Talk:List of loanwords in Sri Lankan Tamil

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  • Mawathai - is a direct transliteration of the Sinhalese term, it is not used to indicate a road in Sri Lankan Tamil dialects. The Daily use term is Rottu from Road and Standard term is Theru or Veedi. Mawathai is like place name and has no meaning in Sri lankan Tamil
Why is this on Tamil road signs then? Clozapine 03:46, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Just like Anuradapuram and Galkissai are in the place signs. Simply officials have not translated it into SL Tamil terminology such as Theru or Veedi. Elwitigala Mawatha is Elwitigala Theru or Veethi (which is from Sanskrit as Sinhalese has Veediya). But in everyday speech Mawathai has no meaning, you will not ask a SL tamil, which Mawathai are you from or which Mawathai are you going to nor will they use Mawathai in standard literature.
So what you are saying is that sometimes they translate "mawatha" and other times they don't? Why is this? Clozapine 09:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Aluva - This is available in Indian Tamil too from Alwa an Arabic sweet cake made popular by Muslims in India. See entry Halva also Halva#Tamil
We are not talking about Indian Tamil. This is article is about Sri Lankan Tamil. Sri Lankan Tamil uses the word aluva not alva to refer to the sweetmeat made by the Sinhalese. Aluva is the Sinhalese term. Clozapine 03:48, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
How are we sure Aluva is used versus Alva? I have heard both terms used. The Sanskrit term is Halava and in Tamil most words start with the vowels hence the omission of H, considering Sinhalese is using the Tamilized version, I am prone to think Sinhalese got it from the Tamil Muslims of Tamil Nadu as well as SL Tamils. It is mistake removing from the list, most probably should move it to Arabic origin words.
It is Alwa in the Jaffna Tamil dialect same as in India not Aluva.
It is Aluva in Colombo Tamil Clozapine 09:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
Cite your source please RaveenS
  • Palikai - No meaning
  • Pansalai – No meaning, Putha Koil is used instead
Used by Colombo Tamils, and Upcountry Tamils living in Colombo and Kandy. Clozapine 03:45, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
See clarification
What clarification? Clozapine 09:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Vesak – Visakam is derived from Sanskrit and is already in Indian Tamil
The term Vesak is the Sinhalese term for Vaishaka. It is used verbatim in Colombo Tamil. Clozapine 03:49, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
See clarification
What clarification? Clozapine 09:27, 19 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Nona – Is it from Portuguese or Dutch but rarely if ever used in SL Tamil.
Removed should go to the Sinhala words of Port. origin list It is from Port. See nona for lady from Portuguese [1]
  • Chenai from Hena for slash and burn cultivation as well as place name ending
Needs to investigate - Vallachenai, Chena cultivation, Chenai Kuddi irruppu, is Chenai a Indian tamil word too ?
No answer yet added to this list
  • Dodol - Used extensively in India and Malaysia, Indonesia in the Port. Diaspora hence common origin not derived from Sinhalese, moved to Malay origin till Port. Origin is found[2]
Totol is made in Jaffna under the same name, not made in South India but in Goa and Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Macau. Hence a unique item associated with Portuguese trade and rule & links.
Ever wondered how the delicious kalu dodol found its way here and secured a permanent place on our traditional festive tables? The art of dodol making was knowledge bestowed on us by our Portuguese rulers.[3]
This was probably the case with black Dodol – a kind of halwa (sweet) prepared with rice flour, black jaggery and coconut juice on festive occasions by Christians in Goa, Kerala and Sri Lanka. Goan Christians prepare Dodol or Kali Dodol (as known in Sri Lanka) with black jaggery of coconut palm. The sweet is no different from various halwas prepared by Hindus in Goa, the only difference being the colour of the jaggery and change of name. The Hindus call it Alvo and use a lighter colour jaggery made of sugarcane[4]


In this list I had linked to Sri Lankan Tamil dialects. They are

  • Jaffna
  • Batticaloa
  • Negombo

Because these have published literature on these are considered to be traditional Sri Lankan Tamil dialects. Colombo Tamil has no published literature yet(?), it is most probably a code switching mixed language like Madras Tamil and Bombay Hindi. Upcountry Tamil is an entirely different dialect based on some regional Indian Tamil dialects, no published literature or is not considered part of this list. Hence including these terms will be cosidered original research which is not acceptable in Wikipedia.

Although I understand the users rational for adding words like Nona, Mahathaya, Vesak, Poson, Pansalai to this list. It is from the Upcountry Tamil dialects, hence a different list. SL Tamil dialects do not use these terms except on rare occasion when LTTE named one of its regional leaders Mahenthira as Mahathaya. Mawathai, Nona, Pansalai, Poson, Salu Salai has no attested usage. Sarvodayam, Malu Panis, Poya yesRaveenS

Just because a word is rarely used that doesn't meant it does not exist in the language. Mahattaya, Nona, Pansalai, Poson and Salu Salai are used in Colombo Tamil and among Upcountry Tamils who live in Sinhalese-majority areas. Clozapine 09:29, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

I hope the User:Clozapine is reading the topics before answering. Colombo Tamil and Upcountry Tamil are not considered part of Sri Lankan Tamil dialects. Because

  • They are not the traditional dialects of native Sri Lankans
  • As User:RaveenS says, there no literature on them even if we open this list to these dialects hence cannot be included till references are found.
So you're saying that terms used in Colombo Tamil cannot be considered as Tamil? Then why should terms used in Jaffna Tamil and Upcountry Tamil be considered Tamil? Clozapine 03:21, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
No, if I've understood them right, they're saying that the dialects of Tamil spoken in Colombo and the Hill country do not belong linguistically within the Sri Lankan subdivision of Tamil dialects, and loanwords used in those dialects therefore should be listed not in this article but in an article which deals with them specifically (e.g List of Sinhala loan words in Colombo and Upcountry Tamil). Perhaps the easiest way to settle the issue is to look to how the term "Sri Lankan Tamil" is used in academic literature? -- Arvind 14:50, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

My question to User:RaveenS where is the attestation for even maalu panis and poya in Jaffna Tamil or Bati tamil in any Tamil dictionary because I have not come across them at all. Unless we cite published literature such as a dictionary or even local novels, short stories, documentaries, movies that document usage all the Sinhalese words that User:Clozapine has included in this list such as mahathya, nona, panasalai, poson, salu salai, malu panis, poya, I propse they should be removed.Huracane

Unless we cite published literature such as a dictionary or even local novels, short stories, documentaries, movies that document usage, all the "Tamil words" words that have been added to, I propose they should be removed. Clozapine 04:21, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Go and propose it overthere not here

I'll propose it here if I like, and over there if I feel like it. Clozapine 13:00, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Watch your tone guys, we're trying to build a reasonably serious encyclopaedia here. Think of what the non-linguists out there will think of our breed if they read this. Get back to scientific argumentation and keep the nasty remarks to yourself. JREL (talk) 07:28, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Not found in Tamil Wikipedia[edit]

May I suggest that this article be translated into Tamil and placed into that language's pedia? You need to know Tamil to understand it anyway. Putting it in Sinhala might not be a bad idea either, if anyone has that knowledge. Tyronen 21:25, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Expand this article[edit]

Give reasons why this is an encylopedia artile not just a list of words. Describe how SLT came about these words, there effect etc.RaveenS 13:51, 31 July 2006 (UTC)


I am a native speaker of Portuguese, but I do not recognize the word tombu. I guess it could stand for tombo, but I do not see how that could relate to "title". Unless what is meant is tomo, and even then it seems a bit of a stretch. This should be checked. FilipeS 19:05, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

In one of the references it says it is derived from Tombo from archive to store. Land titles were archive or stored in the colonial Kantor or office thus the natives called the titles from the word to archive or store such titles RaveenS 13:57, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

That makes sense. There's a large archive in Lisbon called Torre do Tombo (Tower of the Tombo). FilipeS

piṅkāṉ and vaṅki[edit]

1. piṅkāṉ: is not piṅkāṉ a loan word from chinese??

2. vaṅki: what proof is there to say vaṅki comes from banco?? i can see no connection!.

I think the word vaṅki is a pure tamil word, meaning where they take and keep your money.

i.e "vangi vaikkum iddam"

Looks actually more Dutch to me. "bank" with lenition of the b --> vank with paragogic vowel insertion --> vanki. If the source had been Portuguese, we would expect vanku, since the pt word is banco, pronounced [banku]. But this goes into OR. Jasy jatere (talk) 09:25, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Koviyar removed[edit]

Koviyar is a tamil word:

he name Koviar, derived from the Tamil word Koviyam, means - bonded-service. Earlier, they called Kovilar those people, who rendered their services in the temples. Later, this word became corrupted and people began to call them Koviar. The word Koviar has nothing to do with the Sinhalese word Goviya or Goiya. To write that Koviar were former Sinhalese, kept enslaved, is indeed a fanciful stretch of imagination at the expense of the Koviar caste.

Origin of Kalusan[edit]

The article presently gives Portuguese calças (trousers) as the etymon. However, phonetically calção, which currently means "shorts" and could have earlier meant "trousers", too, seems like a more plausible source for the word. This should be checked. FilipeS 21:22, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

That is the citation we have but it could be wrong, if you have citable material, we can change itRaveenS 15:52, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I do not. :-( FilipeS 15:54, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Koiappalam = Goiaba?[edit]

Word Meaning Original form
koiappalam guava goiya[citation needed]

Hi. Goiya does not look like a Portuguese word at all. My suspicion would be that the word should be goiaba (or goiava, same thing). See the Portuguese Wikipedia. But this needs to be confirmed. FilipeS 18:19, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

sarvōtayam and Tuvaku[edit]

The words Sarvodayam and Tuvaku cannot come from Sinhala language. Sri Lankan tamil is part of Dravidian Language and Those above said words are from Malayalam. Its simple fact These words came from Malayalam[5]. Even the words Kulusai for tablets and Kasera it known as Kathirai in Sri lankan Tamil are in Malayalam. --Arunantamil (talk) 15:58, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

life mani[edit]

life is very but not bad —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:04, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

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