Tamil is spoken by approximately 70 million people worldwide and has one of the oldest literary traditions in the world with traceable beginnings to over 2,000 years ago. It holds official language status in Tamil Nadu in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, and has a large diaspora. Tamil's literary corpus, rich political and social history, and vibrant film industry are just some of the reasons to study this fascinating and important language.

Harvard University's Department of South Asian Studies offers Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Tamil. Classes focus on both the written and spoken forms of the language and incorporate a wide range of materials including modern Tamil fiction, classical poetry, and contemporary film.

Tamil 101A Elementary Tamil
Instructor: Jonathan Ripley; M/W/F, 9:00-10:15 (Fall)
An introduction to the oldest of the Dravidian languages of South India, Tamil holds official language status in Tamil Nadu, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Tamil has one of the oldest uninterrupted literary traditions in the world, ranging from classical love poetry, devotional compositions and epics to the modern novel and short story. Students will be introduced to the Tamil script and to reading, writing, and speaking. Materials from popular culture will supplement modern teaching materials.

Tamil 102A Intermediate Tamil
Instructor: Jonathan Ripley; M/W/F, 10:30-11:45 (Fall)
The focus of this course will be on further developing reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students will read fables, newspapers, short stories, and other genres of literature including poetry. Tamil cinema and audiovisual materials presenting contemporary and traditional Tamil culture will be used as supplementary class material.