How to tell time in tamil?

How to tell time in tamil?
Tamil Language

How to tell time in tamil?

When we walk past a bus terminal or a railway station or on roads, this is a general plight. People particularly the old ones find it difficult to afford a watch and they are on look out for some assistance to understand time in Tamil. 

More so, if you are travelling across Tamil Nadu, there will be a need to understand how to say time in Tamil. Whether you are visiting a temple, you go on shopping, or you choose to have food in a dhaba or restaurant, learning to tell time in Tamil is a must. This blog will help you with several ways of telling time in Tamil and learn common words in Tamil.

If you are in a Tamil speaking region, say Tamil Nadu, this is a common sight. An elderly requesting the details of time from an younger person who is wearing a watch. 

Conversation about time in Tamil

Elderly – Thambi..mani evvalavu pa?? தம்பி..மணி எவ்வளவு பா?? Boy, what is the time?

Young one – Ayya..kaila kadigaram irukunga..aana ungliku purira madhiri Tamil la time solla enaku theriyadhungley.! அய்யா..கைல கடிகாரம் இருக்குங்க..ஆனா உங்களிக்கு புரியர மாதிரி தமிழ் ல டைம் சொல்ல எனக்கு தெரியாதுங்களே.! 

Though I am wearing a watch, I am not sure if I can tell you in a language that you can understand. 

Elderly – Paravailla pa..enaku English puriyum nee English laye sollu! 

பரவாயில்ல பா ..எனக்கு இங்கிலிஷ் புரியும் நீ இங்கிலிஷ்  லேயே சொல்லு! 

It’s ok.. I can understand English. Please go ahead and tell me time in English.

4:30 nga 4:30!!

4:30 ங்க 4:30!!

With English taking over many aspects of our lives, a lot of people, particularly the younger ones who are educated in the English and other mediums find it difficult to perceive and speak the Tamil language in a flow. 

Other words for time in Tamil

In order to tell the time in Tamil, we have to know the basic words that are related to time. Firstly time means neram (நேரம்) in Tamil. It can also be said as naaligai (நாழிகை) or manithuli (மணித்துளி).

Listed below are Tamil words associated with Time, watches, adn so on. This could be useful if you are looking to learn common words in Tamil.

Kadigaram (கடிகாரம்) – Watch or clock

Naal (நாள்)- day

Oru mani neram (ஒருமணி நேரம்) – One hour

Nimidam (நிமிடம்) – Minute

Nodi (நொடி) / Vinaadi (வினாடி) – Seconds

Other long period of time references include,

Vaaram (வாரம்) – Week

Maadham (மாதம் ) – Month

Aandu (ஆண்டு )/ Varudam (வருடம்) – Year

Nootrandu (நூற்றாண்டு) – Century

If you were pondering about What are the benefits of studying Tamil, or What is so special about Tamil, this blog could be an answer to all your questions. Tamil is such an interesting language the way it is. 

If you are wondering how old is Tamil language, the answer is more than 5000 years. It is one of the oldest languages and has survived the plights of several invasions. Tamil has always emerged beyond to stand tall in terms of its history, heritage, and culture. 

How do you calculate time?

The clock basically has three hands. The shortest and thick one is the hours hand. The thick and long one is the minutes hand and the thin and long hand which moves fast is the second hand. The circumference of the clock is parted into 12 divisions and each division further has 5 parts. Hence there are 60 subparts denoting the minutes. The 12 divisions represent hours. We tell time by locating the hours hand and minutes hand. Determine where the hands are pointing. First, tell the hour and then the minutes. Or otherwise, the minutes first and then the hour. 

Time 4:30 denotes shorter hand points 4 and the minutes hand points at 30 (6*5). The hours hand travels 2 rotations in a day and a minutes hand completes 24 (12*2) rotations. Whereas the seconds hand does 60*60*24 full rotations in a day.

There are 31,557,600 seconds in a year. Also, One gigayear equals 1,000,000,000,000 years

Here’s an ancient Tamil poem that describes time and its compositions

நிமைநோடி மாத்திரை நேர்முற் றிதனை

இணைகுரு பற்றும உயிரென்றார் – அனையஉயிர்

ஆறுசணி கம்மீரா றாகும்விநாடி தான்

ஆறுபத்தே நாழிகை யாம்

நாழிகை ஏழரை நற்சாமந் தானாலாம்

போழ்தாகுங் காணாய் பொழுதிரண்டாய்த் – தோழி

தினமாகி முப்பது திங்களாய்ச் சேர்ந்த

தினமான தீரா றாண்டே

Ancient Tamils were great intellects who discovered and calculated time very precisely. Even with utmost accuracy. This is what is so special about the Tamil language and Tamil people. They were and are wise and extremely knowledgeable. These are the ancient time measurements in Tamil. This might be calculated with reference to the position of the sun and the shadow.

    1. 8 Saamam (சாமம்) makes a day
    2. 2.5 Naazhigai (நாழிகை) makes an hour
    3. 1 Naazhigai (நாழிகை) is 0.4 hour or 15 minutes
    4. 2.5 Vinaadhi (விநாடி) makes 1 minute
    5. 1 Vinaadi (விநாடி) is 0.4 minute or 15 seconds
    6. 1 Vinaadi (விநாடி) is equal to 24 seconds
    7. 1 Kasanigam (கசணிகம்) equals 2 seconds
    8. 1 Uyir (உயிர்) is 0.3333333333333333 of a second
    9. 1 Guru (குரு) = 0.1666666666666667 second
    10. 1 Maathirai (மாத்திரை) is equal to 0.0833333333333333 second
    11. 1 Kainodi (கைந்நொடி) is equal to  0.0416666666666667 second 
    12. 1 Kannimai (கண்ணிமை) is equal to  0.0208333333333333 second 

Numbers in Tamil

Beyond knowing the basic terms, you must know how to tell numbers in Tamil to be able to read time from the clock in Tamil. 

You must know the numbers 1 to 12 in Tamil to be able to say hours in a clock.

1 – Ondru (ஒன்று)

2 – Irandu (இரண்டு)

3 – Moondru (மூன்று)

4 – Naangu (நான்கு)

5 – Aindhu (ஐந்து)

6 – Aaru (ஆறு)

7- Ealu (ஏழு)

8 – Ettu (எட்டு)

9 – Onbadhu (ஒன்பது)

10 – Pathu (பத்து)

11 – Padhinonru (பதினொன்று)

12 – Pannirendu (பன்னிரண்டு)

To be able to read minutes in Tamil, you should be knowing the numbers one to sixty in Tamil. This would also accelerate your intention of learning common words in Tamil and learn Tamil through English.

13 – Padhinmoondru (பதின்மூன்று)

14 – Padhinangu (பதினான்கு) 

15 – Padhinaindhu (பதினைந்து)

16 – Padhinaaru (பதினாறு)

17 – Padhinelu (பதினேழு)

18 – Padhinettu (பதினெட்டு) 

19 – Pathonbadhu (பத்தொன்பது) 

20 – Irubadhu (இருபது)

21 – Irupathi ondru (இருபத்தி ஒன்று) 

22 – Irupathi irandu (இருபத்தி இரண்டு) 

23 – Irupathi moondru (இருபத்தி மூன்று) 

24 – Irupathi naangu (இருபத்தி நான்கு)

25 – Irupathi aindhu (இருபத்தி ஐந்து)

26 – Irupathi aaru (இருபத்தி ஆறு)

27 – Irupathi ealu (இருபத்தி ஏழு)

28 – Irupathi ettu (இருபத்தி எட்டு)

29 – Irupathi onbadhu (இருபத்தி ஒன்பது) 

30 – Muppadhu (முப்பது)

31 – Muppathi ondru (முப்பத்தி ஒன்று) 

32 – Muppathi irandu (முப்பத்தி இரண்டு)

33 – Muppathi moondru (முப்பத்தி மூன்று)

34 – Muppathi naangu (முப்பத்தி நான்கு)

35 – Muppathi aindhu (முப்பத்தி ஐந்து)

36 – Muppathi aaru (முப்பத்தி ஆறு) 

37 – Muppathi ettu (முப்பத்தி ஏழு)

38 – Muppathi ettu (முப்பத்தி எட்டு)

39 – Muppathi onbadhu (முப்பத்தி ஒன்பது)

40 – Narpadhu (நாற்பது)

41 – Narpathu ondru (நாற்பத்து ஒன்று)

42 – Narpathu Irandu (நாற்பத்து இரண்டு)

43 – Narpathu Mundru (நாற்பத்து மூன்று)

44 – Narpathu Nangu (நாற்பத்து நான்கு)

45 – Narpathu Aindu (நாற்பத்து ஐந்து)

46 – Narpathu Aaru (நாற்பத்து ஆறு)

47 – Narpathu Aelu நாற்பத்து ஏழு

48 – Narpathu Ettu (நாற்பத்து எட்டு)

49 – Narpathu Onbadhu (நாற்பத்து ஒன்பது)

50 – Aimpathu (ஐம்பது)

51 – Aimpathu Ondru (ஐம்பத்து ஒன்று)

52 – Aimpathu Irandu (ஐம்பத்து இரண்டு)

53 – Aimpathu mundru ஐம்பத்து மூன்று

54 – Aimpathu Nangu (ஐம்பத்து நான்கு)

55 – Aimpathu Aintu (ஐம்பத்து ஐந்து)

56  – Aimpathu Aaru (ஐம்பத்து ஆறு)

57 – Aimpathu Aelu (ஐம்பத்து ஏழு)

58 – Aimpathu Ettu (ஐம்பத்து எட்டு)

59 – Aimpathu Onbadhu (ஐம்பத்து ஒன்பது)

60 – Arubadhu (அறுபது)

Now that you have got familiarised with the necessary Tamil numerals, how do you say 4:30 (four-thirty) in Tamil? Give this a try!

Yes! You got that right. It is Naangu Muppadhu (நான்கு முப்பது)

You should also note that

Half an hour is commonly called அரை மணி நேரம் (Arai mani neram)

Forty five minutes as முக்கால் மணி நேரம் (mukkaal mani neram)

Fifteen minutes as கால் மணி நேரம் (kaal mani neram) 

If someone says ‘Poitu onrey kaal mani neram kalichu vaa’, or ’போயிட்டு ஒன்றே கால் மணி நேரம் களித்து வரவும்’, they mean to say ‘You may leave and come here after one hour and 15 minutes’. 

On the other hand, ‘naalarai mani neram’ or ‘நாலரை மணி நேரம்’ means 4 hours thirty minutes. 

Learn Tamil through English

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