Author: M Winslow
Publisher: Asian Educational Services
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-206-0001-0
First published in 1862, this Comprehensive Tamil and English Dictionary embraces both the common and poetic dialects of the Tamil language, including its principal astronomical, astrological, mythological, botanical, scientific and official terms; as also the names of many authors, poets, heroes and gods.
Containing, as it does, upwards of 30,000 words more than any similar work, it will be found a most important help in acquiring such a knowledge of the language, as will enable the reader really to profit by its literature. It will also be found useful to those who may wish for condensed information on the philosophy, the religion, the superstitions, and the customs of the Hindus.
Professor Max Muller divides nearly all languages of the world in three main families - the Aryan, Semitic, and Turanian. According to this classification, Tamil belongs to the Turanian family. The Tamil is not a vulgar dialect. Before the principal basis of the English had a written character, it was a highly polished language. Its name signifies sweetness, and though not as musical as the Telugu, in its poetic form specially, it is not without its claim to euphonic charms, and "linked sweetness." It is one of the most copious, refined, and polished languages spoken by man.
Unlike several of the vernaculars of India, it is not, as some have supposed, a daughter of the Sanskrit. The Tamil has certainly been greatly enriched from the Sanskrit and has borrowed from it some letters. By it, the language has become copious, as before, it was precise, philosophical, and energetic.
In one respect the Tamil has an advantage over other vernaculars of India. It has a greater amount of Christian literature. As the number of Native Christians speaking Tamil is two or three times greater than of those speaking any other vernacular, also the books prepared in that language are proportionally more numerous.