A seminar on 'Tamil for Science' will be held at Dr G R Damodaran College for Science in January. Jointly organized by the college and the linguistics department of Bharathiar University, the seminar will bring together professors and researchers who will deliberate on how to develop Tamil such that it can be effectively used to teach and communicate science subjects, both to students and the masses.
The seminar which will be held on January 8th and 9th will discuss measures to popularise science through the vernacular language. It is being organized as part of the centenary celebrations of Dr G R Damodaran. Teaching science and technology through the vernacular has been considered an effective way to take science and technology to the masses. Researchers say that though there have been several attempts to popularise science through Tamil, nothing has come to fruition. For one, there is a lack of standard vocabulary for scientific terms. For instance, computer is called 'Kanini', 'Kanipaani' or 'Kanipuri' depending on the region. This issue can be resolved by preparing a standard document comprising Tamil words for each specific scientific concept or object. These words should be simple which the general population can comprehend.
"We need to come up with equivalent Tamil words for electronic gadgets and scientific terms," said C Sivashanmugam head of the department of linguistics, Bharathiar University. Such effort will help make the teaching of science in the vernacular easier, he added.
Popularising Tamil words is the key to its success. D Padmanabhan, correspondent of Bharathidasan University and editor of 'Kalaikathir' magazine, founded by Dr G R Damodaran to spread science through Tamil said that one of the major challenges they face is to take developments to the general population. Those interested in participating in the seminar should contact Sivashanmugam at 0422-2428401.