If you had asked me five years ago if I would be able to learn a language called Tamil online, I would have been confused. Mainly because I didn’t even know what Tamil was at the time! As an American, I thought everyone in India spoke Hindi. Through the course of my relationship with my American-born Indian fiance, she stressed how important her Tamil culture, and especially the language, was to her. I wanted to learn Tamil to be closer to her family.
Finding a Tamil teacher or classes in the USA is very difficult: as a working professional, going into an in-person class isn’t feasible. I found ilearnTamil and requested a free online class. I was very intimated at first. Tamil and learning a language online was new to me. However, my excellent tutor Gayathri made me feel at ease from the first lesson. She stresses the importance of trying and experimenting with Tamil. Many times, we spend over half the lesson working on speaking directly to each other. We structure the learning material we used around the sentences I want to say and what I need to communicate with my fiance’s family. She helps with sentence structure, making sure I speak as Tamilians do. Gayathri emphasizes that there is no point in learning a language if you don’t use it, and encourages me to talk with my fiance’s extended family. She also teaches me about the culture, even sending some Dosa making tips!
Language is a barrier that breaks down walls, and learning Tamil through Gayathri has genuinely changed my relationship with my fiance’s family for the better. I hope to continue my lessons in the years to come to become even more proficient. With ilearnTamil, I know that is possible.