Korea-Tamil relation

Similarities between the Tamil and Korean were first noted by French missionaries in Korea. Susumu Ōno caused a stir in Japan with his theory that Tamil constituted a lexical strata of both Korean and Japanese, which was widely publicized in the 1980s but quickly abandoned. However Cliffinger’s method was professional and his data reliable; hence, Ki-Moon Lee, Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University, opines that his conclusion could not be ignored and that it should be revisited. According to Homer B. Hulbert, many of the names of ancient colonies of southern Korea were the exact counterpart of Dravidian words. The Karak Kingdom of King Suro was named after the proto-Dravidian meaning ‘fish’.

In the Republic of Korea (South Korea), Tamil words resonate in homes. And many of the native speakers do not realise they are using Tamil words. For, these words are a part of the Korean language.

Amma and appa — denoting mother and father in the Korean language too — are among the first words Korean children learn. These are among the thousands of Tamil words that are part of the Korean language.

This surprising and interesting fact came to light at the day-long International Conference on Cultural Exchange between India and Korea in Antiquity, jointly organised by the Consulate General of Korea and the International Institute of Tamil Studies here on Friday.

Jung Nam Kim, president, Korean Society of Tamil Studies, said there were words found both in Korean and Tamil and in both these languages, they meant the same thing and were pronounced the same way.

Other Tamil words found in Korean with the same meanings are: naal (day), uraam (manure), pullu (grass), pudhu (new), sourru (rice) and yerru (plough).

There are more – vanakkam in Tamil is Vankkaamtta in Korean. Bambu denoting a snake, in Tamil, is Bambu-baem in Korean. Santhosham (happiness) in Tamil is Shantutham in Korean.

P. Banumathi, assistant professor, Department of Tamil in Valliammal College for Women, spoke about how the traditional weaving technology of the State was meritoriously followed in the interior parts of Korea even now.

Gada(To go, 가다) and Nal(Day, 날) the same as Korean; Achocho≒Achacha(Embrassing sound, 아차차); Ssorh≒Ssal(Rice, 쌀); Pood≒put(Unripen, 풋); Ssandai≒Ssa-un-da(To fight each other, 싸운다); Manam≒Maum(Mind, 마음); Bamb≒Baem(A snake, 뱀); Syandosam≒San-ddeut[teut]-harm(Cozy and fresh feeling, 산뜻함); Aen≒When(There are several meanings, such as certain one or something, curious about something, and (S) suppose toV, 왠/웬); Manobi≒Ma-nu-ra(A wife, 마누라); Dori-Dori(To nod repeatedly from left side to right side, 도리도리); Gonju-Gonju≒Gonji-Gonji(To push repeatedly for baby their palm with an index finger, 곤지곤지); Chachaku≒Chak-chak-kung(To clap repeatedly for baby, 짝짝꿍); Abuba≒Er-bu-ba(To carry a baby on parent’s back, 어부바); Gga-ggung[kakung](To surprise for fun, 까꿍) and Maem-mae(Pretending or trying to spank their baby, 맴매) are the same.

Gonjo-gonjo≒Jogon-jogon(Whispering sound, 조곤조곤); Banakam≒Ban-gab-da(Nice to meet/see you, 반갑다); Nan(I am, 난), Ah-bba(Daddy, 아빠), Nin(You are, 닌, but we usually say Neon, 넌), and Um-ma(mommy, 엄마) are the same as Korean; Apa(Feeling painful, 아파) is the same; Amama≒Er-mer-mer(Astonishing sound, 어머머); Dalatu≒Dal-lae-da(Making comfort, 달래다); Pulbetu≒Pul-be-da(Cutting grass, 풀 베다); Eh-rh≒Oh-rh-da(To climb, 오르다); * When we use an infinitive, such as To infinitive, we usually collocate it with ‘Da, 다’ For example, muck-da is to eat(먹다), and Ja-da is to sleep (자다) * ;Gaidu(Gadu?)≒Ga-du-da(To shut in, 가두다) ; Guttu≒Gut-da(To draw a line between both sides, 긋다); Ddulru≒Ddui-da(To run, 뛰다); Kuri≒Gh-ri-da(To draw, 그리다).

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Korean Society of Tamil Studies, President Jung Nam Kim explains about Korean and Tamil Relation