QUOTE(Eliezer @ Jan 4 2006, 11:27 AM)
Japanese and Korean languages have many loan-words from Tamil.
Hi Jagger, Do you have a link to this? I have read Tamils were great seafarers and wondered if this may have something to do with the source of your information
The linguistic relationship between Japanese and Tamil languages was explained by a number of linguists including the English linguist R. Caidwell (A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages
) and Japanese linguists Susumu Shiba (Dravida-go to Nihongo
or "Dravidian Languages and Japanese
"), Fujiwara Akira (Nihongo to Dravida shogo
or "Japanese and Dravidian Languages
") and Susumu Ohno (The Genealogy of the Japanese language
). Japanese and Tamil have many phonetic similarities and some of the retroflex sounds in both languages are also very similar (like the way they pronounce
'r' or 'l'), while they also point out over 400 Japanese loan-words from Tamil. An online version of Susumu Ohno's research, The Genealogy of the Japanese language
, is available here:http://arutkural.tripod.com/tolcampus/jap-tamil.htm
As for Korean, a number of linguists including H.B. Hulbert (A comparative grammar of the Korean language and the Dravidian languages of India
) and M.E. Clippinger (Korean Studies
) pointed out grammatical similarities between Tamil and Korean and also pointed out over 400 Korean loan-words from Tamil. An example would be how Koreans refer to their relatives in the same way as Tamils do, like how the words for mother, father, sister, sister-in-law, etc. are the same in both Tamil and Korean (the two different ways of saying father is also the same in both languages).
The reason for these similarities is because Tamils used to travel
the seas quite often, as you've pointed out. It was mostly due to Tamil traders that Indian culture spread throughout South-East Asia. They were also the only Indians to extend their empire overseas to South-East Asia (Chola Empire), while a number of Tamil kings would also independantly rule parts of the South-East. It's very likely that Tamil traders also travelled to Japan and Korea, and as a result, parts of the Tamil language was absorbed into the Japanese and Korean languages, while the Brahmi script also influenced the Korean Hangul script. But of course the influences they had in Japan & Korea is much smaller than the influences China had in those countries.
China also had some influence on South Asia: (though not quite as much)
Again I am interested in your reference here.
This one should be quite self-explanatory considering the fact that the Chinese first invented the compass. During the middle ages, using a navigational compass across the Indian Ocean was necessary for both Chinese and Indian traders, so it's very likely Indians obtained knowledge of the compass from the Chinese, as did the Middle Easterners.