What is my language? Dr.Vidya and Shabnam working with children studying up to fourth grade.
They were around 7-10 years.-- confident, quick, witty and keen in listening. This group had some sweet confusions about language—especially in terms of knowing what words are Tamil and what words have been borrowed from other languages.
When Dr.Vidya asked them to tell her the Tamil word for "Dance" they unanimously said dance and dancer were Tamil words!
They were convinced that "foot" and "food" are the same and you eat these--it is all "Saappadu". This stems from the fact that Tamil does not have a distinct ‘t’ and ‘d’.
Everything from hip to toe is "kaal" in Tamil - "lek" in English.
On the other hand, these children could sing the latest and upbeat film song without missing a word! One little guy came up to Dr. Vidya in the end and said "Nandri" (thank you) for teaching him the English word for his kannukkutti (calf).
Being bilingual at school level has its merits!