Google search in Tamil

When I wrote my Tamil song lyrics quizzes, I had two problems:

  1. I can’t write in Tamil (not on paper, nor on a computer)
  2. I can’t spell right in Tamil (ந vs ன, ர vs ற)

I overcame the first using a Tamil transliterator. I write in English, and you see it in Tamil.

The problem of ந vs ன was simple. ந occurs as the first letter of a word, and just before த. Nowhere else. (Is this always true?)

But ர vs ற can’t be solved except through experience, and I’m short of that. So, rather than bother my family with every quiz, I used the wisdom of crowds. I googled both spellings of the word. The correct spelling has more Google hits than the incorrect one.

I did this so often, I made a Google gadget out of it.

Just type the word in English, click ‘Search’, and my gadget will search in tamil. It’s amazing how much stuff there is in Tamil on the Web, from song lyrics to texts (thirukkuraL, for example).

You can add this gadget to:

  • your desktop (in the Search Gadgets box, type “http://www.s-anand.net/a/tamilsearchgadget.xml”)
  • your website or blog (click here for the code)
  • Google Reader. Add to Google

Here’s the transliteration table:

Tamil English
a
A or aa
i
I or ee
u
U or oo
e
E
ai
o
O
au
k or g
n
ch or s
j
n
t or d
N
th or dh
n
p or b
m
y
r
l
v
zh
L
R
sh
S
h

Making a Tamil transliterator

I’ve built a simple Tamil transliterator. You can type in words in English and it will spell them out in Tamil. You can copy-paste the Tamil above into Microsoft Word, etc.

You may need to turn on tamil scripts to see the Tamil fonts above. If you have Windows 98, it may not work well. If you’ve visited this page recently, you will need to refresh this page as well (press F5).

Browse through my Javascript to see how it works. Feel free to reuse.

I’ve also made a Google Gadget that searches Google in Tamil using this tool.

Here’s what to type:

Tamil English
a
A or aa
i
I or ee
u
U or oo
e
E
ai
o
O
au
k or g
n
ch or s
j
n
t or d
N
th or dh
n
p or b
m
y
r
l
v
zh
L
R
sh
S
h

I also have a gadget that lets you search in Tamil.