I haven't written anything more on here since the first post because I've been focusing on the Broken Translation Game. Translating from Tamil to Spanish was a lot of fun and also very hard! I did it into two steps - Tamil to English and English to Spanish. I tried doing Tamil directly to Spanish, going one sentence at a time, but it was painstakingly slow. I'm not that used to left-branching languages, and especially to parsing and recalling mid-length or long left-branching sentences.
For my Tamil to English translation, I had several tabs open. There unfortunately isn't just one dictionary that can be used with Tamil, so I use a combination of Agarathi.com
and Google Translate. The first one is only Tamil -> English, but it uses several dictionaries as its source, so it's probably the most accurate one out of the three. The second one is Tamil <-> English as well as Tamil <-> German. There are times where the second site has a Tamil word but the first one doesn't, which is why I use it. And of course also because I can look up English words to find their Tamil equivalent. However, overall the site probably has less entries than the first site, so even looking up English words can be challenging. Finally, I use Google Translate for when neither of the first two sites contain the Tamil (or English) word.
Besides the challenge of left-branching sentences, there's a challenge in trying to parse individual Tamil words. Because Tamil is agglutinative, frequently I can't just look up a Tamil word as is. Sometimes I'm lucky and the specific form of the word exists as an entry in Agarathi or TamilDict, but often it's a related form. In these cases, I have to then figure out the difference(s) between the two forms. Sometimes, though, the entries in the dictionary aren't actually related but completely different words with just the first few letters the same. During these times, I really wish there were a complete list of all Tamil suffixes! Because there isn't such a list, though, during my translation attempt, in addition to the three dictionary tabs I had open, I also had two tabs open for looking up grammar stuff, such as various Tamil suffixes. I used both the Tamil Language in Context
and the Tamil Paadanool
All of this fanned the flames of my interest in continuing to learn Tamil. Going through the two grammar sites also made me think that perhaps the approach I need to take with Tamil is to focus intensively on Tamil grammar. Fortunately the TLIC site has a page with just the grammar lessons, so I don't have to worry about the videos and the vocabulary, and the TP site is only grammar.