commissioned for use in the East Asian seas at the same time Madras was born.#madras #Chennai
The fate of the ship is not known. The model of the ship is exhibited in one of the museums in #Lisbon.
The #Portuguese were the first Europeans to set their base in India in the 15th century. They set business places in India even before the Moghuls set their empire.
Portuguese gave Mumbai as a dowry to a British king - a what?! Portuguese was a connection language between Tamils and Europeans for more than 200 years before English replaced it #portuguese_tamil #tamil #History
The history books generally and unfortunately restrict #Portuguese to Goa, Diu and Daman after the Kerala episode of Vasco da Gama. There is a museum in #Lisbon on oriental collections. It is astonishing that everything in Portuguese history is well documented.
The etymology does not stop there. Alamari (அலமாரி), Pena (பேனா), Beeppai (பீப்பாய்), Peengan (பீங்கான்), Koppai (கோப்பை).many such household items have lost their original #Tamil names and replaced with these #Portuguese words. #History
I wonder why Tamil has Portuguese influence mostly in the names of the household items. We find chicken vindaloo (சிக்கன் விண்டலு) in many restaurants. It is a Portuguese dish (vinha d'alhos). #tobecontiued #tamil_portuguese #ididntwritethis
They were the ones who introduced guava fruit (கொய்யாப்பழம் - goiaba in Portuguese), sweet potato and pineapple to Indians. Ananas is Ananas in every European Language and Hindi and Tamil (அன்னாசிப்பழம்) thanks to Portuguese. #portuguese_tamil #languageconnections #roots

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More from @RamyaMervin

16 Jul
Long thread: Tamil and Germany connections/ தமிழ்-ஜெர்மனி
தமிழ் நாட்டுக்கும், ஜெர்மனிக்கும் உள்ள தொடர்பு ஒரு மறக்கப்பட்ட வரலாறு. 1700-களிலிருந்து 1800-கள் வரை எறக்குறைய ஒரு நூற்றைம்பது ஆண்டுகள் வரலாறு.
#tamil #tamilgermany
இங்கே ப்ரொட்டஸ்டன்ட் கிறிஸ்தவத்தைப் போதிக்க வந்தவர்கள், தமிழால் ஈர்க்கப்பட்டு வந்த வேலையை மறந்துவிட்டு, ஏகப்பட்ட தமிழ் நூல்களை ஜெர்மனியில் மொழி பெயர்த்து பதிப்பித்தார்கள். இப்போது அவற்றை தமிழர்களும் மறந்துவிட்டார்கள், ஜெர்மானியர்களும் மறந்துவிட்டார்கள். நிற்க.
‘மண்ணாங்கட்டி’ என்று அறிவில்லாதவனை, அறிவில்லாதவற்றை குறிக்க தமிழில் உபயோகிக்கும் வார்த்தை. எந்த சங்க இலக்கியத்தில் தேடினாலும் மண்ணாங்கட்டி என்ற வார்த்தை கிடைக்காது. #மண்ணாங்கட்டி #tamilgermany
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