PUDUCHERRY:A first-of-its-kind trilingual dictionary from French to Tamil and English, brought out by a Paris-based French national hailing from Puducherry, is gaining popularity not only in France, but also in India as well as other countries.
The dictionary titled ‘Dictionnaire Francais Moderne’ has been authored by H Nagarajan who has been living in France since migrating from Puducherry in 1982.
Since the publishing, it has been recommended by the Tamil faculty of University of Paris to its students, says Nagarajan. It is being marketed in not only France, but also in countries like India, Canada, Switzerland where there is a concentration of Tamil people who want to learn French.
In Puducherry there is a demand for the dictionary among students who take up French as a second language and French nationals of Tamil origin are unable to speak or understand French.
The idea first dawned during his visits to library in Paris, when he came across Tamil people asking for such a dictionary, but the librarian replying in the negative, said Nagarajan.
There are several French students learning Tamil in French universities, but no French-to-Tamil dictionary is available anywhere in the world. Though a dictionary was brought out about 100 years back, the dictionary is archaic as the translation is in old Tamil which is difficult to understand in modern times, says P Raja, retired professor of English, a recipient of ‘Excellence in Literature Award’ from the Puducherry government in 2009 and a friend of Nagarajan. Besides the two lakh odd Tamil people from Sri Lanka who have been provided political asylum in France and are now learning French have been seeking such a dictionary, said Nagarajan, an alumni of Petit Seminaire Higher Secondary School and Tagore Government Arts College in Puducherry.
The dictionary published in Paris for the first time in 2005 has also included French abbreviations and their English equivalents for significance, a glossary of phrases and words explained in English, some French idioms, phrases and their English equivalents, usage of words, French proverbs and their English equivalents, popular French aphorisms and maxims, some colloquial words, expressions in English, French numbers in English. There are also French punctuation marks, adverbs, family related terms and expressions, professions, birds and animals, trees, vegetables and diseases in English.
More than 2,500 copies have been sold since publishing of the dictionary. Now online marketing and door delivery anywhere in the world has been introduced, says Nagarajan.