I came across the old July 6, 2008, opinion piece “Was the Japanese language influenced by Tamil? The war goes on,” and my view is that it’s not just Tamil, but the Japanese language is structurally (i.e grammar and expressions) very similar to Indian languages like Bengali. Now Bengali being a Sankrit-derived language is expected to be structurally different from Tamil, given the (now disputed) theory of Arian and Dravidian origins in India. I cannot speak on the similarity or otherwise between Bengali and Tamil since I am not familiar with Tamil. But I learned Japanese up to N3 and during my stay in Japan I always felt intrigued by how Japanese is so similar to my mother tongue Bengali. It cannot be just due to a few emissaries of Buddhism having landed in the seventh century. It has to have a deeper connection than that. My own imagination makes me think it’s something like the Korean queen who came from India with her entourage or something similar that might have happened, causing a significant mass exchange but later forgotten. I hope some research someday will throw more light on this.

Ambarish Ghosh

Kolkata, India

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