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 101B Elementary Tamil
Instructor: Jonathan Ripley; M/W/F, 9:00-10:15am
An interactive introduction to Tamil, the oldest of the Dravidian languages of South India with a literary tradition that spans millennia. It is designed for students with no previous background in Tamil and progressively introduces speaking, listening, reading and writing using textual and audio-visual materials. After taking the TAM 101 series, students will have a working knowledge of the fundamental grammatical structures necessary to navigate colloquial and literary modern Tamil and to begin reading older Tamil literature as well. Not open to auditors.

Tamil 102B Intermediate Tamil
Instructor: Jonathan Ripley; T, 6:45-8:45pm & F, 10:30-11:45am
A continuation of TAM 101A and TAM 101B, this course is focused on consolidating students’ grasp of fundamental grammatical structures, as well as expanding their Tamil reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students actively engage with a variety of textual and audiovisual materials and conduct regular class presentations in Tamil. After taking the TAM 102 series, students will be able to understand Tamil materials of increasing complexity and be able to communicate with greater ease. Not open to auditors.

Tamil 103BR Advanced Tamil
Instructor: Jonathan Ripley; M/W/F, 12:00-1:15pm
Continuation of Tamil 102. Covers topics of advanced grammar and is designed to further develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Texts include modern literature, classical poetry, devotional literature, epic literature, and selections from minor literary forms. Films and other audiovisual materials will be used as well.